Paula Ioanide | Faculty Representative

Associate Professor, Center for tthe Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

What are some activities or groups you affiliate with that feel relevant to you?

Volunteer for Ultimate Reentry Opportunity Initiative, an organization that works to remove systemic barriers for formerly incarcerated people.

Co-founder of Decarcerate Tompkins County.

What skillsets and perspective do you bring to the steering committee?

I have research expertise on racial and gender disparities in higher education, how these disparities are influenced by past injustices, and how they persist through current discriminatory practices. I also have a lot of research background on implicit racial and gender bias. I hope to bring this data-informed research to bear on our current strategic planning process.

As co-chair of the School of Humanities and Science’s Taskforce on Creating an Inclusive and Diverse Community, I worked to seek input from staff, students and faculty about how to improve inclusive practices and equity in the School of H&S. I then worked with the H&S Steering Committee to integrate diversity and inclusion initiatives at all strategic planning levels, including curriculum, faculty and staff development, student-centered cultures and experiential learning, and accessibility services.

I have also conducted numerous workshops and trainings on microaggressions and unconscious bias and have worked on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education for the past ten years. 

What motivated you to join the steering committee?

I know that all institutions benefit from the talent, excellence and perspectives of people from diverse backgrounds, particularly those from historically underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. At the same time, increasing representational diversity alone is not sufficient for building inclusive cultures. To create inclusive communities, institutions must consciously shift dominant cultures that (unconsciously or consciously) exclude, marginalize or disadvantage people in their campus community. So, I joined the steering committee because I want the strategic planning process to consciously keep these dual missions in mind as we envision a better future.

What is your major hope for the strategic planning effort?

That we will engage in a process that thoroughly solicits feedback from students, staff and faculty regarding what they envision the future of IC to be and that these perspectives are integrated into the strategic plan. I want the IC community to feel that they have a participatory role in the process, that they have been heard, and that the steering committee has carefully considered how to integrate the various visions that are communicated in the solicitation process. I also want to make sure that the views of community members who have historically experienced marginalization at IC see that their feedback is carefully considered and integrated.

What do you love about Ithaca College that you hope will never change?

I hope IC’s commitment to experiential learning, innovative interdisciplinary projects, and applied community-based research that integrate both production skillsets and critical thinking continues.