Purpose of DEI College Council
Members serve as college representatives identifying, recommending, supporting, and advising the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dean’s leadership team on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issues, key strategic programs, and initiatives. Members also serve as advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion for the College of Arts and Sciences and the U of A campus community at large.
Meet our DEI Council Members
Undergraduate Student, Political Science, International & Global Studies
Ryan Calabretta Sajder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Italian, World Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Kate Chapman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science
Administrative Support Supervisor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Erica EstesDirector of Employer Relations for Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Hershel HartfordAdministrative Support Supervisor in the Department of Communication
Shauna Morimoto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology and Criminology
Kusum Naithani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate Student Clinical Psychology, Doctoral Student
Yajaira Padilla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Latin American and Latino Studies
Kyle PrinceHEI Program Coordinator, Social Work
Samantha Robinson, Ph.D.
Teaching Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences
Undergraduate Student, Business Management and Political Science Major, African and African American Studies Minor
Romona West, J.D.
Director, Diversity and Inclusion – College of Arts and Sciences, DEI College Council, Chair
Anna Zajicek, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Fulbright College, Professor of Sociology
DEI College Council Actions 2020-2021
- April 2020, first inaugural Arts and Sciences College DEI committee formed as DEI College Council.
- Summer 2020, Council took actions to address inequities due to the pandemic and support
the campus during times of racial unrest.
- Connected with campus partners and Dean of Students to advocate for student access to education in the virtual space (internet access, laptops, and necessary equipment for virtual classes). Dean of Students and ARSC Dean’s Office provided support on as needed basis and campus wi-fi increased along with maps indicated locations for wi-fi.
- Supported efforts to increase graduate student funding with GPSC.
- Supported virtual online peer review for graduate students by supplying TIPS and TFSC information on benefits.
- Connected with Department of Communications about TA training to assist TAs on how to facilitate civility in the classroom and sensitivity regarding racism, inequity, and politics. Graduate students received various training the week before classes started (including DEI topics – Thanks to the Graduate School).
- September 2020, Council members completed Individual Development Assessments and Cultural Competency workshop as a team.
- Compiled list of resources to support students and was available to council members to share.
- Crafted letter to Chancellor’s Committee on Fulbright and Brough, on behalf of Council, to support removal of Brough name, Fulbright college name and Fulbright statue from campus.
- October 2020, Council created goals and formed subcommittees to work on the following
- Identify, recommend, support, advocate and advise on DEI issues, program, initiatives and needs of the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Develop strategy to hire and attract more diverse administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
- Create a sense of belonging for our diverse student population.
- Developed “You of A: An Anthology of UARK Student Voices” Project (in progress); creative way for students to express their unique perspectives and experiences on campus.
- Develop D&I College Reports.
- Create a nested mentoring network for students, staff, and faculty.
- Supports and Advocates for Bridge Program for faculty (TT and NTT track receive welcoming team and success team of mentors)
- Supports and Advocates for Razorlink Mentoring program (faculty and staff serve as mentors for students)
- April 2021, College Faculty voted to make Faculty DEI Committee a standing committee. Two faculty members from this committee will serve on College Cabinet. Faculty DEI Committee members are part of the DEI College Council.
- Throughout the year, the Council acknowledged many individual accomplishments of their members and other DEI efforts across campus, attended and supported DEI workshops and supported DEI unit plan efforts.
- Council convened 10 times.