Clockwise from upper left: Olaocha Nwadiuto Nwabara, Alessandra Otero, Mackenzie Gerringer, Claire Gravelin.
SUNY Geneseo has received a grant from SUNY's PRODiG (Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Growth) initiative to recruit and retain faculty from historically underrepresented communities.
The PRODiG initiative was launched in March by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty and women faculty of all races in STEM fields throughout SUNY. The initiative aims to help close the gap between the racial and ethnic diversity of SUNY faculty members (8.6 percent) as compared to the diversity of the students they instruct (28.5 percent as of Fall 2018).
"PRODiG is personal to me," said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. "During my eight years as an undergrad and graduate student I didn't initially consider becoming a professor in my field, in large part, because there were no female faculty members in STEM. This first of its kind program delivers on a commitment that SUNY will continue to listen to the needs of students and faculty and find creative ways to expand their educational experience at campuses across the state."
The PRODiG (pronounced prodigy) grant will help support four newly hired faculty members at Geneseo:
Mackenzie Gerringer is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, where she teaches marine biology, science communication, and animal physiology. Gerringer has taught a wide breadth of courses in biology, including Introductory Oceanography, Introduction to Biology, Multicellular Life, Ecology and Evolution, Comparative Physiology, Biological Oceanography, Deep-sea Biology, Biology of Fishes, Life in Extreme Environments, and Scientific Writing. Her research interests include deep-sea trenches and deep-sea fishes. Gerringer earned her B.A. from Whitman College and her doctorate from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
Claire Gravelin is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. Gravelin has taught an array of courses, including Introduction to Psychology; Psychology of Gender; Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences; Psychology and the Law; Social Psychology; Research Methods; Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination Across Cultures; and Psychology and Social Issues. Her work explores the causes and consequences of the marginalization of women, mainly as it relates to victim-blaming in sexual assault, and women's under-representation in stereotypically masculine domains. Gravelin received her B.S. from the College at Brockport, and she earned her master's and a doctorate from the University of Kansas.
Olaocha Nwadiuto Nwabara is an assistant professor in the Department of English. Her teaching areas include Major African Women's Writers, Modern African American Literature, African Identities in Literary Works, African Diasporic and Transnational Literature and Film, African Diaspora Studies, African Studies, Africana Cultural Studies, Diversity in America, and The Immigrant Experience. Her research examines global African cultural productions and cultural thought as African-centered artifacts and methods to correctively represent cultural identities as they engage the realities of race, ethnicity, and gender amongst transnational Africans. Nwabara holds a B.S. from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, an M.S. from Grand Valley State University (MI), and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Alessandra Otero is a research instructor librarian/liaison librarian to arts and humanities in Milne Library. Her professional interests include digital humanities librarianship, library instruction, digital scholarship, promotion, and marketing strategies for libraries, diversity and inclusion practices in instruction, community outreach, visual literacy, and mindful librarianship. Otero earned her B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and an M.I.S. from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.
Through the initiative, SUNY will support campus efforts to recruit up to 1,000 early-to-mid-career professors from underrepresented groups by 2030. In its inaugural year, SUNY received nearly 100 requests for PRODiG faculty support from 42 SUNY campuses.
To learn more, visit the SUNY's PRODiG initiative website.