Ivan Allen College Faculty, Staff,and Students Honored for Diversity and Inclusion

Posted September 8, 2020

Ivan Allen College faculty, students, staff, and programs were among those honored with awards at the 12th Annual Georgia Tech Diversity Symposium hosted by Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (IDEI) on Wednesday, September 9.

The symposium recognized the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with the theme "Understanding Accessibility as Inclusion: Georgia Tech's Pathway to Accessibility." Guest speaker Haben Girma talked about her experience and advocacy as the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. 

"As our mission states, we are committed to developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition," wrote President Ángel Cabrera a statement for the event. "The scientific breakthroughs we achieve, the answers we find, and the businesses we start only matter if they drive positive change that helps us — all of us — live better lives. That’s why accessibility and developing the technologies that fuel it are so vital."

The symposium was co-chaired by IDEI Vice President Archie Ervin and Carol Colatrella, professor and associate dean for Graduate Studies in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, who also chairs the College's Diversity and Inclusion committee.

Members of the College community were recognized in both award categories as Diversity Champion and Faces of Inclusive Excellence. 

The Writing and Communication Program (WCP) housed in LMC was the recipient of a Diversity Champion Unit Award. The WCP includes 40 faculty members. In addition to its commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the award also recognized the WCP's WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal communication) framework for communication, which promotes accessibility by encouraging students to explore the ways in which modes interact and can be employed to increase universal access to communication.

The Diversity Champion Student Awards went to Nandita Gupta, a Master's student in the Human-Computer Interaction program led by LMC's Graduate Program in Digital Media. Gupta's work has focused on accessibility. She has created and facilitated an inclusive design workshop at the Assistive Technology Industry Association 2020 Conference, appeared as a panelist at Grace Hopper Celebration 2019, and was invited to speak at hACCESS, an accessibility-focused hackathon.

Thirteen members of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts community were celebrated as Faces of Inclusive Excellence. The honor is given to those "who are committed to advancing a culture of inclusive excellence at Georgia Tech and who have distinguished themselves in their research, teaching, and service."

"Fostering diversity and inclusion is a core value at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts," said Kaye Husbands Fealing, Dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. "This impressive list of honorees from across the College demonstrates the depth and breadth of our attention to this value and shines a bright light on the strong work we do each day to make this community an ever better place for everyone to learn, teach, work, and grow. I am incredibly proud of these honorees, and I thank each one of them for their contributions."

College honorees are:

  • André Brock, Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Published Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures (NYU Press, 2020). He has made numerous media appearances including CNN, the New York Times, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. He is a charter member of the NYU Center for Race and Digital Studies and an affiliate member of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. He is a Hesburgh Teaching Fellow at Tech.
  • Seung-Eun Chang, Lecturer, School of Modern Languages. She included undergraduate students in her journal publications and conference presentations regarding linguistics research, a media archive project of Korean culture, and new course developments.
  • Carol Colatrella, Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Development. She coordinates the IAC Faculty Advisory Board and Diversity and Inclusion Council; developed bias awareness training for Ivan Allen faculty; and professional development programming for graduate students and faculty.
  • Mary Frank Fox, ADVANCE Professor, School of Public Policy. She is the elected chair of the Social, Economic, and Political Sciences Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest multi-disciplinary science society in the world.
  • Carla Gerona, Associate Professor, School of History and Sociology. Awarded a Georgia Tech Provost Teaching and Learning Fellowship for 2018–20. Directed eight student exhibits in her class, “Introduction to Museum Studies.” Received the 2015 Bolton Cutter Prize for the best article on any phase of borderlands history.
  • Nandita Gupta, Master's student, Human-Computer Interaction. Named the Google Lime Scholar 2020; invited to speak at hACCESS, an accessibility-focused hackathon; represented Georgia Tech at the Assistive Technology Industry Association 2020 Conference, where she created and facilitated an inclusive design workshop; presented on a panel at the Grace Hopper Celebration.
  • Robert Hampson, Administrative Manager, School of History and Sociology. Manages the School’s finances and human resources. Completed Level Up, an advanced LGBTQIA allyship course, and currently serves as the School’s LGBTQIA liaison. He received the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Buzz Award for Distinguished STudent Service.
  • Natalie Khazaal, Associate Professor, School of Modern Languages.  2019–20 fellow with the American Council for Learned Societies for her work on the connections between international media, Middle East politics, and religious minorities. She recently completed a book, as the lead coeditor, on the dehumanization of refugees, and will serve as the director of the Arabic and MENAS (Middle East and North African Studies program at Tech.
  • Aya McDaniel, Lecturer, School of Modern Languages. Taught elementary through advanced-level Japanese courses. She served as the introductory coordinator for the Japanese program from 2017–20, and she won the Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award in March 2020.
  • Şebnem Özkan, Associate Director, Atlanta Global Studies Center.  Led coalition-based regional projects around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals focusing on peace education and cross-cultural studies for global leadership, and created and co-taught a course on Atlanta’s global communi-ties. She received the Ivan Allen College Excellence in Administrative Service Award, served on the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and was selected to participate in the Leading Women@Tech program.
  • Jessica Palacios, Marketing & Event Coordinator, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. R ecipient of the Ivan Allen College’s 2020 Buzz Award for Excellence in Student Service.
  • Samuel Weiss-Cowie, undergraduate student, School of Modern Languages. Presented in Korean at the American Association of Teachers of Korean annual conference regarding new methods in Korean pedagogy.
  • Anna Westerstahl Stenport, Professor of Global Studies and Chair, School of Modern Languages. An architect of Tech’s M.S. programs in Global Media and Cultures and Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies, which have earned national recognition. As co-director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center, she is leading higher education efforts to establish Atlanta as a city of peace in col-laboration with the Atlanta Peace Initiative, Nobel Peace Laureates, and Rotary International.

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Rebecca Keane
Director of Communications