Laura Scales

Laura Scales

As an Academic Specialist and Production Manager for the Department of Theatre, Laura Scales has demonstrated her commitment to cultivating an inclusive learning environment for theatre students. 

Through her Academic Specialist position, Scales provides mentorship to theatre students and creates a space where students can voice their concerns. Scales also serves as a Faculty Advisor for the Student Advisory Board for Diversity and Inclusion, where she is the point of contact for any advocacy issues that need resolution. For example, in fall 2020, non-white theatre students were left out of a photo collage of current theatre students that was posted to social media. As the matter escalated online, Scales stepped in as a mediator and facilitator of discussion. Scales helped the theatre department move forward through open discussion of implicit bias and raising awareness of the “Dear White American Theatre” movement.  

In addition to her role within the Student Advisory Board for Diversity and Inclusion, Scales is also a part of the department’s Best Practices Sub-Committee, the Recruitment Sub-

Committee, and the Advisory Committee. Within all of these positions, Scales promotes inclusive practices and is a pioneer for policy revision. Her commitment to cultivating a diverse learning environment was exemplified when the theatre department began the search for a new chairperson. As Affirmative Action Advocate during this search, Scales used her professional connections to ensure that the department had a diverse pool of candidates.

Beyond her work within the Department of Theatre, Scales has also served as Chair of the College of Arts & Letters’ Inclusive Practices Committee, where she developed inclusive practices for teaching, scholarship, service, and administration across the college. Scales’ efforts reach beyond MSU’s campus as well, where she serves as the Chair and Commissioner of the East Lansing Arts Commission, an initiative that funds artistic endeavors pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness, like the “Black History 101 Mobile Museum” at the East Lansing Public Library.

For her ongoing dedication to fostering an inclusive community within MSU and the East Lansing community, Laura Scales is awarded with the Excellence in Diversity “Individual-Emerging” award.