Jennifer Mitchell ‘04, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, has been named a NY6 Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow by the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium.
An associate professor of English and of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Mitchell is among six faculty members in humanities and related fields selected from each of the NY6’s member institutions. In addition to Union, these include Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University and Skidmore College.
The two-year program is funded with a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Beginning this month, fellows will explore academic leadership through an immersive experience on their home campus, in which they will gain deeper knowledge and understanding of higher education administration, while working on a discrete project or portfolio that will advance important goals of their institution, according to the NY6.
The fellows will have opportunities to engage across the six member schools and have access to mentors who will be a resource for their professional and leadership development. In addition, they will participate in summer institutes with fellows from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and the Associated Colleges of the South, and attend other higher education conferences.
“As the complexities of higher education continue to grow, it is critical that we intentionally offer opportunities for faculty members to explore academic leadership roles so that they are well prepared to assume those positions in the future,” said Amy Cronin, executive director of the NY6. “I look forward to working with these accomplished scholars and teachers as they build on their knowledge and skills for their own professional advancement and for the benefit of their institutions.”
Mitchell teaches courses on modern and contemporary British literatures; gender, sexuality and queer studies; and critical theory. She has written about the intersections of modernism and masochism, bisexuality and queer theory, and gender and the fantastic. She is currently working collaboratively on a project about reading practices, autotheory and academia.
She holds a B.A. from Union, an M.A. from Washington University and a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center.
She joined Union’s faculty in 2015. She was named assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in November.
“The responsibilities that come with this position -working to recruit, retain and support diverse faculty, to ensure that our review processes are equitable and fair, and to help develop Union's commitment to inclusive pedagogy -are all very important to me,” Mitchell said.
“I look forward to continuing and expanding this work with people all across campus in order to make Union a more welcoming, attentive and supportive community.”