In May, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) named Michelle Nario-Redmond, Ph.D., professor of psychology and biomedical humanities, the inaugural recipient of the STP Award for Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. STP established the award to “recognize instructors of psychology who promote social justice, broadly construed, through their teaching via a variety of educational and academic activities.” In their announcement, STP stated that they chose to award Nario-Redmond for her “dedication to fostering social justice inside and outside the classroom” and for her dedication in addressing “disability-related prejudice.”
Nario-Redmond, who has taught at Hiram College since 2007, broaches these topics with her students on a regular basis. In her Stereotyping and Prejudice course, Nario-Redmond asks students to investigate groups who are often misunderstood or mischaracterized, including homeless people, those with substance abuse issues, and people experiencing mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder or schizophrenia. According to Nario-Redmond, “I’ve worked to infuse these topics in all of my courses with goals that address the value of cultural competencies to prepare our students to contribute to a sustainable society with those whose lived experiences are different from their own.”
As part of her Enduring Questions Seminar course for first-year students, Nario-Redmond instructs her students to explore the concept of normalcy and propose ideas that would better support a diverse population of learners. As part of this project, students have delivered presentations on topics such as accessibility features in technology, the benefit of emotional support animals, and mental health awareness programs. In 2015, her students worked in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs to amend the College’s foreign language requirement to include American Sign Language. Nario-Redmond is also the faculty advisor for several student advocacy groups, including the Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness, Presence and Respect for Youth Sexual Minorities (PRYSM), and Active Minds.
STP will hold their Annual Conference on Teaching this October in Louisville, Kentucky, where Nario-Redmond will personally accept her award and deliver remarks. “I plan to share my passion for translating the science behind inclusive education to achieve a real impact on student learning, belonging and satisfaction in our rapidly changing landscape of populations served,” she says. “I will continue to dedicate myself to teaching for social justice and equity, and to learning from and with my students as we work to build a better democracy and a stronger, more sustainable Hiram College.”