Department of English Professor Receives President’s Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Elizabeth Roth
- Friday, April 28th, 2023
President Caboni and the team for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at WKU have created the President’s Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This award honors someone who has made significant and noteworthy contributions to achieving diversity. WKU supports DEI in order to encourage dialogue and action through advocacy, role modeling, scholarship, and service.
The 2023 faculty recipient of this award is Assistant Professor of English, Fabián Álvarez. Álvarez, who has been employed in the Department of English since 2007, has accumulated many experiences and supported many initiatives that have earned him this award.
Currently, he serves on DEI committees for the Department of English, Potter College of Arts & Letters (PCAL), and the university and is a member of WKU Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning’s Community of Practice Fellows who coordinates the Inclusive Teaching Academy. Additionally, he works closely with the Organization of Latin American Students group and the Intercultural Student Engagement Center (ISEC). He also participates in community outreach programs, demonstrating an active passion for activities and organizations that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the past, he has served on the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee, the Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee, the President’s Committee for Diversity and Embracement, and the DEI Strategic Planning Group.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with others across the university on the various DEI committees,” says Álvarez. “Being around like-minded individuals who want all students to succeed is my favorite part. I feel energized knowing that my colleagues really have students’ best interests in mind.”
Álvarez’s favorite initiative to coordinate was PCAL’s Mini-Grant Program. This program provides monetary support to students and faculty members and has awarded over $20,000 over the last three years to support initiatives that make real, impactful differences on campus. As a result of this program, the Department of Music’s sheet music library has added more diverse representation and the Department of English has increased their outreach into local high schools to teach prospective first-generation college students how to navigate the admissions process. Among other efforts, the program has also supported the Department of Theatre & Dance in their endeavor to bring guest artists to campus to help students with their post-graduate careers and the Pre-Law program to assist a name change clinic at the Bowling Green International Festival. He hopes to continue this kind of support to each department of PCAL in the future.
“It’s not only been successful in our college, but that success is now being replicated in other colleges,” says Álvarez.
He would also love for students and faculty to become more involved with DEI initiatives. He says that the WKU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is an excellent place to start with their website providing a wealth of information for faculty, staff, and students alike.
“From their website, students can locate campus units and programs such as the International Student Engagement Center (ISEC), the Pride Center, or any other number of URM student organizations,” says Álvarez. “Everyone – students, faculty, and staff – is welcome to join any number of events across our campus throughout the year: Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBTQIA+ History Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Jewish-American History Month, or Arab-American History Month. Quite honestly, it’s almost becoming difficult not to find a way to be involved, and I feel like there isn’t enough room to capture it all.”
To visit the WKU DEI website, please click here. To learn more about PCAL’s DEI efforts, please click here.