October 13, 2022

CHaSS Appoints Inaugural DEI Assistant to the Dean

CHaSS Lecturer Cree Taylor will serve as the first special assistant to the dean for Diversity, Equity and InclusionCHaSS Lecturer Cree Taylor will serve as the first special assistant to the dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

By Andrea DeHaan, CHaSS Communications Editor

Cree Taylor will serve as the first special assistant to the dean for dversity, equity, and inclusion in the USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

This new position in the college will see Taylor advise the CHaSS Dean’s Office on DEI issues and initiatives, serve as a liaison between the college and the university on DEI programs and proposals, and organize events, including the annual USU Juneteenth celebration.

“Cree Taylor will bring a tremendous amount of expertise and experience to our office,” said Dean Joseph Ward. “Her record of accomplishment, especially in her role as one of the principal organizers of USU’s Juneteenth celebrations the past two years, makes me excited for the opportunity to work with her and other members of our team as we pursue our college’s goals.”

According to Taylor, her new job will not only bring recognition and compensation to the kind of work she is already doing, but it will also create expanded opportunities for meaningful partnerships across the entire Aggie community.

“This position is an opportunity for CHaSS to provide additional resources and support to students and faculty both inside and outside of the college,” she explained. “I look forward to opportunities to collaborate with other colleges and centers in furthering the work.”

Taylor said she is especially excited to partner with USU’s new Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Jane Irungu, and hopes that this position in CHaSS will encourage similar roles in other units.  

A lecturer in the Department of English and an alum of USU, Taylor has considerable experience prioritizing the needs of diverse faculty and students on campus. She is currently the Black Student Union faculty advisor and chair of the Empowering Teaching Excellence faculty committee. This is in addition to her aforementioned role as co-committee chair for the Juneteenth planning committee.

“Cree joined the English Department faculty in 2020, and immediately took on leadership roles in our department in inclusive education, curricular development, and pedagogy,” Phebe Jensen, English department head noted. “Her commitment, generous spirit, and passion shine through all the work she does on these issues as a teacher, researcher, and emerging campus leader. ” 

For Taylor, one particular area of interest is creating opportunities for faculty-to-faculty and faculty-to-student mentorship. As someone who “recognizes the mental and emotional toll of navigating predominantly white institutions as a member of a traditionally marginalized community,” Taylor hopes students and faculty will feel comfortable reaching out to her for support and collaboration.

“Her vision for inclusive engagement is a model for our campus,” added Christy Glass, professor of sociology and a fellow proponent of DEI initiatives in CHaSS.  “I am excited about her new role because it acknowledges the contributions she's already made and provides support for her work moving forward.” 

 

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