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Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, Students Lead NC State’s Inaugural Equity Research Symposium

Students walk and talk in the Court of North Carolina

Faculty and students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences led the way in developing and participating in NC State’s inaugural Equity Research Symposium.

Described as a true collaboration, the recent symposium explored what equity means in research and highlighted the latest equity-focused inquiry from the university community. More than 35 of the college’s faculty and students participated in the daylong event. It also featured roundtable discussions, lightning sessions, and panel and poster presentations.

Deanna Dannels, dean of the college, delivered opening remarks. Distinguished professor of English and comparative literature Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, who is also the college’s assistant dean for diversity, co-organized the event and co-chaired its planning committee.

Nfah-Abbenyi said the event builds on the momentum garnered last year with the adoption of the college’s idea for a campuswide equity symposium.

“Our college has been intentional in advancing and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for our faculty, staff and students,” she added. “We felt it would be a good idea to hold an equity research symposium not only for members of our college but an event that could bring together the entire campus community.”

Headshot of Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi
Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Deans from all 10 colleges as well as the Graduate School and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs sponsored the multidisciplinary symposium, which also offered an online component. Other collaborators included the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Office of Research and Innovation, and the Research Leadership Academy.

“We are proud of the success of the symposium as it more than met our expectations and the goal of bringing people together to share and catalyze cutting-edge, equity-focused and equity-relevant research at NC State,” Nfah-Abbenyi said.

Asked if the symposium will be an annual event she said: “There is unanimous agreement to hold future campus-wide equity research symposia.”

Here’s a list of the college’s faculty and students who presented their research at the inaugural symposium.

  • Jeffery Braden, professor of psychology, “Fairness and Equity in Psychological and Educational Assessment”
  • Pamoda Wettewa, graduate student in English, “A Call for Polycentric Pedagogical Practices in ESL Oral Skills Courses”
  • Walt Wolfram, William C. Friday distinguished professor of English and linguistics; Stephany Dunstan, linguist and assistant vice provost for assessment and accreditation; and Mia Shang, graduate student in English; “Don’t Forget Language Equality”
  • Kelsey Dufresne, graduate student in communication, rhetoric and digital media,
    “The Power of Slow Looking with Black Lives Matter Street Art”
  • Sierra Kabir, political science undergraduate and research assistant, “Equity Evaluation for Transportation Projects”
  • Michelle McMullin, assistant professor of English and Hadi Banat, assistant professor of English at University of Massachusetts Boston, “Constructive Distributed Work: Building Ethics, Equity and Acess in Research Teams”
  • Margaret Baker and Kelsey Dufresne, graduate students in communication, rhetoric and digital media, “Unifying North Carolinians through the Power of Poetry: Esse Quam Videri + Make America Again”
  • Victoria Gallagher, professor of communication; Cindy Rosenfeld, graduate student in communication; Elizabeth Nelson, teaching associate professor of communication; Conner Tomlinson, graduate student in communication; and Malaka Friedman, graduate extension assistant; “The vMLK Project: Embodiment, Affect and Equity”
  • Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, distinguished professor of English and assistant dean for diversity, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Equity Research Lessons from Africa”
  • Ronald Dempsey, graduate student in liberal studies, “The Social Dimensions of Policing and the Asian-American Community”
  • Megan Flannery, graduate student in communication, rhetoric and digital media, “The Face of a Survivor”
  • Jodi Hall, associate professor of social work; Natalie Ames, associate professor of social work; and Paige Averett, professor of social work; “Mixing Methods for Equity”
  • Kim Stansbury, associate professor of social work; Jodi Hall, associate professor of social work; Natalie Ames, associate professor of social work; Paige Averett, professor of social work; and Gianni Solorzano, Heather Johnson, and Emilia Cordero, graduate students in sociology; “Queer, Care Transform: Equity-centered Praxis through an Intentional Research Collective”
  • Kate Norwalk, assistant professor of psychology; Laura Widman, associate professor of psychology; Julia Brasileiro and Jordyn McCrimmon, graduate students in psychology; and Lily Mullins, undergraduate student in psychology; “Identifying Disparities in Access to Sexual Health Information among Youth in Child Welfare: Results from a Statewide Sample of Caregivers and a National Sample of Youth”
  • Jordyn McCrimmon, Julia Brasilerio, Jeffrey Hurst, and Hannah Javidi, graduate students in psychology; Laura Widman, associate professor of psychology; “Examining the Efficacy and Acceptability of a Sexual Health Program Among Racial and Ethnic Liberation”
  • G. Perusi Benson, graduate student in psychology, “How We Get Free: Graduate Training as an Opportunity for Equitable Participation and Liberation”
  • Katie L. Glover, graduate student in public administration, “Exploring the Gender Gap through Officer Promotion Lag-Time in the U.S. Army Reserve”
  • Sydney Earl, graduate student in psychology, “Equitable Growth Mindset Intervention to Alleviate Depression in Youth”
  • Andrew Binder, associate professor of communication, and Katlyn May, co-director of Community Engagement Core, Center for Human Health and the Environment; “Knowing, Feeling, Believing: Environmental Health Literacy and the Potential to Reduce Health Disparities”
  • Huiling Ding, professor of English, and Yingjiao Xu, professor, Wilson College of Textiles; “Examining and Optimizing Infrastructure for Intentional Equity and Organizational Justice at NC State”
  • Celia Henderson, graduate student in psychology, “Screen Reader Voices: Effects of Pauses and Voice Changes in Comprehension”
  • Dylan Hewitt, graduate student in psychology, “Online COVID-19 Information Accessibility for the Visually Impaired”
  • Alicia McGill, associate professor of history; Kofi Boone, Joseph D. Moore distinguished professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning; Kwesi Brookins, associate professor of psychology and Africana Studies; Louie Rivers, associate professor of forestry and environmental resources; and Marc Grimmett, associate professor and coordinator  for clinical mental health counseling; “Toward Equitable Community-University Partnerships: Faculty Engagement with Raleigh’s Black Communities”