DEI Bulletin: November 2022

October 31, 2022 - Ashley Zhou


Executive Updates 

MSUToday: MSU trustees name Teresa K. Woodruff interim president

During a special meeting of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees Monday, Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., was unanimously named interim president. Her appointment will be effective on Nov. 4. "I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this great institution at this moment in our shared history," said Woodruff according to MSUToday.


Office of the President: Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed as a university holiday for eligible employees

Beginning in 2023, MSU annually will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16, as a full university holiday for eligible faculty, academic staff and support staff. According to the email, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., wrote "MSU's biggest investment — and greatest strength — is you, the exceptionally talented support staff, faculty and academic staff who bring our educational mission to life."


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: 2022-23 Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants’ recipients announced

Thirty four projects will receive funding up to $15,000 this academic year from the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants program. Approximately $410,000 will be distributed by the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion to advance innovative inclusion efforts across Michigan State University.


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer to receive dignified award for excellence

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., receives Diamond Award Excellence in Education recognizing leadership in providing central support for the recruitment, retention and advancement of students, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups.


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: Coalition of Racial Ethnic Minorities Reception draws largest gathering

On Oct. 3, the Coalition of Racial Ethnic Minorities, or CoREM, hosted its first reception since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with over 150 in attendance. The event at Cowles House welcomed new faculty and staff of color to Michigan State University.


Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer joins in welcoming MSU WorkLife Office conference

On Oct. 20, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., joins President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Teresa K Woodruff, Ph.D., and Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer Melissa Woo, Ph.D. in supporting MSU’s commitment to worklife balance at the 2022 WorkLife Conference: The Whole-Person Workplace.


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: Dr. Deborah J. Johnson celebrated as MSU Foundation Professor at 2022 MSU Investiture for Endowed Faculty

At the Wharton Center on Sept. 14, the MSU community gathered for the investiture of the 2022 class of endowed chairs, professors and MSU foundation professors. Among the MSU foundation professors is Deborah J. Johnson, Ph.D., a developmental trailblazer in research exploring racially and culturally related development, cultural adjustment from early childhood through emerging adulthood in domestic and international children and youth and more.


DEI Happenings   

Broad College of Business: Hispanic Heritage: importance to MSU Broad MBA students and staff 

Hispanic Heritage Month extends from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 to honor the culture and contributions to the country of Hispanic Americans. Several Hispanic/Latinx MBA students and staff shared their experiences and inclusive needs as members of the business community. 


WKAR: Celebrate and explore Hispanic Heritage Month with WKAR 

WKAR hosted a wide variety of radio specials and articles featuring various Latin and Hispanic artists, culture and articles for Hispanic Heritage Month 2022.  


Eat at State: MSU Culinary Services celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and more

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, MSU Culinary Services featured Latin-inspired dishes, sides and MSU Bakers desserts across campus throughout the week of Oct. 3. MSU Culinary Services partnered with College Assistance Migrant Program/High School Equivalency Program (CAMP/HEP) and the MSU Migrant Student Services. Also in October, Culinary Services offered Diwali and Filipino American History Month-inspired cuisines.


MSUToday: MSU graduate, WKAR intern elevates Latinx topics with news podcast 

WKAR Public Media partnered with the MSU College Assistance Migrant Scholar Program to create an ongoing internship position to work on WKAR’s weekly news podcast “¿Qué Onda Michigan?” MSU alumna Yesenia Zamora-Cardoso was selected to fill the internship and discussed her passion and value for MSU and diverse perspectives in media through a Q&A. 


MSUToday: Spring break study abroad in Mexico sparks change 

The Office for Education Abroad, the Office for Cultural and Academic Transitions and the College of Science partnered to create a diverse study abroad program, International Engagement in Mexico (IEM). IEM allows students to earn course credit, apply for financial aid and is open to all students with the opportunity of participating in peer-to-peer leadership. 


Apple: Meet seven Hispanic and Latin app creators breaking barriers with technology 

Comprised of Hispanic and Latin app founders of Encanto, BiteSight and Yana showcase how they work to make the world more inclusive and accessible while honoring their rich cultures and identities. The first cohort of students from the MSU Apple Developer Academy collaborated to create BiteSight — an app that helps people who are blind or have low vision quickly identify food allergens on product ingredient labels. 


MSUToday: MSU Latinx Leaders share contributions during National Hispanic Heritage Month on podcast

Four Hispanic MSU faculty members speak on what National Hispanic Heritage Month means to them and more. MSU recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month and is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 in the U.S.


MSU Invites Latino Farmers to Discuss Difficulties facing Migrant Workers

Luis Alonzo Garcia, Director of MSU’s Migrant Student Services brought MSU researchers and policymakers and farmers together at a luncheon on Sept. 19 at Brody Hall to advance discussions around the H-2A Visa Program.


College of Human Medicine: Professor mentors Hispanic students exploring neuroscience research careers 

Irving Vega, associate professor in the College of Human Medicine’s Department of Translational Neuroscience, directs the Bridge to the Ph.D. in Neuroscience Program, an Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Education Experiences program that focuses on raising interest and opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate students in the neuroscience field. 


MSUToday: NAISO hosts Powwow of Love with dances, feasts 

The North American Indigenous Student Organization hosted the 37th annual Powwow of Love, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic to bring light to non-Natives and encourage cultural exchange between Indigenous cultures. The Powwow followed Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Oct. 10. 


MI Supreme Court: MSU College of Law faculty present panel on Indian Boarding Schools 

On Oct. 21, a panel on Indian Boarding Schools including Associate Professor Wenona Singel of the MSU College of Law and former Michigan Tribal Judge Bryan Newland, adjunct professor of Indian Law took place as part of the National Association of Women Judges 44th Annual Conference. 


MSUToday: Collaboration across campus ensures success for Spartans with disabilities 

The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and the Office of Employee Relations elevate their collaborative work for National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. 


RCPD: MSU released 2021-22 RCPD Annual Report 

RCPD: MSU released the 2021-22 Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) Annual Report. Started in 1934 by Tower Guard, RCPD celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022 making it one of the nation’s longest-standing university disability service programs. 


Center for Bioethics and Social Justice: Leadership and faculty members add pronouns to directory on International Pronouns Day

The Center for Bioethics and Social Justice added the option to include pronouns in its faculty and staff directory. Leadership and faculty members have added pronouns in recognition of International Pronouns Day on Oct. 19.


MSUToday: Professor shares work in understanding identity in the classroom 

Department of English professor Ellen McCallum shares how MSU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Sexuality Studies program offers students an opportunity to learn the historical and social context relating to personal and collective identities. “LGBTQ classes specifically can help us learn about the different ways of relating that LGBTQ people have cultivated and the alternative frameworks for understanding our world that queer affords,” McCallum wrote for MSUToday. 


MSUToday: MSU faculty traces Pride march history 

History and LGBTQIA+ studies professor Tim Retzloff collaborated with artist Clare Paul to create “Come out! In Detroit,” a comic commemorating the first pride march in Detroit. “I am very grateful to have learned about and shed light on this part of our history, which has been marginalized and not often captured by other documentation that we usually rely on,” Retzloff said for MSUToday.   


WLNS: MSU Black Alumni Inc. celebrates giving back to students for 42 years 

On Oct. 16, the Michigan State University Gospel Choir celebrated with the MSU Black Alumni Inc.’s 42nd Anniversary. The Distinguished Alumni and Shirley M. Rodgers Scholarship Brunch give back to current MSU students through scholarships. 


MSUToday: MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program to kick off 10th-year 

This October, the MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program will begin its 10th anniversary featuring jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford and trombonist Adrian Mears, guitarist Bruce Forman and saxophonist Camille Thurman. Supported by $1 million from MSUFCU, the week-long program invites artists to teach and perform with MSU jazz studies and K-12 students across Michigan. 


Broad College of Business: Multicultural Business Programs taps mural artist for academic space 

Multicultural Business Programs (MBP) invites Lansing-based mural artist Mila Lynn to create murals of mosaics of the faces of people with different identities. The artwork was a result of MBP’s commitment to amplifying minoritized students’ voices by sharing their campus experiences and helping to create empowering connections.  


MSUToday: MSU Safe Place provides services for relationship violence survivors 

MSU Safe Place is a support program that has expanded its services to those in partner violence or harassment through a crisis chat program. The service is free, anonymous and will be released this month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 


Innovation, Health and Research 

WKAR-FM East Lansing: MSU opens center to help individuals with disabilities in career, life transitions

WKAR-FM reports that MSU is opening a new center Friday, Oct. 28, intended to help people with disabilities in their career and life transitions, including those with criminal backgrounds and from underserved communities. The university’s Center for Services, Training and Research for Independence and Desired Employment, or STRIDE, helps people with all types of disabilities including physical, mental, neurological, intellectual and developmental.


MSU Foundation and MSU announce 2022 strategic partnership grant recipients 

In September, MSU Foundation and MSU announce SPG recipient Dr. Ranjan Mukherjee, Department of Mechanical Engineering and his colleagues for their proposal enhancing employment settings for disabled individuals.


MSUToday: Research found asexual relationships need same ingredients as any other relationship 

In new MSU research published in Frontiers in Psychology, they found that “despite asexuals’ lack of or dislike for sexual attraction,” asexual relationships need the same factors for successful relationships. With a sample of 485 people who self-identified as asexual, the study is among the largest studies of asexual relationships ever conducted. 


MSUToday: MSU, Henry Ford Health, Brown University to establish new suicide prevention research center 

MSU, Henry Ford Health and Brown University established the National Institutes of Mental Health with a $15 million grant towards a new suicide prevention research center. The research center, also known as NCHATS, will bring together jails, police, health systems/plans, judges and corrections to integrate and expand the public health response to suicide prevention.


MSUToday: $3 million in grants to support mental health and substance use disorder services 

Nearly $3 million in grants from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health will help healthcare providers with mental health training and increase the number of nurses and doctors from underrepresented communities in substance use disorders. 


Science Summit at UNGA77: 77th United National General Assembly hosts Science Summit

On Sept. 29, Associate Professor Connie Sung presented a panel at the 77th United Nations General Assembly’s Science Summit entitled “Social Inclusion in Employment Setting for Individuals with Disabilities.” The summit featured all-day presentations with speakers, panelists and scholars from all over the world to discuss disability issues and ways to promote social inclusion. 


MSUToday: Assistant professor shares work and advocacy for perinatal mothers in Flint 

Maji Hailemariam Debana, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in the College of Human Medicine, shares her work with an ongoing study, the MOthers AdvocateS in the Community Plus study (MOSAIC) in Flint. Taking charge of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, MOSAIC provides non-professional intervention to reduce intimate partner violence in pregnant women and mothers with children under 5. 


MSUToday: College of ComArtSci brings seven new faculty’s expertise in DEI research 

Seven research faculty members were welcomed to the College of Communications Arts and Sciences this month. Each faculty member has a wide array of previous DEI research that support MSU’s goal to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. 



MSUToday: Dr. Kevin Leonard appointed interim director of the Native American Institute  

Effective Oct. 1, Dr. Kevin Leonard was selected to serve as the interim director of MSU’s Native American Institute. Previously, Leonard served as the senior program coordinator with the Multicultural Business Programs in the Eli Broad College of Business where he provided academic advising, promoted internship opportunities, organized tutorial programs and supervised a staff of 30 tutors to provide services to minority business students. 


Welcoming Broad College of Business’ Inaugural DEI Program Manager Scot Wright 

Scot Wright will be the first DEI program manager for the Broad College of Business. With experience as an entrepreneur and previously an academic advisor in the Groups Scholar Program at Indiana State University, Wright will coordinate and support DEI educational programs throughout the College. 


MSUToday: Kwesi Brookins appointed associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement 

Former MSU doctorate and masters alumnus, Kwesi Craig C. Brookins will bring his talent from North Carolina State University to MSU as associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement. “I am thrilled to be returning to MSU and joining what I believe is the most outstanding university outreach and engagement office in the country,” Brookins said for MSUToday. “I look forward to engaging the entire campus community around transformative change initiatives that will positively impact the university, the state and beyond.” 


Detroit Free Press: Cranbrook’s Women Rock Science: celebrating women in STEAM 

Associate Professor Raven Jones in the Department of Teacher Education is among the honorees at Cranbrook Institute of Science’s Women Rock Science gala for their contributions to inspiring young people’s passion and career goals in STEAM. Since 2018, the gala has raised $750,000 for programs that helped 35,000 children in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and other cities. 


MSUToday: MSU recognized for LGBTQ and HIV-related medical care community engagement project 

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities recognized MSU for its honorable community engagement project with MSU Professor of Psychology Robin Lin Miller. Miller, along with civil society organizations, addressed “stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the global south and provide(d) urgently needed access to HIV-related medical care,” according to MSUToday


MSU Police: Maria Valayil appointed as MSUDPPS' new Police Social Worker 

MSU Police and Public Safety’s Community Support Division welcomed Maria Valayil on Sept. 19 as the department’s new police social worker. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from MSU and 20 years working for the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, Valayali will assist on the scene with mental health emergencies, supervising the department’s Master of Social Work interns and more. 


College of Engineering: Two leadership changes announced in MSU College of Engineering 

MSU’s College of Engineering announced two leadership changes on Sept. 16: Ranjan Mukherjee as interim chair for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Kyle Foster as the assistant dean of inclusion and diversity. 


Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resources: Saweda Liverpool-Tasie named as MSU Foundation Professor 

Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) professor Saweda Liverpool-Tasie was named MSU Foundation Professor by the MSU Foundation. Recently promoted to full professor, Liverpool-Tasie focused on smallholders and market value-chain functioning in Sub-Saharan Africa. 


Dr. Lesa Louch appointed new assistant provost in the Office of Enrollment and Academic Strategic Planning 

On Oct. 25, Dr. Lesa Louch will be the new assistant provost in the Office of Enrollment and Academic Strategic Planning to lead the development and launch of Enrollment Services’ One-Stop shop, lead and manage the creation of the Accreditation and Curriculum Catalog Office and more. “As an MSU graduate, the university has long been a central part of my identity,” Dr. Louch wrote in an email. “Because of that I feel a sense of connectedness to this role and its ambitious intentions to create real student-centric change.” 


MSUToday: Legendary Coach James Bibbs announced 2022 homecoming grand marshal 

The first Black head coach at MSU and first Black head track coach in the Big Ten Coach James Bibbs is this year’s homecoming grand marshal. Bibb’s career spans more than five decades coaching athletes on every level from high school and AAU club sports to collegiate, national and international teams. 


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: Dr. Martinez recognized for leadership at MSU

On Oct. 21, friends and colleagues gathered for Dr. Rubén Martinez’s retirement reception as director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at MSU. Several colleagues spoke highlighting Dr. Martinez’s work as a sociology professor and research in Latino entrepreneurship and environmental justice issues, youth development, neoliberalism and Latinos and more.



MSUToday: Canadian MSU DO student weakens barriers for other Canadian DOs 

Vancouver native Philip van Huigenbose, OMS-IV, came to MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine as one of the few schools that accept Canadian students. Now co-president of the Canadian Osteopathic Medical Student Association, Van Huigenbos works to reduce barriers for Canadian DOs in the U.S.  


The State News: ASMSU releases mental health resources and recognizes September as National Suicide Prevention Month 

APASO Rep. Connor Le introduced Bill 59-09 for ASMSU to release a statement on mental health resources for students and to officially recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Month. “I wanted to make sure that … people don’t have this stigma, making sure people know that people care about them and it’s not all in their head,” Le said for The State News. “Making sure that if they get the help, they’ll have the resources. They’ll have access to all these resources to get help.” 


MSUToday: Homecoming court student shares importance of representing her community 

Born and raised in Texas, first-generation college and farm-working student criminal justice senior Leeslie Herrera is finishing her bachelor’s degree at MSU. As a homecoming court representative, Herrera believes it’s important and exciting for her to represent her community in a predominantly white institution, which can be discouraging for all marginalized communities. 


MSUToday: Native student shares power of NAISO’s Powwow of Love

North American Indigenous Student Organization executive board member and social relations junior Stevie Quijas shares his involvement and support with NAISO and the largest annual student-run event: Powwow of Love. “As an indigenous student, NAISO has been an invaluable resource for academic, cultural, emotional and mental support,” Quijas wrote for MSUToday. “Powwow serves as a source of community, resilience, socializing and honoring our culture. 


MSUToday: Student interns on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute 

Social relations and policy senior Alexie Milukhin interned for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, an internship program assembling a cohort of 32 Latinx students to be placed in the House or Senate Office over the summer. “My summer has been inundated by so many lessons, many of them positive, but perhaps the most overarching has been the necessity for change,” Milukhin wrote for MSUToday. “In Congress, the presence of people like me are not the standard, but the exception to a rule that should not exist. Thus, the end of my internship in no way signified the end of the work.” 


Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: Five Latinx Student Organizations at MSU 

Several of MSU’s registered student organizations work to lift the voices of the Latinx community including Culturas de Las Razas Unidas, Native American and Hispanic Business Students, Rueda Latin@, Communidad Latinoamericana and Latino Leaders in Policy.  


MSUToday: Medical student works to create healthcare system changes 

MSUToday: Third-year medical student Donna Tran advocates for underrepresented patients and groups in the health care system to improve minority and women’s health and public mental health. “So, after entering medical school, my desire to help others through similar situations strengthened, and I wanted to learn how to enact such systemic changes on a large-scale population level through government,” Tran wrote for MSUToday.


MSUToday: MSU honors Afghan graduates one year after escaping the Taliban 

Just over one year ago, 12 MSU-affiliated Afghan scholars and their families were forced to escape their homes when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. The scholars completed their studies and received a professional master’s in advanced techniques in horticulture from Albania’s Agricultural University of Tirana in a virtual graduation on Sept. 21, representing the culmination of their time with MSU’s Grain Research and Innovation project. 



Women*s Student Services: Women*s Initiative for Leadership Development to hold conference and workshop series 

Facilitated by the office of Women*s Student Services at MSU, the Women*s Initiative for Leadership Development, or WILD, is a student leadership initiative to connect and prepare MSU women* students to cultivate social change on campus and beyond. WILD will hold a day-long conference on Nov. 6 and WILD Wednesdays, a 6-week leadership workshop series.


College of Arts & Letters: African American and African Studies event commemorates new department space and more

At 3 p.m. on Nov. 17, the MSU Department of African American and African Studies, or AAAS, will be hosting “The Ascension of AAAS.” The event will commemorate the new space for the department, including its establishment and new AAAS major. RSVP using the provided link.


MSU Museum: Celebrating International LGBTQ+ in STEM Day

MSU Museum is offering an after-hours celebration of International LGBTQ+ in STEM Day on Nov. 18, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. All three floors of the museum will be open including the 1.5° Celsius exhibition in the main gallery. Light refreshments will be provided.


College of Education Office of K-12 Outreach: 2nd Annual Community Conversation: How to support Michigan's Black male students

The College of Education and Office of K-12 Outreach presents the second annual event on "How to support Michigan's Black Male Students" on Nov. 19 at noon to supply educators and the local community with the latest research to support college and career readiness in 2023. The event takes place at the MSU Detroit Center.