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The Miami Pulse

Connecting, Assessing, and Moving Forward our Inclusive Community Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence Newsletter, April 2024 Edition

The Miami Pulse

Constructive Dialogue participants- students seated at a table in discussion with laptops open

Land Acknowledgement

Miami University is located within the traditional homelands of the Myaamia and Shawnee people, who along with other indigenous groups ceded these lands to the United States in the first Treaty of Greenville in 1795. The Miami people, whose name our university carries, were forcibly removed from these homelands in 1846.

In 1972, a relationship between Miami University and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma began and evolved into a reciprocal partnership, including the creation of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in 2001. The work of the Myaamia Center serves the Miami Tribe community and is dedicated to the revitalization of Miami language and culture and to restoring that knowledge to the Myaamia people.

Miami University and the Miami Tribe are proud of this work and of the more than 140 Myaamia students who have attended Miami since 1991 through the Myaamia Heritage Award Program.


Letter from the Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Greetings Miamians,

As the Spring semester begins to wind down, we were excited to come together as a community for the annual University Diversity and Inclusion Awards Ceremony to recognize and celebrate Miamians’ efforts and accomplishments towards a more inclusive community for all. Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners! We encourage you to check out the story for more details on this year’s winners.

We also celebrated the close to 100 student leaders across Miami who participated in the Constructive Dialogue pilot. This initiative features critical personal and professional tools to facilitate dialogue between individuals and groups with different perspectives, values, and beliefs. The feedback so far has been very positive, and we look forward to expanding this initiative in the Fall. The Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE) is grateful to our partners, ASPIRE, the Honors College, and the Menard Family Center for Democracy, for partnering with us to launch this important initiative at Miami. We are also excited to partner with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to launch the 2024-25 Faculty Learning Community “Teaching and Learning Across Differences” to support Miami faculty in exploring possibilities for incorporating Constructive Dialogue skills in classes.

Our comprehensive approach to climate at Miami is multipronged, and this Spring semester we will be sharing the results of one of these components, the “Your Voice. Your Miami” 2023 climate survey. The survey, the result of a robust participatory process throughout its development, sought to help us better understand perceptions, experiences, and areas of strength and opportunity areas within the Miami community, for students, faculty, and staff. We undertook the climate survey because we are committed to doing the work that is necessary to ensure an inclusive, welcoming, and accessible Miami, and we look forward to sharing the results. 

There are three forums scheduled for the week of April 29 at Oxford and Regionals. We also plan to post the presentation with the information shared at the forums through a climate survey webpage. The forums will be on April 30, 2-3:30pm, and May 1, 9-10:30am, at King Library 320, on the Oxford campus, and on May 2, 2-3:30 pm, at the Wilks Conference Center Room B, at the Hamilton campus. We look forward to the discussions, and to your input on next steps.

In this issue, we also invite you to learn more about the great work at the Miami University Libraries system, which has been recognized through an Insight into Diversity LEAD award 2024; Dr. Vaishali Raval’s work in the CARE Lab; Dr. Hongmei Li’s new grant project on Making the Invisible Visible, a collaborative digital edition on Asian histories in Ohio; and OTIE’s Redhawk Equity Leadership Series, which includes five new modules for students. 

Finally, as you think of summer reading, we encourage you to check out new publications in the Research Highlights section.

As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions and invite you to reach out to OTIE staff, and explore available resources through our webpage

Thank you for all you do to reflect and advance Miami’s commitment to an inclusive community.

Cristina Alcalde

With Love and Honor,

M. Cristina Alcalde, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Vice President, Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence
Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies 


We invite all members of the Miami community to share their submissions for upcoming editions. The Newsletter is distributed each quarter. We must receive your submission by Monday at noon at the beginning of the month (November, February, April, June, September) to be considered for that quarter's issue. Each request will be reviewed by staff of the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (TIE).  

Heritage Month Updates

Heritage Month Events and Updates

Working in close collaboration with faculty, staff, and student partners, the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE) provides opportunities for the Miami community to continue our learning and engage in meaningful programming. Heritage Month programming supports Miami’s inclusive excellence approach.

OTIE organizes programming, collaborates, coordinates, and supports events across campuses through a coordinated calendar for each month; promotion of events; and, when available, limited funding support for proposed events with appeal across campuses.

MU Libraries is partnering with OTIE to feature online resources, including films, books and articles, and class offerings, during each Heritage Month. We invite you to explore these and other educational resources and links on each webpage. 

To learn more about this quarter’s heritage months please visit our Heritage Month webpage.

 For upcoming events, visit our University Events calendar page

Heritage and History Month Events Submissions 

Now Accepting Submissions for Heritage and History Month events and programming for Spring semester. Submit your proposal considering priority deadlines for each proposed history and heritage month celebrations.

Affinity Group Updates

To learn more about affinity groups or to join a group, check out the main affinity groups web page for more information.

Asian/Asian American Faculty Staff Association

President: April Robles, Director of Operations and Communications

The mission of the Asian/Asian American Faculty Staff Association is to bring together Asian and Asian American faculty and staff, and serve as a supportive community for Asian and Asian American employees and students. The Asian/Asian American Faculty Staff Association is currently building traction with the community and is seeking to provide opportunities for individuals to connect in a more casual atmosphere and then use that leverage to continue the growth and momentum of the group. If you are looking to make an impact and be a leader, this is the group for faculty and staff to join! If it is a personal passion and something they want to do to become more connected to the campus community, you are encouraged to reach out to April Robles to connect.

Association of Black Faculty and Staff

President: Seth Seward, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations

The Association of Black Faculty and Staff stands for diversity, equality, solidarity, and change for campus at large, students, and the Oxford community. As an organization, they will engage and participate in any efforts that are meant to educate and provide clarity of ideas of ending racism and discrimination. The Association of Black Faculty and Staff serves as a safe place for African American or black individuals to come together and meet. This is accomplished through general body meetings and social events. If something arises on campus that impacts the community, they gather together to discuss and hash out solutions in a safe space. The group also works to serve as a support system and network for students, staff, and faculty. While there are no current community events planned, anyone interested in becoming a member is encouraged to complete the membership formstack to connect.


Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff

President: José Amador, Associate Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies (Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies)

The primary goal of the Association of Latinx Faculty and Staff primary is to support and raise awareness about the Latinx faculty and staff. They aim to build networks between departments and units, faculty and students, and Miami university and the community at large. The group also strives to raise the visibility of the Latin American Studies Program and the nearby Latinx community. Additionally, to keep everyone informed about everything Latinx-related, which is done through a weekly “bulletin” with news and events. This organization has been formed by employees of Miami University (Hamilton, Middletown, and Oxford campuses) to foster Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean, and Ibero, Luso-American representation, improve work conditions, and enrich the social and cultural environment for all Miami faculty, staff, and students. Individuals interested in connecting can reach out to José Amador.

Classified Personnel Advisory Committee

President: Angela Coffey Brown, Administrative Assistant, Enrollment Management and Student Success

The Classified Personnel Advisory Committee is established for the purpose of advising the President, Vice Presidents, and Human Resources on matters of interest and concern to classified staff members in the context of the whole university community. The group accomplishes this by bringing issues/concerns/proposals to administration for input and/or action, serving (individual members) on university committees, and providing feedback/input on matters brought to the committee for review. Additionally, the Classified Personnel Advisory Committee is established to provide an institutional venue or forum in which matters of interest or concern to classified staff members can be discussed, considered, and/or moved forward through appropriate channels. Anyone interested in connecting with or joining the committee can contact Angela Coffey Brown or reach out to the CPAC email.


CPAC is currently accepting applications for new members. Submit your application today!

Disabled Faculty and Staff Association

The goal of the Disabled Faculty and Staff Association is to bring employees with disabilities together to build community and support each other. This is a newly formed affinity group and the group is currently seeking individuals to run for leadership roles.

For more information about DisFSA, to join the listserv, or to run for a leadership role, individuals can reach out to Hiram Ramirez.

International Faculty and Staff Association

President: Ebru Dirsel-Duffield, Associate Teaching Professor, American Culture and English Program

The goal of the International Faculty and Staff Association at Miami is to support and connect international faculty and staff while helping each other thrive in their specific roles on campus. This is accomplished through connecting with colleagues from diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and educational backgrounds, and broadening perspectives, welcoming diversity, and experiencing inclusion at Miami. The group also seeks to listen, understand, and identify the needs of international faculty/staff, address the concerns and needs of the university, provide relevant resources as needed, and help international faculty/staff. The main goal of the group is to support one another in professional development at the university.  

Interested individuals can reach out to IFSAM’s president Ebru Dirsel-Duffield.

Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff Association

President: Emily Cluen, Access Coordinator, Miller Center for Student Disability Services

The goal of the Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff Association is to create space for the LGBTQIA community on campus and advocate for queer and trans individuals needs. The group is currently working on establishing and maintaining a larger group to allow for more capacity moving forward. For more details or to join our listserv, email The group is looking to host more events moving forward to connect with more folks on campus and provide more networking opportunities. Interested individuals can email the group’s email address to connect.

Unclassified Personnel Advisory Committee

President: Sarah Persinger, Associate Director FBS Technology Operations & Support

The Unclassified Personnel Advisory Committee was created in 1983 to advise the University Administration (specifically the president and vice presidents) on matters of interest and concern to unclassified personnel. Committee members are selected to reflect a balance of gender, race/ethnicity, campus, division, level in the organization, responsibilities, years of university service, and any other characteristics that help to achieve a balance of knowledge, experience, viewpoints, interests and talents. The group’s most recent endeavor was focusing on wellness and bringing back access and funding to wellness areas on campus. Individuals interested in joining are encouraged to attend the monthly virtual meetings, which take place on the second Tuesday of each month. Interested individuals can also connect with Sarah Persinger for more information.

Inclusive Excellence Campus Spotlight

Do you know a student, faculty member, or staff member who is doing standout inclusive excellence work? We are looking to highlight individuals at Miami who are doing inclusive excellence work and making an impact across our campuses or in the community at large. Our goal is to highlight inclusive excellence works around our campuses and showcase the incredible work our community is undertaking. Submit your suggestions for our next edition's spotlight! Email suggestions to

Institutional Spotlight

LEAD Award

Miami Spotlight

Miami University Libraries

2024 LEAD Award

In January of 2024, Insight into Diversity Magazine announced their inaugural award recipients of the Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award. This award was created to recognize and honor the outstanding work of academic library programs that integrate initiatives and programs that address inclusion, accessibility, and equity. According to Insight into Diversity, this award is “a measure of an academic library’s programs and initiative that encourage and support DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) on their campus. These include but are not limited to research, technology, accessibility, exhibitions, and community outreach.” 

The Miami University Libraries system was one of 56 inaugural recipients of the Insight into Diversity LEAD award in 2024. This award was given to the Miami University Libraries in recognition of their hard work and dedication to integrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access into their mission, core values, and daily work. The University Libraries serve as a welcoming space that fosters curiosity and collaboration and, according to their strategic plan, strives to “be the catalyst for growth and discovery for every scholar in our community.” 

The Libraries’ staff members were honored to receive the inaugural LEAD award and noted the significance of such an honor. Jerome Conley, Dean and University Librarian, shared that the staff were “humbled to receive this award, but I hope that this award is not a signifier of the things we have done, but rather a motivator to continue our work critically evaluating our spaces and services in order to make the University Libraries an equalizer for whoever walks through our doors.” This growth mindset and sentiment of gratitude were echoed by Krista McDonald, Rentschler Library Director and current Inclusive Excellence Committee chair, who noted that receiving the award was truly rewarding as it demonstrates that “the work we do is valuable and our specialized work is having a positive impact on our community.”

When asked about the work that contributed to the recipient of the LEAD award, library staffers made note of the strategic plan, implementation of culture changes, and the wide range of projects and initiatives in place to support these efforts. One factor that McDonald vocalized as an important component of the LEAD award was the values the University Libraries maintain and the culture of the campus. McDonald explained, “So much of what Miami University Libraries does is rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. We foster a culture of inclusive excellence and that’s why we have too many projects and initiatives to count that went towards receiving this award.” Ken Irwin, Web Services Librarian, said that projects like the Lived Experiences Project, OhioLINK’s Luminaries Program, and other current projects have worked to further not only the campus culture of the libraries but also demonstrate their ongoing commitment to furthering inclusive excellence. He noted that while some projects are led by DEI Committee or the Libraries’ strategic plan, others are led by individuals and departments, reflecting support and leadership for DEI efforts across the library.

Culture is an important part of furthering the University Libraries’ current strategic plan, which emphasizes maintaining an environment that is “welcoming, safe, and prepared to meet the individual needs of all learners.” In support of this, Conley shared the importance of maintaining a culture that supports and furthers inclusive excellence not only in the University Libraries, but within the campus community. Conley stated, “The most important thing is the culture and mindset here- it turns it into a collective effort and everyone has to take responsibility. Alongside that, we have great leadership from our Inclusive Excellence Committee in our current chair and former co-chair, Krista McDonald and Elizabeth Kerr.” The efforts of the leadership team, alongside the collective efforts of the University Libraries staff as a whole, were large contributing factors in the LEAD award.

In addition to the cultural changes that have occurred, the University Libraries have implemented strategies that work to promote inclusive excellence on campus. According to Conley, it is the culmination of the efforts of staff members in the University Libraries system and the resulting cultural shift that has in turn promoted inclusive excellence in the Libraries. Conely shared, “Progress and momentum in Inclusive Excellence doesn’t come from any specific initiatives or a taskforce, rather, it comes from a cultural shift. Miami University’s commitment to inclusion and the culture on campus is what creates the space for us to push boundaries and catalyze change.” These changes within the library, such as inclusive trainings for staff and cross-campus collaboration to name a few, are efforts that continue to impact the Miami community and promote inclusion in the Libraries. 

The Miami University Libraries LEAD award brings light to their current efforts to implement inclusive excellence across campus. The recognition of the LEAD award is an inspiration to the University Libraries team, with McDonald noting the inspiration of the recognition. McDonald stated, “The work in inclusive excellence will continue and increase over the next several years as we work toward specific goals and objectives related to the strategic plan. While we do not do this work to receive recognition, honors such as the LEAD are certainly a reminder of the importance of this work and of the value that those in our community and beyond place on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

As this work continues in the Libraries, Conley expressed his hope of continued commitment toward their strategic goals, stating, “We hope to utilize the University & Libraries’ culture to continue to provide great work. Along with that, we plan to execute on the Strategic Plan for the next few years created by our Inclusive Excellence Committee.” These goals can be found on the University Libraries website along with an outline of their strategic plan. 

To follow along with the Miami University Libraries' continued efforts to promote inclusion and access on campus, interested individuals are encouraged to follow their social media and connect with their campus library branch to connect with library resources and services.

Acknowledgments: The following individuals have served on the Miami University Libraries’ DEI Committee over the past few years. Their contributions toward the success of the strategic plan and implementation of inclusive excellence are an important part of this award. Committee members are listed alphabetically by last name: 

Nela Ahmed, Laura Birkenhauer, Cara Calabrese, Mark Dahlquist, Samantha Diebel, Katie Gibson, Autumn Griffie, Jennifer Hicks, Kim Hoffman, Ken Irwin, Jacqueline Johnson, Elizabeth Kerr, Rachel Makarowski, Lissa Martin, Brea McQueen, Abi Morgan, Candace Pine, Michael Smith, Elizabeth Staarmann, Masha Stepanova, Alia Levar Wegner, Rich Wisneski, Rob O'Brien Withers.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Raval discusing research with students

Faculty Spotlight

Vaishali Raval, Ph.D.

CARE Lab Director

Professor, Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology’s Culture, Affect, RElationships (CARE) lab was established in 2008 to further research and understanding of mental health and well-being among globally and locally underrepresented groups in psychological science. Current researchers in the CARE Lab examine individuals across the developmental spectrum within their family, community, and cultural contexts. 

Dr. Vaishali Raval, Professor for the Department of Psychology, is the CARE Lab Director and has been at Miami University for the last 16 years. She is also an affiliated professor with the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies. She is currently involved with the Global Health Research Innovation Center and the Center for Human Development and Technology and is an affiliate of both centers. Dr. Raval’s work is driven by her lived experiences across India, Canada, and USA, which have led to a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and she strives to further these values through her research and teaching. In addition to directing the CARE lab, Dr. Raval has been the project director of two major grants, one from the United States India Education Foundation (2015-19), and the other from the Fulbright-Hays (2021-24) that has afforded 20 Miami University faculty across humanities and social sciences to further develop intercultural competence through traveling abroad.

Dr. Raval’s current research focuses on filling the gaps in current psychological sciences, “by contributing to a culturally informed understanding of parenting, emotion, and psychopathology, with practical implications for youth in the World’s most populous countries, and the fastest growing minority groups in the USA.” Dr. Raval went on to explain, “My program of research contributes to three interrelated areas: i) cultural and contextual foundations of parenting with a focus on emotion processes and how they relate to child and adolescent mental health, ii) global mental health with a focus on contextual understanding of psychopathology and culturally informed mental health training and interventions, and iii) experiences of marginalization and their impact on mental health and well-being.” 

“As a science of human affect, behavior, and cognition, psychological science is currently incomplete because it is based on a small segment of the world’s population: White, middle-class individuals living in North America and Europe. People living in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, along with communities of color in North America and Europe that constitute a global majority are excluded.” Dr. Raval explained.To address this major void,  the research goals of Dr. Raval’s work complement the research taking place in the CARE lab, with the studies’ prominent themes of furthering psychological sciences through providing culturally informed research.  When asked about the goals of the CARE lab, Dr. Raval noted, “The overall commitment of the CARE lab is to address the experiences of historically excluded and marginalized populations in the psychological sciences. Broadly, our current studies fall into 2 areas- globally focused and locally focused. The globally focused research aims to develop contextual understanding of psychopathology and culturally informed mental health training and interventions, whereas the locally focused research examines the impact of racial marginalization and discrimination on mental health in the U.S.” 

There are several research projects underway in the CARE lab. Within the global mental health arm, these include 1) A web-baed Mental Health Promotion Program focusing on building emotion regulation skills in India,2) predictors of anxiety-based illnesses in India, and 3) Assessment and prevention of suicide in India. Within the marginalization and mental health arm, the studies include 1) racial socialization processes in White families, 2) experiences of discrimination, ethnic-racial socialization, and mental health among Latinx emerging adults, and 3) experiences of family violence among South Asian American women. The lab currently has 7 undergraduate students and 7 graduate students, all of whom assist in research relating to the experiences of diverse populations, and many of them conduct their own research. Dr. Raval shared that the students in the CARE lab, “are often those seeking to do the work related to diverse populations and experiences in this area, and they are attracted to work in the lab due to the nature of our research. From that perspective we have individuals that are more open to learning about and supporting different perspectives.” While the students are working in the CARE lab, Dr. Raval and her team make an  intentional effort to continue their development as professionals and global citizens by integrating inclusive excellence and continued education into their weekly lab meetings. This consists of reviewing an article, watching a video, or hosting a guest speaker to then discuss views and practices and broaden the lab team’s understandings and perspectives about diversity, inclusion, equity, and access in relation to their field.

Dr. Raval and her lab team also work to incorporate inclusive excellence into their daily work by intentionally including the research of scholars with diverse lived experiences, including  experiences of marginalization in their lab meetings and their written research reports. Dr. Raval noted that by making an explicit effort to incorporate scholars with diverse experiences, she and her team are able to examine multiple perspectives and consider new paths forward in their studies and research. 

As the CARE lab team continues their research and examinations of the psychological sciences, Dr. Raval is excited for the opportunity to work with students to further their collective commitment to addressing the experiences of historically excluded and marginalized populations in the psychological sciences, and hopes to incorporate their findings to aid in creating a more inclusive field of study. Dr. Raval explained that over the lifespan of the CARE lab, “there have been 17 graduate students and over 100 undergraduate students in the lab over the last 16 years. These students have gone on to a variety of roles in the field of psychological science including academia, healthcare, public policy and their continued dedication to furthering this work is creating a large-scale impact as more and more researchers incorporate individuals with marginalized identities into their research studies.” 

Dr. Raval and her team are enthusiastic to expand the reach of the CARE lab and they are eager to incorporate more community engagement and advocacy into their work in conjunction with their research. They invite those interested in joining the lab to complete the CARE lab application. To follow along with the CARE lab’s research and receive further information, please visit the CARE lab website or follow the lab on social media.

Faculty Spotlight

Hongmei Li

Faculty Spotlight

Hongmei Li, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Strategic Communication

Area Coordinator of Strategic Communication

Department of Media, Journalism, and Film

Dr. Hongmei Li, Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Strategic Communication for the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film, was recently awarded a $120,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to support planning for Making the Invisible Visible, a collaborative digital edition on Asian histories in Ohio, including those Asian Americans and diasporic Asian communities who have made significant contributions to the state’s economy, culture, art, and education. This project is a collaborative effort between Miami University, the University of California, Irvine, and additional Ohio universities, libraries, and museums.

Dr. Li has been a faculty member at Miami University since 2015. She has taught advertising in consumer culture, social media culture, intercultural communication, PR campaigns, and much more during her time on campus. Dr. Li’s research primarily focuses on Chinese media and culture, media representations, global communication, and new technologies. Her research has recently expanded to include Asian American communities more broadly, as she seeks to examine Asian histories in Ohio and expand the representation of Asian Americans in the Midwest and beyond. Dr. Li is currently the lead researcher for the Making the Invisible Visible project.

According to Dr. Li, the project’s goal is to enrich American history. Dr. Li explained, “To me, history is not just about the past, but also  the present, and future. I think that the Asian American histories in Ohio are often ignored. People often view Ohio as a monolithic area with very little diversity, and when studies about Asian Americans are done, they’re usually done in California, New York, or Hawaii. But Ohio, and the Midwest in general, is typically an overlooked area in these studies. With this in mind, our project seeks to enrich American history and document Asian American history as a part of American history. We would also want to make visible Miam’s contribution to the rich Asian history, such as Miami’s effort in educating incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII.”

Throughout the project, Dr. Li and her research team will “draw from print and born-digital materials from the 1830s to the present. The edition will include newspaper and magazine coverage, photographs, and other historical records and artifacts documenting events, performances, business registration, and other aspects of community and organizational life.” This research will be accomplished through collaboration with the University of California, Irvine, and additional Ohio universities, libraries, and museums, and the funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission will serve as a means to support Dr. Li and her team in the preliminary phases of the project. Dr. Li explained, “Ultimately, this is a two-year planning grant that allows us to determine processes like our digitization policies, the platform and protocols for collecting materials, along with annotation, translation, and ethical issues. That’s a big challenge, but at the same time, it’s also a huge opportunity. We really want to be sensitive to community needs and involve community members so that we can ethically conduct this project and provide contextualization to participant experiences, while remaining sensitive and accurate. Ultimately, we hope that our effective planning will lead to our success in applying for the implementation grant for up to ten years. ”

As Dr. Li and her team continue to work on Making the Invisible Visible, they are excited to connect with participants and gain a better understanding of Asian American histories in Ohio. When asked about the impact of the project, Dr. Li shared, “We want this project to have a huge impact, not just within the scholarly community, but in the K-12 education field as well, which is why several high school teachers are involved to design the outreach program in the future. We want students to be able to study Asian American history and have enriching dialogue with other communities. Our goal is to create a more inclusive future.”

The project will be officially launched in July 2024. Dr. Li and her team will recruit undergraduate and graduate students for research and project support. Two paid positions will be available. To learn more about Making the Invisible Visible or to contribute to this project, interested individuals are encouraged to connect with Dr. Li. She and her research team are currently seeking participants and would love to connect with you to learn more about your experiences and perspectives!

Student Spotlight

More than 100 Student Leaders Participate in Constructive Dialogue Perspectives Pilot

OTIE is excited to partner with ASPIRE, the Honors College, and the Menard Family Center for Democracy for a pilot to equip students with critical personal and professional skills. We are so grateful to the talented student leaders who participated in this pilot.

More than 100 student leaders at Miami University spent three weeks participating in a pilot program to learn how to engage in productive discussions with people with different perspectives, values, and beliefs. Visit the Miami Matters article to learn more about this exciting program and to connect with future expansions.

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Redhawk Equity Leadership Series

Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence

The Redhawk Equity Leadership Series (RELS) is a cultural competency certificate launched by the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence in the fall of 2023. RELS currently offers 5 modules designed to provide students with important skills to foster their success in a global world. This series is a fantastic way for current students to develop and further their communication, analytical, and inclusive leadership skills as they prepare for an ever-diverse and global workplace.

Tekeia N.K. Howard, Director for Programming in the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence, currently leads RELS. Howard noted that, “the development of the series took about 6 months, and we launched RELS in October of 2023. Our Graduate Assistants, the Student Advisory Council, and surveys with other student leaders assisted in the development of the content for the initial modules.” Howard went on to share that RELS was created, “to help participants to develop tools and competencies to advance equity and inclusive excellence in their personal and professional lives. One goal of RELS is to foster positive interactions between students, so students can learn how to work together on teams and in their communities.” These skills will benefit students during their time on campus and in their future beyond Miami. 

There are 5 modules in the series, and upon completion of all five modules, participants will receive a digital certificate of completion. Current module offerings include:

  • A Road to Active Allyship
  • Inclusive Marketing
  • Introduction to Microaggressions
  • Leading with Racial Equity
  • Pronouns 101

Each module  lasts 30-45 minutes, beginning with foundational definitions for understanding the content of the module, followed by a quiz or assignment to showcase participant understanding of the subject matter. Modules can be completed virtually by signing up and completing the Canvas course. When asked about the content of the modules, Howard explained, “RELS encourages self-reflection and tools to enhance engagement with others, balancing the movement/development between the self and others. After each module students complete a survey that includes reflection questions and multiple-choice questions. Students receive feedback to deepen and encourage continued learning.”

The Redhawk Equity Leadership Series is a great opportunity for Miami students to further their understanding of inclusive excellence and contribute to building a more inclusive Miami community. Howard is pleased with the initial traction the certification has received and is excited for the program to continue. Howard noted, “RELS supports inclusive excellence because it is another building block for students to learn about themselves and all of their identities as an engaged member of society. I hope students who participate become more self-aware and begin to develop empathy towards others and lead lives with mindful intentions.” 

As RELS continues, Howard and her team will be working to expand the series’ offerings. In fall 2024, additional online modules will be offered as well as additional badges and certificates. Howard also shared that in the future online modules will be supplemented with in-person workshops to build upon the knowledge gained in the modules. Howard also stated that, “Students will be able to learn in community with others through constructive dialogue, practicing skills, and case studies.” To develop these expansions, Howard explained, “we request feedback after each module to respond to community and student needs. Future topics for in-person or virtual options include Interfaith, constructive dialogue, and inclusive leadership, to name a few.” If you have a topic you would like to explore in a future session, you are invited to share your interests with the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence. Students interested in enrolling in the Redhawk Equity Leadership Series can sign up today to request access to current sessions to invest in your future!

Research Insights

Recent Publications

Runcie C. W. Chidebe, Graduate Assistant, Department of Sociology and Gerontology.

Ashad-Bishop, K.C., Balogun, O.D., Chidebe, R.C.W. et al. Black voices in cancer research and oncology. Nat Rev Cancer (2024).

Jennifer Cohen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Global and Intercultural Studies.

Cohen, J., van der Meulen Rodgers, Y. An intersectional analysis of long COVID prevalence. Int J Equity Health 22, 261 (2023).

Katie Johnson, Ph.D., Professor, English Department Affiliate, Department of Global and Intercultural Studies.

Racing the Great White Way: Black Performance, Eugene O’Neill and the Transformation of Broadway. University of Michigan Press, July 2023.

Anna Kłosowska, Ph.D., Professor; Department of French, Italian and Classical Studies.

“Western(ish): Periods and Maps.” H-France vol 15 (2023) issue 10 #8, Open Access, salon on periodization edited by Christine Adams and Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier. 

Anna Kłosowska, Ph.D., Professor; Department of French, Italian and Classical Studies.

2023: SIT Amsterdam: International Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality

Denise McCoskey, Ph.D., Professor; Department of French, Italian and Classical Studies.

Denise Eileen McCoskey, "Race, Roman Law Courts, and the Colonized

Subject: Teaching Cicero's Pro Fonteio," in Diversity and the Study of

Antiquity in Higher Education: Perspectives from North America and

Europe, edd. Daniel Libatique and Fiona McHardy (New York and London:

Routledge), pp. 47-60.

Racheal Rothrock, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Literacy & Language Master's Program Coordinator, Department of Teaching, Curriculum, amd Educational Inquiry.

Banda, R., Fernández, É., Aronson, B., & Reyes, G. (2023). "Apóyame o

haste a un lado": Composite Storytelling as Resistance During an anti-CRT

Climate in Teacher Education. Thresholds in Education, 46(1).

Zhe “Jay” Shan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Rose-Marie Anderson Chair, Farmer School of Business.

Mai, Feng, et al. “The Impact of Accelerated Digitization on Patient Portal Use by Underprivileged Racial Minority Groups during COVID-19: Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Publications Inc., Toronto, Canada, Accessed 9 Feb. 2024. 

Leah Wasburn-Moses, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Educational Psychology.

Wasburn-Moses, L., & Rumford, L. (2023). “Becoming the best versions of ourselves”: Supporting foster youth in transition to adult life. Journal of Foster Care, 4(1). 


We welcome your submissions and invite individuals to share publications from the past year to be highlighted in this section. To submit a recent publication, please visit our website and complete our submission form.

Campus Announcements and Upcoming Events


2024 University Diversity and Inclusion Award Winners

2024 Award Winners

Photo:  From left to right- Patti Liberatore, Joyce Fernandez, Wilnelly Ventura-Valentin, Carolyn Craig, Brian Kirkmeyer, Keisha Norris, Ande Durjaiye, Payton Smith, Sewth Seward, Gwenmarie Ewing, M. Cristina Alcalde.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2024 University Diversity and Inclusion Awards! Recipients were recognized for their exemplary commitment and contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion at Miami at the University Awards Ceremony on April 5th.

Thank you to the award recipients, and to every Miami community member whose efforts contribute to making Miami more inclusively excellent for all.

Miami University, Kent State University, and Bowling Green State University have joined forces for the  collaborative conference -: Reimagining the Academy. This year’s theme Coalition-Building in a Divided World builds on the success of the 2023 Reimagining the Academy Conference, which took place at Kent State University. Previously, each university held an annual conference on topics related to inclusive excellence. This alliance brings together the communities and expertise of the three universities, and is open to students, faculty, and staff across Ohio and beyond. 

Focusing on the theme of coalition-building, the 2024 conference will explore how individuals can  come together across disciplinary and professional borders as well as across positionalities and institutions to build on our strengths, discuss and develop spaces and strategies of resistance and support, and to learn from one another. We offer the theme of coalition-building as a form of radical hope and as a pathway to a more just world in our increasingly divided world.  

Reimagining the Academy will take place Friday, Sept. 20th through Saturday, Sept. 21st at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Virtual engagement opportunities will also be available.  

Registration is free to faculty, staff, students, and alums, and community members. 

We invite faculty, staff, students, and community members to join us at the Reimagining the Academy: Coalition-Building in a Divided World  Conference, and to submit a panel, roundtable, paper, or workshop through the Call for Proposals portal, which is now open. Deadline for submissions is Monday, June 3rd

For any additional questions, please reach out to To receive up-to-date information regarding announcements, registration, and other important dates, please join the Conference Listserv, and visit

We look forward to having you join us for this very enriching experience.

Cristina Alcalde, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) 

Vice President, Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence

Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies 

Miami University 


Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) 

Vice President, Division of People, Culture, and Belonging 

Professor of Africana Studies

Kent State University


Katherine Stygles, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)

Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer

Bowling Green State University 

2024 American Society for Engineering Education Diversity Recognition Program- Bronze Level Award

2024 ASEE Award

The Miami University College of Engineering and Computing has been named a recipient of the 2024 American Society for Engineering Education Diversity Recognition Program- Bronze Level Award. The Diversity Recognition Program was created by the American Society of Engineering

Education to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs. Congratulations to the College of Engineering and Computing on this great achievement!

2024 Alumni Association Inclusive Excellence Award

Congratulations to the Miami University Alumni Association for receiving the Insight Into Diversity Magazine's 2024 Alumni Association Inclusive Excellence Award!

The Alumni Association Inclusive Excellence Award honors alumni associations that display an outstanding commitment to encouraging a sense of belonging, connection, and community for all of their institution's alumni, regardless of racial or ethnic background, sexual or gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status, worldview, and more.

Student Climate Interviews

Student Climate Interviews Flyer

You are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE). The purpose of this research is to understand the experiences of students as it relates to the campus climate both inside and outside of the classroom. We also want to identify additional programs, initiatives, and resources to support Miami students.

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to reach out to Cristina Alcalde (she, her, hers), Vice President, Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence at who is the Principal Investigator for the study. 

Sign-up for your interview today!

Employee Stay Interviews

You are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE). The purpose of this research is to learn specific actions Miami University can take to strengthen the retention and overall climate for employees. We also want to identify strategies and resources needed to support Miami employees’ professional goals.

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to reach out to Cristina Alcalde (she, her, hers), Vice President, Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion who is the Principal Investigator for the study.

Pilot Initiative: Affinity Group Luncheons

In an effort to more fully embed inclusive excellence and to support community-building, communication, and networking between Faculty and Staff Affinity Groups and university leadership, the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE) has launched this new initiative.  Throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, there will be various luncheons hosted with various divisions and affinity groups.  To help increase the visibility of the upcoming luncheons, we would like to invite affinity group members to the following sessions:

Finance and Business Services and ABFAS Luncheon - RSVP by Wednesday, April 24th 

Thursday, May 2nd | 11 am to 12:30 pm | Shriver Center, Dolibois A

Provost Office and IFSAM Luncheon - RSVP by Wednesday, May 1st 

Thursday, May 9th | 11 am to 12:30 pm | Shriver Center, Dolibois A

We thank all of our divisions for their commitment and investment to inclusive excellence, as partners in this initiative and look forward to sharing our future sessions.

Making a Case for Personal Safety in the LGBTQIA Campus Community

Dr. Anna Ressler and Dr. Ashlyn Johnson would like to invite you to participate in a research project to identify needs for future programming opportunities aimed at increasing safety and community within the LGBTQIA+ campus community. Visit their website to learn more about this study.

Upcoming Events

Myaamiaki Conference

Saturday, May 4, 2024

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

John Dolibois Room, Shriver Center, Miami University. 701 E. Spring Street, Oxford, Ohio, 45056.

Join us for the 10th biennial Myaamiaki Conference! The Myaamia Center proudly hosts the Myaamiaki Conference at Miami University biennially.

At Myaamiaki Conferences, Center staff, Myaamia students, and other scholars present research and other topics related to the Miami Tribe. The 2020 Myaamiaki Conference was canceled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Click here for information about the the 2022 Myaamiaki Conference, which was held April 9th, 2022, or visit the 2024 Myaamiaki Conference page for information about this upcoming conference on May 4, 2024.

Electric Root Festival

Saturday, May 4

Oxford Uptown Parks

A festival of arts and culture for all. Join us for a celebration of Black joy and radical hospitality. 

Ideas are powerful. Inventions, innovations, systems were all first ideas before they were fully formed. We at Electric Root, share a simple but powerful idea that while art can and ought to reflect the world we live in, it can do so much more, we believe that, art has the capacity to offer a proposal to humanity on what the world could be. 

With a vision for a united community, committed to using creative arts as a catalyst for fellowship and radical joy and hospitality we invite you to join us for this festival that promises to be one to remember.

Leadership Applications and Award Nominations


Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellows

The Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE), in partnership with the Office of the Provost, invites faculty to apply for the Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellows program, now in its second year. In recognition of the efforts and role of faculty in fostering a more inclusive Miami, this program is a professional development opportunity for faculty to deepen their knowledge and expertise as leaders in actively advancing change within an inclusive excellence framework.

The Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellows Program welcomes proposals that build on, move forward, or otherwise contribute to ongoing efforts to enhance our inclusive excellence approach. Fellows must clearly show how the proposed project benefits students (graduate or undergraduate), faculty, and/or staff across units. Projects that focus on only one department or unit, or that request support specifically for faculty research, will not be considered. The fellowship period will serve as a professional development and leadership opportunity for university-wide progress in our inclusive excellence journey.

Who is Eligible?

  • All continuing faculty at the rank of associate or above are eligible to apply.

Apply today to take part in this exciting initiative

OTIE Student Associate Application Open!

The Office for Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE) seeks a Student Associate for Fall 2024 to join efforts to advance inclusive excellence at Miami University. This student leadership position will help with social media content, event logistics support, and other administrative tasks within the office. Students in this role will support the office in providing student perspective and insight, as we work together to cultivate inclusive strategies, initiatives, and capacity-building efforts to make a more inclusive Miami for all.

To apply, please make sure to complete this form.  We thank you for your interest in this opportunity and look forward to reviewing your materials.  Initial review of applications will be in early April.

OTIE Student Advisory Council Application Open!

The Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE) is excited to announce the opening of the Student Advisory Council applications for 2024. This council is one of three councils that both advise and move forward various diversity and inclusion initiatives alongside OTIE. Students who are a part of this council get to contribute to the larger institutional goals for inclusive excellence and provide student perspective as we continue to enhance and grow as an inclusive campus community.

Complete your application today!

Capacity-Building and Leadership Development

Current Opportunities and Initiatives

Redhawks Equity Leadership Series (RELS) 

Be empowered! Be inspired to make transformative change. Complete a Redhawk Equity Leadership Series Certificate through our online sessions:

  • A Road to Active Allyship
  • Inclusive Marketing
  • Introduction to Microaggressions
  • Leading with Racial Equity
  • Pronouns 101

Redhawk Equity Leadership Series (RELS), is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a FREE cultural competency certificate for students which is completely online and asynchronous. Sign-up today to be a part of the spring cohort!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Certificate 

Join our online Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion course and learn how to be an active ally, inclusive leader, and effective mediator. Extend your individual experiences and knowledge with research-based tools and strategies to thrive as an advocate for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world. 

The DEI Leadership Certificate utilizes five foundational modules: (1) Bias, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions, (2) Race and Anti-Racism, (3) LGBTQ+ Identities, (4) Ableism and Inclusion, 5) Allyship and Advocacy. 

Current registrants have until June 30th to complete their certificate modules. For more information, please visit DEI in Leadership Certificate.

Religious Observances and Inclusive Scheduling

Religious Observances and Inclusive Scheduling

As we continue the spring semester, the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence (OTIE)  encourages all Miami community members to consult the full list of Religious Observances and Inclusive Scheduling dates on our website. To assist with planning, below we highlight a few key religious holidays and observances for the upcoming spring season, including a description of the holiday, best practices, and customary greetings. Please note that these are not all of the holidays that are taking place, nor is this a fully inclusive list. 

March 11*-April 9 - Ramadan (Islam) 

  • Description: Ramadan is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. It is widely considered the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the “five pillars” of Islam. Practicing Muslims who are able to do so are expected to fast from sunrise to sunset every day of the month. This means no food, and no water during that time. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate one of their major holidays called Eid al-Fitr (April 21-22*) or the “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.” 
  • Best Practices:  Please consider the practice of fasting and focus of the month when scheduling any events, “lunch meetings,” or scheduling lengthy presentations. Not all Muslims will fast or take time off, but they may still observe in various ways.
  • Customary Greetings: "Ramadan Mubarak" (MOO-bah-ROK)

April 9*-10 - Eid al-Fitr (Islam) 

  • Description: Eid al-Fitr, as it follows the fasting of Ramadan, is also seen as a spiritual celebration of Allah’s provision of strength and endurance.At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate one of their major holidays called Eid al-Fitr or the “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.” It is the feast that breaks the month-long fast of Ramadan.
  • Best Practices:  Please consider the practice of fasting and focus of the month when scheduling any events, “lunch meetings,” or scheduling lengthy presentations. Not all Muslims will fast or take time off, but they may still observe in various ways.
  • Customary Greetings: "Eid Mubarak" (MOO-bah-ROK)

April 22*-30 - Passover (Judaism) 

  • Description: Passover celebrates the Biblical story of Exodus, when the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt. Passover is "prescribed" in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Passover is celebrated with a big ceremony. On the first night, a special family meal called seder is held. The seder foods symbolize the Jewish liberation. People also recite traditional prayers. During Passover, Jews eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first and last night of Passover, people may want to take off work. They are considered sacred occasions when one is not to work at their occupations. Festive meals take place during the holiday.
  • Best Practices:  Please consider the celebrations of Passover when scheduling any events or scheduling lengthy presentations. Not all practicing Jews will take time off, but they may still observe in various ways.
  • Customary Greetings: “Happy Passover” or “Chag Sameach” (Chahg Sa-MAY-Ach)

Note: ​​“*” denotes holidays that start sundown the day before. Please note that individual practices may vary. 

We also encourage the use of our Religious Observances and Inclusive Scheduling calendar to provide guidance and help avoid scheduling important events, activities, and deadlines on holidays observed by members of the Miami community.  Should you or a member of your team have any questions or concerns on how to best utilize this information or on appropriate accommodations, please contact the Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence or the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity.