April 29, 2022
Dear Science Community,
I am so pleased to step into a full-time position as the College of Science's first director of Equity, Access and Inclusion (EAI). The College has gotten off to a good start in laying the groundwork to advance goals and actions in the Diversity Action Plan, and I’m eager to now give this work greater energy and focus after working the last five months as interim director (on a part-time basis). It’s exciting to lead the College in this effort and work with everyone in the community to make change a reality.
The first proposed action in the plan, which rolled out last October, is to create a College of Science Equity, Access and Inclusion Program. We began by creating an EAI structure for the program that included hiring a full-time EAI program director, establishing an EAI Leadership Council and sub-committees on Data Equity and Gender Equity. With this structure now in place, I’d like to share with you a few of my initial thoughts and expectations for the work we have begun, including the challenges and opportunities.
I think the most important outcome of the DAP will be eventual culture change. I would like to see equity and access become second nature to us – something we don't actually need to think about. It will just be a part of who we are and how we do normal day-to-day business. I would love to see more diversity in the faculty ranks, in the graduate school ranks, the undergraduate ranks, and the staff and professional faculty ranks. But there must be culture change so that when those folks do come here, they feel welcome and want to stay here.
One challenge, as I share in the College of Science Impact interview, is that culture change work is slow. We have a foundation and are heading in a good direction, but this work moves slowly – and it is not checkbox based. It will take time, care and understanding. While directed support and programming for various groups is essential, we can't just say we did a program for Black students, or we did a program for folks who identify as women, then check the box and claim we changed the culture.
In light of this and other challenges, we endeavor to effectively convey to the community that we are working to create change. I hope to communicate progress without implying that we have all of the answers or that because we did something, that everything is “fixed.” This process and the DAP are iterative and will take continual progress to change culture.
It's also important to emphasize the critical role the community plays in embedding inclusive excellence within all aspects of the College of Science. Implementing EAI in the College of Science requires work at multiple levels, and everyone has a role in infusing and embedding the DAP into our mission and all of our work.
As far as my role in facilitating this, my hope is to be a resource for everyone in the College. I'm not the content expert on any of the classes being taught. But I am happy to join in conversations and engage in education and learning around how we can make the College of Science more equitable, inclusive and accessible.
The College has a lot of work to do and I think we are poised to make changes that will positively impact the members of our community, specifically those who have historically been marginalized or excluded from higher education and science. Everyone has a role to play. I ask that everyone think about and implement small steps, big changes and ways to change the culture for the better. Read more about what is happening now in the Impact article and in this DAP website updates section.
Director of Equity, Access and Inclusion
About the Director
Kameron Kadooka is the Director of Equity, Access and Inclusion (EAI) for the College of Science. Kameron is an OSU alum with a Bachelors of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. He brings to this position nearly 9 years of experience as an OSU professional faculty member who has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and equity in his previous positions and successfully created partnerships and collaborations with colleges, departments, programs and external stakeholders.
Formerly, Kameron worked as the program coordinator for OSU’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (LSAMP). LSAMP is a National Science Foundation program that works to support minority students in STEM, with specific goals to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented minority (URM) STEM students, many of whom are pursuing majors in the College of Science. In his six years as LSAMP coordinator, Kameron helped students navigate roadblocks and barriers. He is especially excited now to help launch the implementation of the College of Science Diversity Action Plan (DAP), because it has the potential to have much broader scalable, sustainable and systemic level impacts through removing many of the roadblocks and barriers and making the college more inclusive and equitable for all students and faculty.