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The Miami Pulse

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

The Miami Pulse

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 and congratulations to our Class of 2024 graduates!!

Coming together to celebrate the many accomplishments of our graduates is a wonderful experience, and this end of semester’s Horizon, Lavender, and Commencement ceremonies provided very special opportunities to come together as a community to recognize and celebrate our graduates’ many accomplishments. We hope that as the summer gets started everyone has an opportunity to also enjoy some rest.

As you explore opportunities this summer, we invite you to learn more about programming planned for Pride Month and Juneteenth this month through this newsletter. In this issue, we are excited to share with you information about the creation and purpose of our new RedHawks Pride logo; Miami’s Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff Association (QTFSA) affinity group, designed to support employees through community building and resource sharing; Amanda Kaufman, a second year master’s student in the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) program; and Mat Hall ‘11, who returned to Miami to contribute to a more inclusive Miami in his role as Associate Director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives in CSDI. 

We are also happy to share that Miami University has been recognized on Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2024 list, in recognition of our community’s efforts to embrace inclusive excellence as a workplace. Miami ranked No. 16 overall, and #1 in Education. Even as we continue to recognize that there is still much more work to be done, we recognize the progress we make and celebrate our accomplishments. Thank you to all who contribute to making Miami a more inclusive community.

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.

With Love and Honor,

Cristina Alcalde

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 join the listserv.

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.

Research Insights

Recent Publications

Amanda Alexander, Professor and Chair for the Department of Art. College of Arts and Science. 

Sharma, Manisha, and Amanda Alexander. The Routledge Companion to Decolonizing Art, Craft, and Visual Culture Education. Routledge, 2023. 

Jennifer Blue, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean, Department of Physics.

Barthelemy, R. S., Traxler, A. L., Blue, J., and Swirtz, M., “Research on gender, intersectionality, and LGBTQ+ persons in physics education research,” in The International Handbook of Physics Education Research: Special Topics, edited by M. F. Taşar and P. R. L. Heron (AIP Publishing, Melville, New York, 2023), pp. 3-1–3-16.

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).

Bruce Drushel, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, Department of Media, Journalism, and Film.

Bruce E. Drushel. (2023). Where Radio Dare Not Tread: Podcasts as Queer Audio Media. Radio Journal 21(1), pp. 67-81.

Bruce Drushel, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, Department of Media, Journalism, and Film.

Niu, L., Zhang, D., Shi, L., Han, X., Chen, Z., Chen, L., Wen, M., Li, H., Chen, B., Li, J., Su, D., & Li, Y. (2023). Racial discrimination and sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from the health, ethnicity, and pandemic (HEAP) study. The Journal of Urban Health, 100, 431–435. [Impact factor 5.801]

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).


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


Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde Named One of the Top Women Leaders of Ohio for 2024

Cristina Alcalde

Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde was named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Ohio for 2024 by Women We Admire. This honor recognizes women from the top industries in the state who are skilled and talented leaders in their field.

Dr. Alcalde was recognized for her strategic vision and leadership for a holistic, coordinated approach to inclusive excellence for faculty, staff, and students that she provides in her role as Vice President for Transformational and Inclusive Excellence. She was also recognized for her scholarship work, and has published widely and speaks nationally and internationally on inclusion, race and racialization, gender violence, migration, exclusion, belonging, and leadership.

Congratulations Dr. Alcalde on this well-deserved honor! We appreciate all that you do to make Miami University a more inclusive community.

Reimagining the Academy: Coalition-Building in a Divided World Conference

Reimagining the Academy logo

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 also invite community members to volunteer, if they are interested and able to do so. 

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

Student Climate 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 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. 

Sign-up for your interview today!

Upcoming Events

Cincinnati Pride

Cincinnati Pride will be on Saturday June 22nd, including a march through downtown Cincinnati and a festival at Sawyer Point Park. If you are interested in marching with other faculty, staff, and students at either celebration, please fill out the interest form

Celebrating Culture Through Music and Dance

Friday, September 13, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Shriver Center, Heritage Room

In honor of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, we invite you to immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats and movements of Latinx dance traditions. This event promises an evening of cultural exploration and energy. Participate in interactive dance sessions where you can learn steps and techniques from The Salsa Center.

Learn Salsa, Bachata, and Samba. You will also experience dance performances from The Salsa Center.

No experience is necessary—just bring your enthusiasm!

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. 

June 16-17* - Eid al-Adha (Islam) 

  • Description: Eid al-Adha celebrates the Quranic tale of Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice Isamil as an act of obedience to Allah. It is also known as the feast of sacrifice. Many Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Adha by participating in prayers, mosque services, and exchanging greetings and gifts. The tradition for Eid al-Adha involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts. The meat is meant to be a good deed, and is meant to be shared with three groups: family, friends and relatives, and the poor. 
  • Best Practices:  When providing food at functions, please consider foods that are Halal. We also recommend avoiding scheduling deadlines or activities on these days since this is a time of celebration and prayer.  
  • Customary Greetings: “Eid Mubarak" (MOO-bah-ROK) or "Happy Eid”

June 20 - Litha (Paga/Wiccan/Druid)

  • Description: Litha (also known as Midsummer) occurs on the summer solstice, and celebrates the beginning of summer. The Summer Solstice celebrates the return of light, life and fertility as well as the potential for a good harvest. The day of the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Best Practices:  Please keep in mind that many Pagan, Wiccan, and Druid practices are highly individualistic and vary from one observer to the next. While not all observers will take time off, devout observers may request time off in recognition of their individual practices. 
  • Customary Greetings: “Litha/Solstice Blessings” or “Happy Litha/Solstice”

August 13* - Tish B’Av (Judaism)

  • Description: Tish B’Av is a day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen Jewish people, many occurring on the ninth of Av. Tisha B'Av marks the end of the three weeks between dire straits and is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, and it is thus believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy. The observance of the day includes five prohibitions, most notable of which is a 25-hour fast. The Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem, is read in the synagogue, followed by the recitation of kinnot, liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the Temples and Jerusalem.
  • Best Practices:  Please consider the practice of fasting when scheduling any events, “lunch meetings,” or scheduling lengthy presentations. Not all will fast or take time off, but they may still observe in various ways. We also recommend avoiding scheduling deadlines or activities on these days since this is a time of mourning and prayer.  
  • Customary Greetings: It is customary to avoid greeting people on Tisha B'av, due to the solemn nature of the day.

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.

Summer Observance Posters