EDI year in review: research and distinctions – News


Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, Illinois State University highlighted research and teaching devoted to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.

Professor Shawn Hitchcock (centre) works in his research lab with students Stephanie Wagoner and Eric Jacobsen.

The University highlighted the achievements of the Redbird community, including Dr. Shawn Hitchcock, who received the Dr. Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

Other national and state agencies have recognized Illinois State faculty, such as the National Council on Family Relations honoring Dr. Ani Yazedjian with the 2021 Marie F. Peters Award. The biennial award recognizes a distinguished scholar, researcher, or practitioner who has made significant contributions in the field of racial and ethnic diversity in families. Dr. Cara Rabe-Hemp received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology – Division on Women and Crime. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza honored the accomplishments of Doctor. Rocio Rivadeneyra as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million for a program led by Dr. Matt Aldeman, Dr Jin Jo, Dr Allison Antink Meyerand Dr. Jeritt Williams to inspire urban Chicago high school students. The innovative after-school program, in collaboration with the National Center for Urban Educationwill focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Dr. Amy Wood was awarded two prestigious national fellowships to continue his work on the cultural and intellectual history of criminal justice in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. National Endowment for the Humanities and a one-year fellowship from the National Humanities Center.

Dr. Kathryn Sampeck

The University in the spotlight Dr. Kathryn Sampeck with an Outstanding Female Scholar Award for her multidisciplinary approaches to investigating a variety of topics such as taste, cultural landscapes, race, literacy, money, and trade in American commodities in the early modern world.

Dr Brea Banks, Dr. Melinda Snodgrassand Dr Michele Shropshire have received several of the University’s research initiative awards. Banks has published work on adolescent microaggressive experiences, the cognitive consequences of these race-based slurs, their impact on perceptions of climate, and the effectiveness of trainings and workshops aimed at addressing microaggressions. Snodgrass’ research focuses on building inclusive schools through family-school partnerships, systematic supports planning, and anti-capable work. Dr. Shropshire’s research focuses on improving quality of life, symptom management and nursing care for the elderly.

Amani Wise, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
Amani Sage

psychology student Amani Sage won the three-minute thesis competition with research on the impact of white individuals’ awareness of their racial privilege on their perception of microaggression.

Advancing disciplines

Distraction: Girls, School, and Sexuality book cover with the names of editors Erin Mikulec and Dawn Beichner

The work of faculty members has advanced a myriad of disciplines, with Illinois State highlighting the work of Dr. Charles Bell who explores the cycle of fights and punishments in public schools in his book Suspended: Punishment, Violence, and Failing School Safety. The book was selected as a finalist for the C.Wright Mills Award 2021, one of the most prestigious, coveted and competitive prizes awarded in the social sciences.

Dr. Tina Williams offered an overview of his work on changing the perception of underemployment.

Dr. Erin Mikulec and Dr. Dawn Beichner discussed their new book, Distraction: girls, school and sexualitywhich examines the ways in which girls are sexualized through school practices.

Dr. Chang Su-Russell
Dr. Chang Su-Russell

Dr. Chang Su-RusselI discussed how parents can talk about death and racism with their children. Nikki Michalak and Dr. Stacy Jones-Bock talked about alternatives to the practice of isolation in classrooms. Dr. Ela Przybylo publication Wild feminisms was a special issue focused on asexual (ace) and aromantic (aro) authors and ace and aro content.

Alumna Nastasha Powers ’19, who won the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 2021, spoke about her work for survivors of sexual abuse and trauma. A group of former students who went on a social justice learning trip to Holocaust sites shared how those trips inspired them.


The Redbird Scholar research publication brought to light Dr Terri Goss Kinzyin research before becoming the 20th President of the State of Illinois.

cover of Dr. Alison Bailey's book, The Weight of Whitenbess: A Faminist Engagement with Privilege, Race, and Ignorace

Equity-focused publications and presentations appeared in the weekly Report newsletter, including:

Deneca Winfrey BeforeSWK, co-published “When Privilege and Oppression Become ‘Real’ in the Life of Emerging Social Workers” in the Journal of Social Work Education.

Alison BaileyWGSS, discussed his book, The weight of whiteness: a feminist engagement with privilege, race and ignorance (2021), during an interview on the APA Blog (American Philosophical Association).

portrait of Charles Bell, Ph.D.
Charles Bell

Charles BellCJS, contributed the chapter “Special Yet Unequal: Race, Disability, and the Prison Pipeline for Black Youth in America” ​​in the book Racism by another name: Black students, overrepresentation, and the prison state of special education (Information Age Edition).

Dawn BeichnerCJS, published “Racialized mass incarceration in the USA as a form of macro victimization” in Macrovictimización, abuso de podery victimología: Impactos intergenerationacionales.

Joan M. BrehmSOC, co-author of “Beyond Rules and Regulations: Understanding the Cultural and Social Significance of Beach Seine Fishing on Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania” for Maritime studies.

Colleen KarnENG, published “Cultural and Linguistic Misrepresentations in Disney’s The princess and the Frog in the Journal of American Culture.

portrait of Dr. Antonio Causarano
Dr. Antonio Causarano

Antonio CausaranoSpecial Education, published “Teaching Literacy with Picture Books to Students with ASD” in CEC.

Tamra DavisConnor, Barbara Ribbensand Madeline TrimbleCOB, presented workshops at the 59th Annual Fall Conference of the Illinois Business Education Association (IBEA), Add cultural fluidity to your briefcase.

Rachel Hatch, Media Relations, presented “The pay gap: why is it important? for the Association of Women in Communication.

Hye Hyon KimENG, presented “Asian Hate and Graphic City Structure of Terrorism” at Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association’s Terrorism and the City, and chairs the panel for “Victorian Identities” for Victorian Pasts, Presents and Futures at Carroll University.

Melissa JohnsonART, presented its paper “A World Where the Body is as Eloquent and Articulated as the Text: Anne Bogart’s Theatrical Engagement with the Writings of Virginia Woolf” at the 30th Annual Virginia Woolf Society.

Jessie Krienert and Jeff WalshCJS, published the chapter “Innocence Lost: Educator Sexual Misconduct and the Epidemic of Sexually Victimized Students” in Invisible victims and the pursuit of justice: analysis of populations frequently victimized but rarely discussed. They also published “Changes in the Tradecraft of Cheating: Technological Advances” in Academic dishonesty, college education.

Samantha McDonald, KNR, co-published “Maternal Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity Before and During Pregnancy and Maternal Glucose Tolerance: Does Timing Matter?” ” in Medicine and science in sport and exercise.

Phil Mulvey and Cara Rabe-hempCJS, co-author of “Mothering Through Mental Illness: Exploring the Experiences of Motherhood for Criminally Involved Women on Mental Health Probation” in Crime & Delinquency.

photo of Dr. Gabriela Fonseca Pereira
Dr Gabriela Fonseca Pereira

Gabriela Fonseca PereiraFCS, presented “Domestic Spaces Used as Third Places During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Older Adults Living in the United States and Brazil” at the 2022 Interior Designers Education Council (IDEC) Annual Conference.

Nastasha’s powersCJS graduate student, and Dawn BeichnerCJS, presented “Providing and Coordinating Sexual Assault Services in the Pandemic” at the American Society of Criminology meetings in Chicago.

Ela PrzybyloENG, published “Ace and Aro Lesbian Aesthetics with Agnes Martin and Yayoi Kusama” for a special issue of Journal of Lesbian Studies.

Toure ReedHIS, published “The political economy of racial inequality” in CONTESTATION.

photo of Dr. Stephens
Dr Nathan Stephens

Catherine SampeckSOA, author”Pandemic and museums: a view of El Salvador” for reVista: The Harvard Review of Latin America.

Nathan StephensSWK, presented “Concrete Roses: How Policies Racialize the Life Trajectories of Young Black Males” as part of the Race, Place, and Justice conference at the University of Central Lancashire.

Selfie of Intan Suwandi
Dr. Intan Suwandi

Intan SuwandiSOC, co-published “Imperialist appropriation in the world economy: Drain from the global South through inequal exchange, 1990–2015” in Global environmental change.

Erika SparbyENG, presented “Memetic Critical Power Tools: Teaching an ethics of privacy and identity for memes in the technical communication class” at the Association for the Teachers of Technical Writing Conference.

portrait of Jason Whitesel
Dr. Jason Whitesel

Jason WhiteselSOC and WGSS, co-author”Interactive nature of fat activism and fat studies within and outside of academia“for Fat Studies: An interdisciplinary journal on body weight and society.

Skip Williams and Marie HenningerKNR, with Margo Coleman and Ryan Burns published “The effect of single-sex versus co-educational physical education on the physical activity levels and self-competence of American junior high school students” in Biomedical human kinetics.

Entries for this story were taken from articles in the bi-weekly newsletter Identifythe Research and Honors section of the weekly bulletin Reportand some Redbird Scholar magazine. Those with additional research to add to this story which was published or featured from July 2021 to July 2022, please contact Rachel Hatch at rkhatch@ilstu.edu.

For an overview of other EDI efforts in the State of Illinois, see EDI Year in Review: 2021-2022 and EDI Year in Review – Events and Events.


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