Three final candidates for CDEIO visit campus

The search committee describes process of narrowing down candidates for Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO)

Laura Haley

Maggie Dougherty

News Editors

In August, President Bolton sent a campus wide email explaining that the search process would begin to fill a new position: the College’s first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO). On the expectations of the position, Bolton clarified that the CDEIO will aim to create a vision for a diversified and fair campus and will be involved in making all decisions of the College. Furthermore, this individual will build and lead the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives throughout the campus community. The CDEIO will also be tasked with the role of recruiting diverse staff and providing cultural competency training for employees.

On track with the projected timeline, the three final candidates have visited campus and taken part in open interviews with members of the campus community, including the general student body, student leaders, faculty and staff. In regard to the purpose of the meetings, Bolton stated, “We hope that the campus visits allow each candidate to meet many members of the Wooster community, which they will find inspiring.” During these events the campus community had the opportunity to meet the finalists, learn about their professional experience and share their feedback on how the candidates would contribute to making Wooster a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community. At the conclusion of each open interview, an anonymous survey was sent to the campus community in order to obtain feedback from faculty, staff and students.

The search attracted a pool of over forty candidates. The three finalists include: Dr. Alison Williams, Dr. Ivonne Garcia and Dr. Tayo Clyburn. 

Currently working as the associate provost for diversity and intercultural education at Denison University, Dr. Williams was the first of the three candidates to come to campus. Dr. Williams’ work includes enhancing the experience and recruitment of faculty from underrepresented groups, maintaining relationships with LGBT groups and the development of opportunities for diversity education and inclusive work environments. 

Dr. Garcia, the second candidate to visit the College campus, is currently a William P. Rice associate professor of English and literature at Kenyon College and previously served as Kenyon’s inaugural associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion. Moreover, Garcia has experience with implementing programs to foster diversity, and provide support to underrepresented students and has established the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kenyon. 

Dr. Clyburn, the final candidate to visit campus, is currently the executive director for mission and strategic partnerships in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. Dr. Clyburn’s work focuses on overseeing The Ohio State University’s diversity action planning process, researched resources and programs LGBTQ students need to succeed. Dr. Clyburn was also an associate editor of race/ethnicity: multidisciplinary global contexts which aimed to instill a space where individuals could discuss topics of global significance. 

 “The search process started with developing a search committee of students, staff and faculty who would lead the search,” stated Bolton. We also chose a search consultant to partner with us in helping to find candidates across the country who have the broad leadership experience needed for this role, and to talk with them about Wooster.” 

The search committee, chaired by President Bolton, includes representatives of various groups and departments on campus that would be particularly impacted by the CDEIO decision, as well as Board of Trustees member Jilliene Johnson. For example, Associate Vice President for Human Resources Marcia Beasley and Title IX Coordinator/Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Lori Makin-Byrd were both included on the search committee. Likewise, Dean for Faculty Development Peter Mowrey, Assistant Athletic Director for Diversity, Inclusion, Compliance and Internal Management Ashley Reid and Associate Dean for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion Shadra Smith represented other areas of the campus community. 

Four professors were also included to give input on the decision: Associate Professor of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies/Sociology & Anthropology Christa Craven, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History Joan Friedman, Associate Professor of Spanish Rikki Palmer and Associate Professor of History Shannon King. 

 Additionally, three students, Gargi Mishra ’20, Maryoti Sosa ’20 and D’Khorvillyn Tyus ’19, were included on the search committee. These students participated in all aspects of the search, including providing input for the initial candidate selection, visiting Cleveland to interview candidates and narrowing down the pool to the final three candidates. Along with the rest of the student body, these students were invited to participate through anonymous feedback regarding the creation of the position, as well as attending open meetings and open interviews with the finalists during their visit sto campus. 

Discussing her role in the selection process, Sosa stated, “I’ve been involved throughout the whole process, from selecting the first pool of candidates, to voting on the semi-finalists and finalists. I’ve had the opportunity to review the profiles and applications of candidates, participate in the selection and ask questions during the semi-finalists … [and] finalists interviews in Wooster.”  Regarding the role the CDEIO will have, Tyus stated, “I believe based on our conversations within the committee, a large focus for the CDEIO will be faculty and staff and making sure they are supported on campus.” Tyus further stated, “While I believe the CDEIO will more so be focused on faculty and staff, I believe the CDEIO will be a resource for students to utilize when a bias incident occurs and they may be unsure on the correct way to address it or simply want to know what the college is planning to do about it.”

One of the ways the CDEIO will aid students and faculty will be through their handling bias incidents. For example, according to the College’s leadership profile, Makin-Byrd, to “ensure that non-discrimination policies and processes for responding to bias incidents and reports of discrimination are accessible and effective and meet best practices as those evolve.”  

In regard to her expectations for the CDEIO, Makin-Byrd stated, “I think it’d be helpful to have someone who understands policy (including the crafting of policy), who is approachable by all constituents, who is ready to think about how we address complaints (and how we understand College culture and climate) and who is willing to be a partner in thinking critically about the intersections of identities and the various ways in which individuals may be marginalized.” Furthermore, even though the CDEIO will work with the Title IX office, Makin-Byrd clarified that she will “still be the primary person responsible for all gender-based equity policy, procedures, climate and complaints.” 

 “I’m hopeful that the CDEIO and myself can serve as partners and consultants to each other, working together to maximize equity in all areas of the College,” stated Makin-Byrd. “I’m also excited about the possibility of adding another individual to the already existing team of professionals that address bias incidents and increasing the knowledge base and diversity of experience in that team.”  

Furthermore, the CDEIO will work to guarantee that all students have a positive, equitable and inclusive campus experience. To ensure this, the CDEIO will work with the  Center for Diversity and Inclusion staff, the Division of Student Affairs and the Provost’s team. On his hopes for the CDEIO, Director of Civic and Social Responsibility Nate Addington stated, “My expectations are that we find a candidate that can champion our push for equity both on campus, and selfishly, in the community. I see those two as extremely interdependent. I also hope that we select a person who carries with them a broad understanding of diversity that takes into account factors such as ability and socioeconomic status.”

(Photos from left to right: from Kenyon.edu, from Denison.edu and courtesy Dr. Clyburn). 

The Scene: Panopticon presents a unique blend of sounds

Despite a brief respite last weekend, it appears that winter is indeed here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, for winter is perhaps the greatest season of them all for musical introspection. Trapped inside increasingly small rooms, facing painful temperatures outside, the soul opens to the magic of music. To celebrate this turn of the seasons, we’re taking a look at a true masterpiece of winter music, Panopticon’s 2017 double album, “The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness.” This extraordinary piece is one disc of superb ambient black metal, followed by a selection of outstanding bluegrass folk. 

Panopticon is a one-man project composed of Austin Lunn, a Kentucky native now living in the woods of Northern Minnesota. True to his roots, Lunn incorporates strings, accordion, banjo and other elements of gentle bluegrass into an otherwise harsh sound. Austin Lunn indeed looks the part of a black metal artist. A stocky, bearded man with sleeves of tattoos, long blond hair and the requisite metalhead denim vest, many may find him intimidating. Yet his liner notes to the album, described as “manifesto-like” by Metal Injection, reveal a different side: a lifelong lover of nature despondent at its loss, an introspective student of Anarchism and a father fearful of the world his young daughter will inherit. These are the themes that are considered on the album. 

“The Scars of Man” opens with the sounds of a crackling fire, soon joined by whirring accordions and gentle acoustic guitar. The opening track, “Watch the Lights Fade,” provides a calm and melancholy start, ending on the mournful call of an owl. Lunn has entertained you by his fireside, but in the next track, the stellar “En Hvit Ravns Dod” [“A White Raven’s Death” in Norwegian], he pushes the listener out the door into a wild Minnesota blizzard. It is on the heavier metal tracks where Lunn’s instrumental skills truly shine. The album’s fourth track, “Sheep in Wolves Clothing,” showcases the true musicianship on display. For Austin Lunn is many things, but he is first and foremost an absolute monster on a drum kit. He displays truly exceptional skill throughout the album, but it is on “Wolves” that he ascends to jaw-dropping levels. Hammering away at three hundred beats per minute, Lunn matches the feats of genre legends like 1349’s Frost or Inferno of Behemoth.  

After an hour of assault, Lunn takes a turn to a calmer, but no less bleak section of the forest. The second part of “Scars of Man” is a collection of bluegrass tunes, alternately raw and gentle. “Moss Beneath the Snow” acts as a bridge between the two styles, a 12 minute epic of despondency, with Lunn rhetorically asking the listener “how many more glorious winters will we survive?” From then on, Lunn trades in his black-metal shrieks for a soulful whiskey-and-cigarettes baritone, mumbling lyrics of nature, despair and deaths along icy highways and in cold concrete rooms. Standout tracks include “The Wandering Ghost,” the story of working-class America told through a parable of a lonely ghost and “The Itch,” a song directed at Donald Trump, whom Lunn takes to task for “lending credence to every bigot in this country.”

“The Scars of Man” is a masterpiece of bitter melancholy.  It asks difficult questions about man’s identity, the destruction of the natural world and the future.  At two hours of icy despair, it is far from easy listening, but easy listening is not the correct choice for cold winter nights.

Ben McKone, a Contributing Writer  for the Voice, can be reached for comment at BMcKone19@wooster.edu.

Be good for goodness’ sake this season

If you’re like me, the second after Thanksgiving ends a switch gets pulled. A switch that plays Christmas music even when you’re not actually listening to Christmas music. Sometimes you hear obscure songs like Gayla Peeve’s “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas,” or Bing Crosby’s rendition of “Good King Wenceslas,” but lately the songs in my head have been a bit more conventional. I say songs, plural, but I really mean song, singular, because I have had “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” stuck in my head for weeks. Normally that would be fine; everyone gets songs stuck in their head, but I only hear one line, “be good for goodness sake,” repeated over and over again ad nauseum. Despite my constant efforts to erase this song from my mind, I just keep thinking about it. The line has become my own little Christmas Koan. 

For now I’m not so concerned with being good for goodness’ sake, though proper motivation is a very serious concern, but what I would like to share is how to just be good. The short answer is doing good things. You might ask “what do those include?” Well, as a member of Effective Altruism (EA) I feel acutely qualified to answer the question. Our goal in EA is to help the most amount of people as best we can, so this holiday season I challenge you to not just be good but be exceedingly, effectively good. 

An excellent resource to help you do the most good as efficiently as possible is Give Well. Give Well is a nonprofit dedicated to making your donation dollars go further. Instead of throwing your money down the sketchy philanthropy well, Give Well’s recommended charities have been specially chosen.  All of them are the perfect combination of underfunded and effective to make your donations count. Some of the charities on their list include, the Malaria Consortium, Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative and Helen Keller International. Worthy organizations like those, as well as more, can be found on the Give Well website. By donating to your choice of Give Well approved charities, you can make a real difference.

If you want to understand the material impact of your donation, check out The Life You Can Save. Their website has a charity impact calculator that allows you to see just where your money is going. For example, a donation of just $37 USD can provide 18 bed nets to people living in malaria-affected areas protecting approximately 33 three- and four-year-old children from malaria, deworm 74  children or provide safe drinking water to 29 members of a community for a year. Imagine the cumulative effect of every student and their families at the College giving for the holidays. Even one person’s small donation to a Give Well recommended charity can do a lot of good for a lot of people because of their recommendation criteria. Any charity advertised by them is cost effective, has evidence of effectiveness and is transparent, making sure your donation gets to the people that need it and is never wasted.

Donating money is not the only way to do good, but it is an effective start to  making a positive impact on a world that desperately needs it.

Case Van Stolk, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at CVanStolk22@wooster.edu.

Multicultural organizations share their perspectives at panel

Desi LaPoole

Features Editor

Last Tuesday, Nov. 27, Bodies of Diversity (BoD), formerly known as Brothers of Diversity, hosted this year’s Multicultural Student Organization Panel, in which 13 of the College’s multicultural organizations, including African Students Union (ASU), South Asian Committee (SAC) and the International Student Association (ISA), joined together to express the hopes, concerns and goals of their organizations. These organizations, along with others, shared their perspectives on questions raised by moderator Robyn Newcomb ’20.

According to Madelyn Cobb ’21, public relations chair of the Black Women’s Organization (BWO), a panel such as the Multicultural Student Organizaiton Panel is very important for expressing the needs of different organizations. “The [Multicultural Student Organization Panel] is important for the campus community because it allows the majority to see minorities unified as a group who experiences some of the same struggles instead of seeing us as different groups pit against each other,” she said.

Cobb’s opinions on the importance of the panel were shown in the similarities of the answers to the questions on the panel. One of the main themes of this year’s panel was the support the multicultural organizations receive on campus as an organization and for individuals who may identify with their organizations. Discussing this theme is especially topical, as some multicultural organizations such as the ASU and Minorities in Stem (MIS) have  previously expressed their concerns with the lack of administrative, faculty and student support for their organizations and student members. This panel gave both representatives of the organizations and audience members the opportunity to not only get to know the organizations on campus but also what their struggles are and how they are tackling the issues head on.

While the organizations generally had similar hopes for changes in the future, they differed in some ways. Several groups sought to expand their membership, not only to those who identify with the targeted demographic but also to those who don’t share that identity.

Cobb expressed her organization’s desire to diversify its membership. “It’d be really neat to see other minorities attending our meetings. Even though we’re a Black women’s organization, we have men come to our meetings, so even if you don’t identify as a Black woman, you can still join,” Cobb said.

Similarly, President of the Black Students Association (BSA) D’Khorvillyn Tyus ’19 addressed a common misconception surrounding her organization. “I feel like a lot of people think that we’re only for black students, and that’s not true at all. We have people from all other backgrounds that come to our meetings. If you can’t come to meetings, you can come out to events and support us in that way too,” she said.

Other groups’ concerns were rooted in some of the systems of the College, such as administrative or faculty support of their organizations. Cornelius Gyamfi ’19, president of ASU, reiterated previous concerns regarding the faculty and administrative support of the organization. He and the ASU are still advocating for more faculty and staff support of the group and the individual members of the organization.

Jasmine Herd ’19, co-contact for the Women of Images (WOI), addressed a major issue that affects many students of color at the College. “This school does a lot to recruit people of color,” she said, “but not a lot to keep them here. So one thing we’d really like to see is more administrative support to keep those students here.”

Other groups not only expressed their concerns, but also the events and aspects of their groups that they’re proud of.

“We’re proud of becoming a club,” the Public Relations Chair of Latinas Unidas Natalia Parra ’21 said. She explained that Latinas Unidas, which strives to empower Latinas in higher education, was approved to be a club as recently as last year, a feat that required huge investment from their board members. “So, if you’re interested in the culture you can come [to a meeting]. If you’re not a Latina, you can come — you can come and speak up and your voice will be heard and valued.”

Sophia Giordano-Scott ’19, president of BoD, shared with audiences a way to begin to get involved with the organizations on the panel. “This year, we have the Multicultural Coalition, so that’s the perfect place to come and figure out how to collaborate with other groups — we’re all people, so just reaching out will go a long way.”

(Photo by Toshiko Tanaka)

Stan Lee became a hero in his own right, leaving a legacy

Zeke Martin

Contributing Writer

Stanley Martin Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, the creator of the Avengers, the X-Men and Black Panther, passed away on Nov. 12.  Thousands have payed tribute to Lee in the wake of his passing, including Tokyo Comic Con, which unveiled a memorial to him at this year’s convention.  And at the premier of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,”  pins bearing the likeness of Lee’s iconic aviator glasses were handed out to moviegoers. 

Lee’s passing has also brought to light his many contributions both to the world of comics and the world at large. In 1962, for instance, Lee and two of his partners, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, created “The Marvel Method,” a style of collaborative workflow that connected artists with writers and greatly increased the speed at which Marvel could produce new content. Later, after Lee rose from a writer at an upstart comic book company to chairman emeritus of one of the largest multimedia companies in the world, his direct role at Marvel began to decrease and he began to use his power to pursue other projects. He partnered with the History Channel to release “Stan Lee’s Superhumans,” a series documenting real-life people with extraordinary abilities, and with the NHL to produce superhero characters for each of the hockey teams in the league. He also founded his own charitable organization, the Stan Lee Foundation, which, according to its website, “strives to provide equal access to literacy and education” by partnering with “leading nonprofit, educational and arts organizations.” 

Stan Lee was also prominent in activism, using his position of power to promote racial equality in a divided America. First and foremost, he created Black Panther, the first black superhero in comics, in 1966, at the height of the American Civil Rights movement when black people lived in constant fear of hate and violence. Just two years later, in December of 1968, eight months after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lee published an editorial titled “Stan’s Soapbox” which spoke out against prejudice. He described bigotry and racism as being “among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.” He described bigots as “unreasoning haters” who hate “blindly, fanatically [and] indiscriminately” and said that “the only way to destroy them is to expose them to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are.” He closed his editorial with a sentiment which, while written in language some might view as outdated, expresses a sentiment that will continue to be vital for generations to come: “Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God — a God who calls us ALL — His children. Pax et Justitia, Stan.” These powerful words, spoken with a voice that was heard across the country, could not have been more vital. One only hopes that similarly powerful voices will continue to speak out in favor of “peace and justice,” as Lee’s closing note translates, in our era.

Scotlight: Dr. Ron Hustwit

Dr. Ron Hustwit, a professor who has spent the last 52 years in Wooster’s philosophy department, reflects on his time at the College.

Could you give us a quick introduction?

Hi, I’m Ron Hustwit. I’m in the philosophy department, and I’m an old man. 

How long have you been working at the College?

52 years.

Wow. Amazing. What’s kept you here for 52 years?

Well, a lot of things. I love the place. It doesn’t take long to be here before you know that this is what you wanna do. It’s the right kind of place for the kind of philosophy I wanted to do and the kind of liberal arts education that I wanted to be involved with.

I know it couldn’t have been all peaches and cream for 52 years. What has been an issue with working as a professor at Wooster? 

Life is no peaches and cream, right? There’s a lot of peaches and a lot of cream. I guess you’re asking me something like what are the downsides? … Well, I can talk about what the hardest part of the job is. What I like to do least is grading where you have to pay a lot of attention to sentences and what students say and to get them to write and think clearly — that’s hard. At the same time, it’s the center of the job, too.

You mentioned earlier that you wanted to teach a very particular type of philosophy. What kind of philosophy is that?

First of all, when people ask me what I do in philosophy: “What’s my specialty?” I like to say, “Well I’m in general practice,” which is a medical expression used by doctors who aren’t specialized. I do have specializations in the sense that I’m very interested in the philosophy of language. I would even say that the particular philosophy of Wittgenstein has been influential in my orientation in philosophy. I had a classics minor in both undergraduate and graduate school which means that I was looking directly at ancient philosophy: pre-Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. So, that’s been an important aspect to my relation to the liberal arts that I can use directly in relation to the liberal arts framework, whereas my work in Wittgenstein has more to do with analyzing the language that philosophers use to express their theories. That has a carryover skill — even though it’s very specialized in philosophy; it’s a carryover skill in that it teaches people to pay attention to the details in sentences and language.

You were a faculty member during the Galpin Takeover. Did you have any role to play in Galpin it?

I don’t know what role I  played in it, but Mark Goodwin was my I.S. student, and we were talking about it. Also, Mark invited me to some of the meetings that he was involved in. I knew the other people — Joe Kennedy. He was in some of my classes. Mark Pickett, I didn’t know as well as the others, but I’ve been in conversations with him particularly since he’s been on the Alumni Council Board — those kinds of things. I was in discussions, let’s say that. 

So, then we also had the Galpin Call-in which was earlier this year. Did you have any role to play with that?

Well, I talked to Robert Dinkins ’19. He’s a philosophy major. He did his Junior I.S. with  me, and we had conversations. We talked about the earlier Galpin Takeover, too. But I’ll take no responsibility. Anything that was said, they used with their own power.

What do you feel would be an acceptable role for a professor to play in student campus protests?

I certainly think it’s important for students to talk with faculty, particularly if they’re asked. I would have to be careful about talking to them when they’re not asked, but I would have to see what the situation would be. But yeah, I think it’s important for discussions to take place. And there may be a case where it’s important for faculty to be involved in a demonstration. I think that students may well not know what a faculty person’s role and limits are with respect to actually taking part in something. But I mean, that’s something that would have to be decided by the individual faculty member. But I think it’s important to have open avenues where you’re talking with a student, and you can talk to them openly without challenging and without holding back either. 

Do you have one thing that you want the Voice to know and the students to know?

Well, I have been involved in other kinds of things than simply the Galpin students. I was also involved way back in late ’60s, I guess it was, when there was protests at the football game about the implication of curriculum and also the university changes in policy. And I also, during the Vietnam War, was involved in those kinds of things and did participate in some ways in some of those. I guess looking back at it all, I wanna say that it’s been good. It’s part of what’s supposed to happen at a university. And I’m happy with it.

Interview by Jenelle Booker, a Contributing Writer for the Voice (Photo from PostAndCourier.com).