CAS expands its focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Miami community

Written by Jason Barone, CAS director of communications

Students at 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony

As part of a renewed initiative to help demonstrate Miami University’s “philosophy and belief that a diverse academic community is among an institution's greatest strengths,” the College of Arts and Science (CAS) has significantly broadened its efforts to develop and offer new programs and resources devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

“Some of the initiatives we have launched include a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) webpage, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council (EDIC), appointments of CAS department DEI liaisons, and hiring a new program director,” said Carolyn S. Craig, CAS academic diversity officer and director of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

In addition to these initiatives, the DEI webpage presents information about numerous resources, services, and opportunities available to students, including: 

The HASS Scholars Program is supported by the LEADS Institute, an Academic Excellence and Leadership Accelerator launched by CAS in 2021 “to accelerate students’ successful transition to and in college and strengthen their potential to become competitive candidates for graduate and professional school or competitive employment opportunities.”

Students at the Students Together Empowering Minorities (S.T.E.M.) Marshmallow Challenge event

“The webpage is designed to serve as a support hub for everyone in the CAS and Miami community,” Craig said. “It will expand in the coming months to include more features, such as faculty and student spotlights on scholarship and other achievements as well as department-specific information across CAS in the STEM fields, social sciences, and humanities.”

CAS defines diversity holistically, based on Miami’s diversity statement. It states that diversity encompasses but is not limited to:

race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, class, religion, disability, age, military status, visa status, economic status, geographic location, and language/linguistic ability. Diverse and well-reasoned ideas, approaches, and experiences are also essential parts of inclusion and equity.

The webpage highlights CAS’s commitment to “providing a high-quality learning and workplace environment that is intentionally diverse and equitable, built on the Inclusive Excellence Framework, and affirms, engages, and values differences.”

“We really want to make clear to both our internal and external stakeholders that CAS is committed to its role with diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice,” Craig said.

In addition to Craig, Breion Hawkins will be joining CAS on May 10 as the new Program Director of Student Diversity Initiatives and Success. Hawkins’ role will be to support the HASS Scholars Program as well as initiatives for historically underrepresented and ethnically diverse communities in CAS. In addition, she will serve as the site coordinator for the LSAMP Program at Miami.

“Breion is passionate about student learning and development, as well as working towards building a sense of belonging within communities,” said Craig.

“We are proud to highlight our expanded commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Chris Makaroff, dean of CAS. “I congratulate Carolyn and welcome Breion in helping CAS provide a wide array of resources to ensure all members of the CAS and Miami community can feel welcome and accepted.”