Texas Tech University

Faculty Equity Advocates Appointed in Human Sciences

Ashley Brister

February 9, 2021

soloski-and-chang-ttu

Two faculty members selected for key role that will provide attention to equity, diversity, and inclusion for college

Texas Tech University was awarded the NSF ADVANCE program, designed to foster gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, employment status, and disability by focused college efforts. As part of the program, 6 colleges on campus were provided the means to appoint one or more faculty members to serve as Faculty Equity Advocates.

Under the dean's direction, the College of Human Sciences selected associate professors Kristy Soloski, Ph.D., LMFT-A and Julie Chang, Ph.D. for this role.

"I'm pleased to announce that Drs. Kristy Soloski and Julie Chang will take on roles as Faculty Equity Advocates for Human Sciences," Dean Tim Dodd, Ph.D. said. "Both of these faculty members have had a significant interest related to these areas and they will each bring a different perspective as we explore opportunities to diversify the faculty, staff, and students in our programs."

Dodd says he looks forward to the collaborative efforts in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of the college.

"I take pride in our college climate of improving and enhancing the human condition and this sentiment carries to our faculty and our various departments," Dodd said. "I am confident that Dr. Chang and Dr. Soloski will help in further developing a positive and collaborative environment."

For Soloski, an associate professor in the Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences department, the role is an opportunity for her to be surrounded by other individuals on campus with a desire to support diverse initiatives at Texas Tech.

"It is my personal goal to learn and grow as an individual and as a professional. In my role I plan to listen, learn, and advocate," Soloski said."I feel strongly about issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. I believe we are all better when we approach one another with open hearts to hear about the needs we each have and the challenges we each face, and when we act with bravery to support justice and change."

For the college, Soloski plans to bring forth ideas on actions that will make a difference in the experience of all students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

"A university system is unique and has a potential to impact society in a variety of ways, as does each college, and each department," Soloski said. "It is important that each department and each college have a plan that triangulates their impact, from coursework to mentorship to service and to research. All students benefit when they interact with and learn from peers and faculty coming from diverse backgrounds. They benefit when curriculum incorporates scholars from diverse backgrounds and incorporates application to diverse communities. When students have these experiences, they take them back into the world and are more innovative and better community members for it. They make a difference in the world because of it."

For Chang, an associate professor in the Hospitality and Retail Management department, she looks forward to help building a more positive climate of equity and inclusion.

"I want to be an ambassador and resource to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our college, as well as to broaden my understanding about DEI," Chang said. "I also want to listen more diverse stories of DEI in our school, college, and department."

Chang plans to promote the sharing of resources on campus and in the college in order to put many ideas into action for the college. For both Soloski and Chang, their roles will play a key part in developing strategic plans that actively support a climate that is inclusive. Their roles will even extend to taking part in diverse faculty recruitment and beyond.

"I believe that I can bring knowledge I will get as a faculty equity advocate to our college and DEI committee," Chang said. "Once this knowledge is shared and built within a college, we will feel a strong responsibility about DEI, and it will become a culture of our college."