Gibson, Monsur benefit from Institute for Inclusive Excellence Program
By: Norman Martin
The experience of serving in Texas Tech's 2021-2022 Institute for Inclusive Excellence Program for two Davis College faculty members – Courtney Gibson and Muntazar Monsur – has meant an expansion in their understanding and vision about diversity, equity, and inclusion especially in the context of teaching and learning environments.
“The institute provided clear direction how complex concepts of DEI can be applied not only to classroom environments, but to teaching tools like the syllabus, instructional materials, and teaching/learning activities and assessments,” said Monsur, an assistant professor within the Department of Landscape Architecture. “I look forward to applying this knowledge in my teaching.”
Participating in the Institute for Inclusive Excellence was a wonderful experience, added Gibson, an associate professor within the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications. “As our student and faculty/staff populations continue to evolve and become increasingly diverse, the best thing we can do on our campus to serve everyone better is to educate ourselves.”
The IIE experience helped Gibson to see and understand more fully that everyone encountered on our campus comes with unique experiences, viewpoints, cultures, and opinions, and those factors all impact the experiences they have on campus and in life.
“Taking action to not just acknowledge, but truly understand someone is so important in today's society, especially with students,” she said. “Change begins with us, so let's start making a positive impact on the lives of those we interact with on a daily basis.”
Jyotsna Sharma, Davis College Faculty Equity Advocate and Professor of Plant Ecology and Conservation within the Department of Plant & Soil Science, noted, “Dr. Monsur and Dr. Gibson are clearly on the leading edge of the initiatives that we as faculty can take to realize an environment that actively fosters, affirms, celebrates, engages, and strengthens a diverse community through equity and inclusion.”
“When faculty lead with inclusion and equity in classrooms and laboratories to empower our students, they have the power to mobilize the whole system and to normalize DEI across campus and in the larger society,” she said. “I encourage all our faculty to consider participating in the various DEI programs and trainings offered through TTU or otherwise.”
Launched in 2009, the institute provides faculty with an opportunity to promote a greater understanding of the academic value of diversity, as well as providing an opportunity for participants to consider best practices in the classroom and the university as a whole. Program officials note that participants finished the institute with a richer understanding of the academic success that can be achieved through an institutional model of inclusive excellence. They also learned strategies and insights to better prepare Texas Tech students to be multiculturally competent and globally competitive.
Gibson teaches a variety of courses mostly focused on visual communication, graphic design, and print layout, as well as utilizing online media and the historical and theoretical foundations of agricultural communications. Recent honors include including the Western Region AAAE Outstanding Early Career Member Award (2019), Davis College Student Advising Award (2017), and the Association of Communications Excellence Award of Excellence in Academic Programs (2017). She joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2015.
Meanwhile, Monsur's teaching and research efforts are focused to enhance the quality of children's lives by improving/modifying environments with special emphasis in schools, preschools, and childcare centers. He is an expert in distance education and online course development in the fields of design, and is trained in Quality Matters, a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that certifies the quality of online courses. His doctorate in design is from North Carolina State. He joined the faculty in 2019.
CONTACT: Cindy Akers, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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