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Wilder School Among First Recipients of University’s Curriculum Awards

By Tiffany Murray-Robertson

The Wilder School has been awarded $10,000 for the development of courses that advance students understanding of issues related to diversity and inclusion. The school is among the first recipients of grant funding under the university’s Curriculum Development Awards—an initiative of the Division of Inclusive Excellence.  

Part of a broader effort to strengthen dialogue around the critical matters of equity and social justice at the university, the awards provide course development grants for exemplary departmental proposals that are inclusive, both in content and in strategy. Four grants of $10,000 were awarded to schools and departments across the Monroe and Health Sciences campuses in total. Additional recipients include: VCU School of the Arts; Art Education, University College; Focused Inquiry and School of Pharmacy; Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science.

The Wilder School will receive funding for the enhancement of four courses spanning three of its undergraduate degree programs during the 2017-2018 academic year, including Criminal Justice, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Urban and Regional Studies. The selected classes include a mix of required and elective courses, small and large courses and engage students from freshman to seniors. 

The grant will draw upon the rich history of inclusive course offerings at the school while significantly expanding the scope of previous courses, said Jill Gordon, Ph.D. Gordon is associate dean for faculty and academic affairs at the Wilder School and the principal investigator on the grant.

“While the Wilder School has a long history of courses geared towards the concepts of diversity and inclusion—from classes such as “Gender, Crime and Justice,” to Gender & Diversity in Urban Environment, “Theorizing Gender Violence” and “Social Equity and Public Policy”—our decision to put forth different classes was intentional.  We want students to understand the commitment and connection to inclusion in these subjects in a broader context.”

Gordon also noted that the initiative would help to cultivate an experience where students will develop “a deeper understanding of inclusion and diversity,” opportunities, which Gordon described as “essential preparation for Wilder School students and their career development.”

The Wilder School faculty proposals selected for funding include:

Wilder School grant recipients will share the $10,000 funding award. They will also receive consultation for instructional design planning and faculty development opportunities through ongoing programs offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence