2023-24 COGS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Award Recipients

Claire AndersonClaire Anderson

Claire Anderson is a Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations candidate in the School of HRLR at Michigan State University. She has extensive experience in working in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and engaging with change-making initiatives as well as leadership. Claire served as an Intercultural Aide in undergrad which sparked her passion for the expansive and opportunistic world of DEI. She joined the Accountability Non-Discrimination Inclusion in Employment (ANDIE) Lab and has been engaged with extensive DEI focused research and organizational change in organizations of all sizes. She now serves as the Lab Lead of the ANDIE lab in addition to her Graduate Assistantship. Claire is an incoming Human Resources Intern at Lumen Technologies in Broomfield, Colorado, where she will serve as an Diversity and Inclusion Intern. Some of Claire’s biggest takeaways thus far in her professional and personal DEI journey include listening, being present in conversations and spaces, honoring and having a sense of gratitude when vulnerability and personal experiences are shared, practicing intentional, authentic allyship and not performative allyship, and the importance of action over words. Claire is honored to have received the COGS DEI Fellowship and wants to thank her mentors and support systems.

Brittany FinchBrittany Finch

Brittany Finch is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies program, where she currently serves as the Student Organization for Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy (SOSLAP) co-chair and the Second Language Studies eye-tracking lab manager. Her primary research interests include psycholinguistics, specifically the cognitive processes in reading, as well as bilingualism, lexical processing, and predictive processing. Brittany has made it a goal to include underrepresented populations in her research by including participants such as those with emerging literacy and community-based English as a second language (ESL) learners. As such, her dissertation focuses on the effectiveness of first and second language literacy instruction at a literacy center where she takes an eye-tracker to the participants rather than requiring them to come to campus. Last fall, under the supervision of her advisor who was also the instructor of the course, she took charge of the DEI aspect of a graduate-level psycholinguistics course which involved reading, creating materials, and facilitating in-class discussions for research that included underrepresented populations. Brittany is currently working with a colleague on a manuscript regarding the intent and impact of DEI research in Applied Linguistics to detail our experiences doing DEI research and make suggestions for doing better DEI research (i.e., making the research for, not just about, diverse populations). This year, she will assume the role of DEI sub-committee member of the Graduate Student Council for the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) to advocate for further DEI efforts in the field.

Prince OwusuPrince Owusu

Prince is a PhD student in Human Development and Family Studies, with a concentration in Child Development. With the goal of encouraging community engaged learning, Prince together with his academic advisor have created a study abroad program to Ghana-Africa. The program provides both graduate and undergraduate students on-site cultural, social, and historical experiences including visits to slave castles and other historical sites, being involved in community-based service, and interactions with families and young people in Africa. The interactions students have with people from a different culture as they learn and share experiences, potentially breaks stereotypes that either of them may have about each other. Prince also serves on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee at the Human Development and Family Studies department. In this role, He, together with other colleagues coordinate mentoring of minority students who struggle in their academics.

Jessica Suzanne StokesJessica Suzanne Stokes

Jessica Suzanne Stokes is a disabled poet/performer/educator/scholar and co-founder of the HIVES Research Workshop on interdependent crip community at Michigan State University. At MSU, Jessica teaches Intro to Poetry and Intro to Creative Writing. Jessica analyzes contemporary poetry’s methodologies for crip climate survival. Jessica writes about disability poetics in Jacket2's "Discordance" Series. Jessica's work has appeared in Wordgathering, Amodern, The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction and the book We Are Not Your Metaphor: A Disability Poetry Anthology. Jessica has a purple wheelchair, green cane, and too much red hair.

Michael Dale StokesMichael Dale Stokes

Michael Dale Stokes is a scholar whose work engages with the complex entanglements of disability narratives, science fiction/horror, race, and culture. He is a PhD candidate at Michigan State University and co-founder of the HIVES Research Workshop and Speaker Series. His work focuses on the literary figure of the mutant in science fiction pulps, film, and comics between 1904 and 1964. Michael’s work has been published in The Museum of Science Fiction’s Journal of Science Fiction, the SFRA Review, and The Journal of Analogue Game Studies.