For faculty members, “professional development” includes the tenure and promotion process, choices regarding pursuing administration and involvement in our professional organizations (or not), and decisions about how to grow our teaching as we progress in our careers. What role can equity, diversity, and inclusion play in these processes and decisions? How can we ensure equity in tenure and promotion, diversity in our teaching, and inclusion in established structures of leadership?
For staff, professional development traditionally includes attending training and conferences, involvement in professional organizations, and more in-depth coursework that often leads to certifications and designations. Since there is no “one size fits all” solution, how can an equity, diversity, and inclusion framework help us rethink the goals and processes of professional development?
The March Friday Forum on Racism in Higher Education discussed how equity, diversity, and inclusion can be incorporated into professional development for all employees of the university community.
Main Panel Speakers
Jeannette South-Paul, MD, DHL (Hon), FAAFP
Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
Meharry Medical College
Dr. Jeannette E. South-Paul joined Meharry Medical College as the Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer in December 2021. Prior to this appointment, she was the Andrew W. Mathieson UPMC Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2001 – 2020 retiring from Pitt in 2020. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC, she served as a Medical Corps officer in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2001 while serving as Chair of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and previously as Vice President for Minority Affairs at the same institution.
Dr. South-Paul was responsible for the educational, research and clinical activities of the undergraduate and graduate medical education, faculty practice, and community arms of 3 family medicine residencies and seven ambulatory clinical sites in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania and responsible for the academic missions of 5 additional UPMC Family Medicine residencies in Pennsylvania. She is a family physician with specific interests in the areas of cultural competence, maternity care, and health disparities in the community. She designed an investigator-initiated project to evaluate cultural aspects of contraceptive choice (Merck funded) that has been active since 2017.
Dr. South-Paul was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) in 2011, received the University of Pittsburgh 225th Anniversary Chancellor’s Medallion and was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2015 and received the Allegheny County Medical Society Dietrich Humanitarian Award in February 2018.
Sarah Projansky, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Faculty, Office for Faculty
University of Utah
As Associate Vice President for Faculty at the University of Utah, Sarah Projansky supports deans, chairs, and faculty across campus on matters related to faculty development and mentoring; hiring, retention, tenure, and promotion; and university policy. She also serves as a liaison between Academic Senate and the administration. She holds a joint-appointment as Professor of Film & Media Arts and of Gender Studies, and she is an Adjunct Professor of Communication. As University Professor (2018-2020), she is leading a campus-wide project on the role of celebrity in contemporary social, cultural, and political life, including a general education class, a visiting speaker series, and a symposium. She is the former Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs in the College of Fine Arts (2013-2018).
Carolyn Thomas, Ph.D.
Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs
California State University, Fullerton
As Cal State Fullerton’s provost, Dr. Thomas is a member of the President’s Cabinet and leads division engagement in areas of institutional priority. As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Thomas provides leadership for division student success initiatives and the planning and management of academic, instructional, and financial resources supporting teaching and scholarly activities.
Previously, Dr. Thomas was a professor of American Studies and Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Davis. She worked across the campus community to improve student learning and graduation outcomes for all. She also served as department chair, director of the UC Davis Humanities Institute, and convener of a UC system-wide humanities consortium.
As a faculty member, Dr. Thomas’ research explored how technological innovation and food production, combined with marketing and advertising, impacted Americans’ definitions of “health.” She has been featured on NPR and the BBC for her award-winning book, Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda (2010). She has written two books, two edited volumes, and over thirty articles on such topics as the origins of weight training, the mechanization of tomatoes in California, the fondness for Krispy Kreme donuts in the South, and the ineffectiveness of “diet” foods as weight-loss tools. Dr. Thomas was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Mentoring at UC Davis. As an administrator, her recent research and professional work focused on enhancing student academic success through inclusive teaching, advising, and mentoring practices.
Dr. Thomas earned her Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.
Jacqueline Welch, MSHRM
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
The New York Times Company
Jacqueline M. Welch became executive vice president and chief human resources officer in January, 2021. In this role she leads The Times’s human resources department and oversees all aspects of talent acquisition, career development, organizational development, equitable compensation practices, performance enablement and diversity, equity and inclusion. She sits on the company’s executive committee and reports to the chief executive officer.
Ms. Welch joined The Times from Freddie Mac, where she was senior vice president, chief human resources officer and chief diversity officer since 2016. In this role, she led the Freddie Mac H.R. team and served as a trusted adviser to its board of directors and the executive team. She also had oversight responsibility for Freddie Mac’s corporate community engagement program and their 10 employee resource groups.
Ms. Welch earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from The New School’s Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment. She serves on the Boards of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, the Human Resources Policy Association and Buckman.
MaryAnn Young, M.Ed.
Organizational Development Consultant
University of Utah Health
MaryAnn Young is an Organizational Development Consultant with University of Utah Health, with the organization for 6 years, formerly the director of Alianza Academy, a K-8 charter school dedicated to supporting students with high economic need and learners with disabilities. She specializes in Crucial Conversations training to help individuals build trust and respect while resolving conflicts. Her current focus is on leadership development, training and team building to improve relationships and employee engagement. She has her master’s in Curriculum and Instructional Design and is passionate about creating learning environments that support psychological safety for the inclusion of diverse perspectives and learning styles.
Breakout Session Facilitators
Dani Baum, MACL, PHR
Associate Director, Employee Recruitment
University of Utah
Dani Baum is the associate director for Employee Recruitment at the University of Utah. She serves as the recruitment subject matter expert for hiring departments on Main Campus and UHealth Academics, consulting with managers, search committees and other HR professionals on best hiring practices.
Valerie Flattes, Ph.D. APRN, ANP-BC
Associate Dean for EDI, College of Nursing
University of Utah
Dr. Valerie Flattes Ph.D. APRN, MS, ANP-BC is the inaugural Associate Dean for the University of Utah College of Nursing. She is also an Associate Professor in the primary care DNP program and the gerontology interdisciplinary program. She is the specialty track director of the adult/gerontology primary care DNP program. Valerie has been teaching at the College of Nursing for over 20 years. Her work in diversity and equity spans several years of involvement in the community as well as in Health Sciences. Her dissertation research focused on heart health in African Americans aged 40 and older who live in Utah. Another area of focus has been in community-based research with community organizations and the Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities.
Caren J. Frost, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Vice President for Research Integrity & Compliance
University of Utah
Caren J. Frost, Ph.D., MPH is the University of Utah’s Associate Vice President for Research Integrity & Compliance, as well as a Research Professor at the University of Utah’s College of Social Work. Dr. Frost works in research integrity and compliance and serves as the Research Integrity Officer for the University of Utah. As a qualitative researcher with expertise in ethnography and phenomenology, Dr. Frost’s research allows her to capitalize on mixed-method frameworks emphasizing the importance of the qualitative components of a study. She works collaboratively with students, colleagues, and community partners to conduct research that is applied and addresses real-world problems for underserved groups, as well as for women across the lifespan.
Claudia Geist, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research, School for Cultural and Social Transformation
Associate Professor, Division of Gender Studies & Department of Sociology
University of Utah
Claudia Geist is a sociologist whose research addresses the intersection of gender, inequality, and family. Her recent work interrogates the social construction of gender, as well as how people’s desires for pregnancy and parenthood (or lack thereof) are contingent on their social contexts. She was born and raised in Germany, moved to the United States to pursue graduate education.
Kim Hackford-Peer, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Division of Gender Studies
Associate Professor Lecturer, Division of Gender Studies
University of Utah
Dr. Kim Hackford-Peer is the Associate Chair and an Associate Professor (Career Line Teaching Faculty) in the Division of Gender Studies, so she gets to spend a lot of time working with curriculum, teaching, and mentoring students. Her teaching career began in first grade when she and her best friend taught their classmates all about teeter totter safety – Gender Studies is glad she has expanded her areas of interest! Now she teaches classes (all of which carry general education designations) such as: Medusa and Manifestos (CW), Intro to LGBTQ Studies (DV), and Queer Representation in the Media (DV). She also supports our internship program and works with students as they develop skills to design and implement curriculum. Kim’s research interests coincide with her teaching practices; she is deeply interested in pedagogy, particularly as it relates to the ways that identity and education intersect.
Dori Nottingham, B.S.
Associate Director of Training, Division of Human Resources
University of Utah
Dori Nottingham currently oversees the Training and Development department for UHRM. She has a background in organizational development, culture implementation and leadership development. Dori enjoys helping other succeed in their career by leading through communication principles and the creation of inclusive environments.
Tashelle Wright, Ph.D., MSPH
Director of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine
University of Utah Health
Tashelle was born and raised in Utah and daughter to a Ghanian immigrant. She is a first-generation college student who earned a Bachelors in Public Health from Westminster College in 2016, a Masters of Science in Public Health in 2018, and a Ph.D. in Public health in 2021 from the University of California, Merced. As the Director of the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion she is committed to creating and implementing intersectional, culturally relevant, community-driven, evidence-based programming, training and interventions to: (1) reduce attrition among faculty and students from historically underrepresented populations, and (2) promote recruitment and retention of diverse medical school faculty, staff and students that reflect the demographics of those they serve. Tashelle directs and oversees operations and strategic planning of office initiatives, including development of partnerships with internal and external organizations, and designing content for conferences, professional development, community building, mentorship, and other materials specific to groups from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Her passion is connecting people through diversity and inclusion work and identifying strategies to advance health equity.