Theresa McCarthy, of the Onondaga Nation, Beaver Clan of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory is the associate dean for inclusive excellence and the interim chair of the Forthcoming Indigenous Studies Department.
McCarthy has advanced Indigenous inclusion in higher education for over twenty years, which has been particularly challenging since institutions have long blamed low Native student enrollments and the small size of our communities for our under-representation, while ignoring the root causes of educational and other disparities among Indigenous peoples. Instead of seeing low numbers as cause for concern and attention, the imperatives of Indigenous inclusion are often dismissed and overlooked. McCarthy and many of her Indigenous colleagues have argued that we need to be taking the opposite approach. Addressing the issues that have created and sustained the marginalization of Indigenous people in higher education will help improve the conditions that effect all peoples of historically marginalized communities and groups.
Her approach to this work emphasizes the need to embed anti-racism and decolonization into all of our efforts to advance diversity, equity and belonging in the College. This work of anti-racism and anti-colonialism cannot be done without the leadership of peoples who have experienced these structures and hierarchies most intimately across generations and who know them best.
At the same time, dismantling these systems should not always fall to those who are most effected by them. Addressing issues of equity, inclusion and belonging in higher education is an enormous undertaking. It requires the collective responsibility of everyone to do their part, especially those who have long been privileged by the structures that remain in place.
What is especially exciting to McCarthy about this work is the space that these efforts will create for under-represented intellectual traditions and experiential knowledge. At long last this innovation and brilliance can truly shine within our research and learning environments, moving us all forward to a more just and equitable future.
Colón brings immense administrative experience, including previous service as the department chair in the Department of Chemistry from 2013-2020; the associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral education in the Graduate School’s office of Postdoctoral Scholars; and is currently the co-director and founder of the Institute for Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity.
In addition to prestigious awards, honors and grants in his area of specialization in separation science and measurements, as well as for excellence in teaching in mentoring, he has long been an advocate for advancing underrepresented and disadvantaged students in science.
Colón was named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He was the recipient of the ACS Stanley Israel Regional Award for Promotion of Diversity in Chemical Sciences in 2010 and the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in Chemical Sciences in 2016.
Senior Staff Assistant