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Leaders for Inclusive Learning Program

VCU prides itself on the diversity of our student body and the transformative educational experience VCU provides. As we look toward our post-pandemic world we need to consider that students who will join us in the near future will have had different experiences than the students of the past. They will have experienced more loss, more economic insecurity, greater inequality and more mental health stress during their academic journey. At the same time, they will be more adept at online learning, have a more clear-eyed view of our country’s history, and manifest a greater drive to build a better future. The College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS) is dedicated to supporting this diverse group of students as they strive to achieve their — and their families’ — dreams. As we plan for the future, we must continue our efforts to implement the best teaching practices that allow all students the best opportunity to flourish in our classrooms.

In partnership with the CTLE and the VCU HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative, the CHS Dean’s Office supports an innovative new program called Leaders for Inclusive Learning (LIL), where select faculty members develop leadership skills and immerse themselves in current approaches for inclusive learning. The Leaders for Inclusive Learning explore best practices on creating course curriculum and pedagogy that meet the learning needs of our diverse student body. The LIL group learns about personal, structural and institutional bias that may contribute to disparities in student persistence. Furthermore, they work with their unit to create a long-term strategy for all faculty to engage with inclusive learning practices in their own classrooms.

The purpose of the LIL program is for faculty to learn, practice and implement inclusive teaching and to work with their departments as peer faculty mentors on inclusive learning to help lead intentional change across our largest College. The goal is to increase a sense of belonging on campus, increase student persistence and support student success for those who are at most risk of adverse outcomes due to institutional bias.

Program Participants

Twenty-five full-time faculty from across the CHS are participating during the 2021-22 academic year.

Leads

  • Sarah Golding, Associate Professor of Biology, and Special Assistant to the Dean
  • Kim Case, Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and Director of the VCU Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence
  • Allison Johnson, Associate Professor in the Center for Biological Complexity, and Director of VCU HHMI Inclusive Excellence

Participants

  • Madhumita Basu, Statistical Sciences and Operations Research
  • Christine Booker, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
  • Kai Bosworth, School of World Studies
  • Cara Cario, Biology
  • Ellen Carpenter, Psychology
  • Eli Coston, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
  • Judi Crenshaw, Robertson School of Media and Culture
  • Jody Davis, Psychology
  • Punit Gandhi, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Grace Gipson, African American Studies
  • Joseph Hamelman, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Ching-Yu Huang, Biology
  • Kevin Brosnan, Philosophy
  • Jonathan Moore, Biology
  • Amanda Harris, Chemistry
  • Kate Nash, English
  • Heather Nunnally, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Matthew Pawlowicz, School for World Studies
  • Alexandra Reckendorf, Political Science
  • Angela Reynolds, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Samanthi Wickramarachchi, Physics
  • Matthew Scott, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
  • Aytar Volkan, Sociology
  • Maria Carolina Yaber, Biology
  • Dexian Ye, Physics