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Pamela Bishop (she/her): Hello, everyone. I’m Pamela Bishop, senior director of marketing and communications for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. And I’m really pleased to introduce to you our new colleague on our team in marketing and communications, Dr. David Hawkins-Jacinto. Many of you may know him. He has been a professor for several years in Writing and Rhetoric Studies, and we are just really excited to have him come over and join our team as a senior communications manager.

So welcome, David. Tell us a little bit about what drew you to this position. I have to be honest, I was surprised that someone in faculty would want to come be part of EDI MarComm. So tell us about that thought process.

David Hawkins-Jacinto (he/him/elle): Oh, not at all. Thank you so much, Pamela. I’m actually, I’m delighted to be joining MarComm in EDI. It’s true, I’ve been a professor here at the university in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies since, well, since even before Writing was an actual department — back when they were just a program on the third floor of LNCO. I’ve been teaching full-time with the, with the unit since 2005. I think now. And I taught a little bit before at a, at a university out in Ohio before that. So I’ve been actually faculty for about half of my life, for about 20, almost 25 years. But I have over the past, I don’t know, probably about the past decade I’ve been doing an increasing amount of work, working first with the community, especially with our west side community.

And I chaired a nonprofit organization, the Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts. And through that organization, started to kind of use it to build bridges from the university into our west side community. I’ve also worked with one of our wonderful student cohorts on campus, the Diversity Scholars, which has connections with Ethnic — the Ethnic Studies program. And I’ve done work with what’s now CESB, but at the time that I started with CESA. It’s now the, that’s the Center for Equity and Student Belonging. And so I’ve been doing more and more of this work. And so when this position became available and it involves work that I do, which is communication and writing and connecting with kind of the public and creating kind of community networks and connections, I thought, “well, it seems perfect. I would love to actually participate in that.” So I’m really I’m excited to be joining.

Pamela Bishop: Well, that’s great to hear. We are excited to have you. And I think one of the unique things that you brought is that faculty perspective. You know, how being in the classroom, being in touch with our students, hearing what they’re going through and hearing some of their challenges and opportunities, and then also hearing, you know, from the side of the faculty, like what challenges they’re facing in the classroom around equity, diversity, and inclusion.

And so I think you bring that unique skill set with you to this opportunity, apart from obviously your writing skills. So tell us a little about what you hope to accomplish, that bridge that you want to build sort of to, I should say, enhance that bridge because we’ve already got good relationships, but also enhance that bridge within your new role.

David Hawkins-Jacinto: Terrific. Yeah, I’m really excited to, to sort of lend my shoulder to the, to the wheel and continue to advance the work. But you’re absolutely right. There’s a number of wonderful things that are happening at the University of Utah, ways in which we’re expanding outreach, not just within the Utah Valley, though that’s happening too, especially I think, with like our West Valley clinic that’s on the horizon. But even expansions beyond the state borders working, for example, with HBCUs, those Historically Black Colleges and Universities and, you know, both through Athletics, but then also through partnerships that we have with institutions like Howard and Alcorn State and, and North Carolina Central, there’s a number of like institutions.

And then there’s also, you know, other ways in which the university is expanding through our emerging HSI status. And that’s really exciting too. I’m really, I’m most delighted by the opportunity to get involved and kind of communicate this, this new work that we’re doing out to the public so that they can kind of share in the excitement. The stuff that we’re excited about, I want to be able to communicate outward.

Pamela Bishop: Right. Now that’s great. I think for you, it’s probably what — you probably are learning so much of what we’re doing, you know, having been in one department now, you kind of have breadth across the entire university. So I think that’s great. And I think you’re probably, that’s part of the excitement that you’re like, “wow, I may not have known all this is going on, so how can we let other faculty members know, other people across the university.”

So we are just thrilled to have you join our team, and you guys can look forward to David is going to be one of the principal writers in our One U Thriving Newsletter and a lot of our communications from executive communications all the way out. And so I welcome David, and we look forward to having you full-time with us starting in January in spring semester. So, but welcome, and thanks again.

David Hawkins-Jacinto: Thanks so much, Pamela. I’m really excited to be here.