Three University of Michigan groups will receive the Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change at the CEW+ Advocacy Symposium on September 21.

This year’s winners are:

  • ORBIT Labs: online resources for building cross-cultural teams.
  • STAR Scholars (Scholarships, Transferable Skills, Academics, and Research).
  • Community Advisory Board for Lupus Care and Research.

The award honors the 20-year tenure of Hollenshead, the former director of CEW+. Leaders from each group will deliver lightning talks at the event, followed by a live panel discussion focusing on the symposium theme, “Creating Change Through Introspection, Dialogue and Action.”

ORBIT Labs is led by Kelly Murdoch-Kitt, associate professor of design at Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Kelly Murdoch Kitt

Over the past 12 years, Murdoch-Kitt’s research has demonstrated her commitment to diversity and inclusion by studying how to use visual thinking as a powerful tool to bridge various kinds of cultural differences, such as differences disciplinary, experiential and geographic.

Her 2020 book, “Intercultural Collaboration by Design: Drawing from Differences, Distances, and Disciplines through Visual Thinking,” co-authored with Denielle Emans, provides a framework and over 30 structured activities that introduce visual thinking as a pathway to promote equity and inclusion.

The context of their research was international collaborative online learning courses, and they tested and refined these approaches with over 350 students from over 20 different countries. Their methods apply to various educational and organizational contexts, and are accessible to various audiences outside the disciplines of art or design.

STAR is an evidence-based program that increases the participation of underrepresented students in research. Led by Cindy Lustig, professor of psychology at LSA, STAR provides freshmen and sophomores and transfer students from underrepresented, low-income or first-generation college backgrounds with workshops and mentorship in small groups. groups to overcome ‘hidden curriculum’ barriers and help them engage in research.

Cindy Lustig
Cindy Lustig

It has significantly increased the participation of underrepresented students in research in the psychology department and in the senior/honours thesis program. More than a professional training program, STAR emphasizes close peer mentorship and helps STAR Fellows develop their self-confidence and sense of belonging to the scientific community.

While lupus is more common and more severe in black adults than white adults, black communities are underrepresented in both clinical research and educational resources about lupus.

Increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of participants in lupus research and prioritizing the needs and perspectives of marginalized communities in the design and conduct of research are closely related goals of the Community Advisory Board for Care and Research. on lupus (Lupus CAB), compiled by the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center Health Equity Core.

Kourtney Pony
Kourtney Pony

Kourtney Pony, a medical student and MBA, is the student leader of the Lupus CAB, which is made up of health equity research professors, rheumatology physician scientists, black women with lupus, family members people with lupus and other representatives of black communities in Michigan.

The Lupus CAB also aims to identify opportunities for academic-community partnerships that support lupus patients at critical times and to develop strategies to generate community interest and engagement in research.

In addition to the symposium lectures, each group will lead a 90-minute workshop during the 2022-2023 academic year as part of the CEW+Inspire initiative, which focuses on wellness while creating social change. . The workshops highlight the authentic journeys of social change leaders, highlighting them as role models for others aspiring to work for social change.

The CEW+ Advocacy Symposium runs from noon to 6 p.m. on September 21. It is free and open to students, faculty, and staff from all UM campuses who are activists, advocates, and allies, as well as anyone interested in being an agent of positive social change. . Registration is mandatory.

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