College Commits to Continued Focus on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
By Jennifer T. Allen
M. Cristina Alcalde, who has served as the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences’ Associate Dean of Inclusion and Internationalization, has announced she will be leaving UK on June 30 to become the Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Miami University of Ohio. She will also hold a tenured appointment as full professor in the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies.
Alcalde has been instrumental in leading diversity and internationalization efforts as the first associate dean in the role which was created in the College of Arts & Sciences in January 2018. In this role, Alcalde developed a College-wide DEI Strategic Plan; designed and ran initiatives focused on inclusivity and under-represented faculty, staff and students; designed and directed an online graduate certificate on inclusion and diversity; developed the College Diversity and Inclusivity Committee; developed a Faculty Inclusion Fellows Program; represented the College in developing and managing faculty and student exchange and visiting programs with international universities; and was a liaison to the International Center and Area Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences.
These initiatives complemented a number of new community-building programs, such as the development of the university inclusive excellence book club, a College lunchtime series on DEI classroom topics and women-of-color meetings.
This year, she also focused on the development of individual department-level diversity, equity and inclusion plans within the College and, at the university level, on re-envisioning the role of diversity officers and the DEI resources needed for faculty and TA support and development as co-lead on university DEI working groups. During her time in Arts & Sciences, the College also passed a new Race and Ethnicity course requirement to better prepare students to thrive in a diverse, interconnected society.
“During her time in the College and in the last three-and-a-half years in her role as Associate Dean of Inclusion and Internationalization, Dr. Alcalde has been a leader – in her scholarly work, as an advocate for faculty, students and staff and as a strong presence pushing our College forward in all matters related to inclusion and internationalization,” said Interim Dean Christian Brady. “We will miss Dr. Alcalde and wish her the best as she takes the next step in her professional journey.”
In addition to her associate dean role, Alcalde holds the Marie Rich Endowed Professorship and is a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies.
"I am so grateful to the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Kentucky for being my personal and professional home for the last 14 years, and for the opportunities I have had here,” Alcalde said. “I am very proud of the work we have accomplished in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences in our work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion and internationalization during my time here. I look forward to the next steps the College takes on this path."
The College of Arts & Sciences is strongly committed to diversity, inclusion and internationalization.
“Dr. Alcalde is leaving a strong foundation and has worked hard to create a community of belonging and acceptance during her time in the College,” Brady said. “We remain committed to building upon that foundation. The College will continue its efforts toward making our curriculum and community more diverse, welcoming and inclusive.”
Alcalde joined the Arts & Sciences’ Gender and Women’s Studies Department faculty in 2007, becoming full professor in 2018. During her time in the College, she held many leadership roles, including faculty director of the A&S Wired Residential College, acting chair of the Gender and Women’s Studies Department, director of Graduate Studies, director of the Online Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion and visiting professor in Lima, Peru, and Munich, Germany. Alcalde received her doctorate in anthropology and her master’s in Latin American studies at Indiana University and her bachelor of arts in anthropology at the University of Louisville.