Ready to change the world? In the fall of 2016, we launched the School for Cultural and Social Transformation (Transform), a newly created school at the University of Utah aims to provide an intellectual foundation for understanding and addressing some of the most pressing issues surrounding race and gender in American society. That goal is reflected in its name: School for Cultural and Social Transformation—the first school in the Intermountain West to make the intersection of race, gender, and social justice its focus.
The School for Cultural and Social Transformation officially celebrated its opening at an event on November 2. The school was proposed in January 2016 and formally approved by the Board of Trustees in July before launching at the start of fall semester.
The School was approved to officially house Disability Studies (comprised of a minor and a graduate certificate they seek to refurbish). Before this new development, Disability Studies was supported by people in a variety of departments and disciplines at the U, but it had no real institutional home. After the move, declared disability studies minors more than doubled.
Transform was officially launched with a ribbon-cutting event that occurred on August 29, 2018, and moved into the new Carolyn and Kem Gardner Commons building, located across from the Marriott Library.
The Pacific Islands Studies initiative at the University of Utah was awarded a new $600,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Next steps, aided by the Mellon Foundation grant, included building a bridge program, Pacific Islands Studies certificate, and fellowships within the School for Cultural and Social Transformation.
Angela L. Robinson (Wito clan of Chuuk, Micronesia) joined the University of Utah in August of 2019 as the inaugural Mellon-Pasifika Post-Doctoral Fellow, part of the Pacific Islands Studies Initiative through the Mellon Foundation.
Associate Professor Claudia Geist joined the Transform executive team as the inaugural Associate Dean for Research. This role is tasked with building a robust research environment, which will promote and support faculty and student research within the school.
Starting in the Fall 2020 Semester, the University of Utah will offer an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Pacific Islands (PI) Studies. The certificate is open to all majors and coursework will explore the geography, history culture, politics and contemporary concerns of the Indigenous Pacific and the global Pacific Islander diaspora.