Five Pitt Professors Recognized for Curriculum Diversity | University time


Five Pitt faculty members were honored Jan. 18 with the Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum.

The award recognizes faculty members’ efforts to integrate the concepts of diversity and inclusion into courses and programs. Each award consists of a cash prize of $2,000 and a plaque of recognition. The award is open to all full-time and part-time faculty.

Benjamin Brand, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of German, for having reframed his course GE 1502 “Indo-European Folk Tales”, teaching the link between colonialism and the spread of Indo-European languages. He highlighted marginalized voices in citation practices, practiced attentive and inclusive language and increased accessibility through electronic texts and automatic captioning; and segmented lectures to manage student intake load and pace, among other inclusive teaching practices.

Paul Harper, Pitt Businessfor designing the Race and Business Ethics course, to address the need for a historically informed and culturally integrated approach to moral theory, managerial decision-making, and leadership development.

Alaina James, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, to reformat the “Skin and Musculoskeletal Diseases” dermatology course, to include a skin color gradient of images with white, brown, and black skin colors. It highlights (in small group lectures/discussions) the significant visual differences in skin conditions in patients based on their constituent skin color and how the lack of representation affects knowledge, diagnosis and treatment, leading to negative patient outcomes.

Robert Kerestes, Swanson School of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineeringfor making changes to the Electromagnetism course to provide a more engaging environment using three aspects: teamwork, gamification, and diversity and inclusion practices.

Jennifer White, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapyto inspire students in five courses to include the wide range of people they will serve in the future by (1) assigning case studies of clients with specific clinical conditions from students’ different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, ( 2) guest speakers who shared lived experiences with a range of physical conditions, addressing ableism and giving students perspective on creating an inclusive environment as future occupational therapists, (3) assessing student learning high-level course concepts in application, analysis, and evaluation (e.g., practice use of pronouns according to a client’s gender expression) and (4) use technology to create animated case studies incorporating DEI concepts.


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