Alumnae, Faculty Address Visibility, Belonging at Inclusive Equity Conference

On March 31, Wesleyan’s Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted a Pathways to Inclusive Equity Conference of Visibility at Usdan University Center. Discussions focused on visibility and belonging in academic and professional environments.

On March 31, Wesleyan’s Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted a Pathways to Inclusive Equity Conference of Visibility at Usdan University Center. Discussions focused on visibility and belonging in academic and professional environments.

The conference included a Humanities Panel and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Panel featuring Wesleyan faculty, alumni and guest speakers.

The conference included a Humanities Panel and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Panel featuring Wesleyan faculty, alumni, and guest speakers.

Demetrius Eudell, chair and professor of history and faculty director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, spoke on the Humanities Panel. Eudell specializes in 19th century U.S. history, intellectual history, and the history of Blacks in the Americas. His current research projects include an exploration of the interconnections of the discourses of hierarchy of race and caste as well as an examination of the role of ideas of history, nature, and human differences in the 18th-century Enlightenment with special reference to the German Aufklärung.

Demetrius Eudell, chair and professor of history and faculty director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, spoke on the Humanities Panel. Eudell specializes in 19th-century U.S. history, intellectual history, and the history of blacks in the Americas. 

Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, professor of linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, spoke on “My Life as a Linguist: Building Bridges between Disciplines.” Toribio is a native of the Dominican Republic who was raised in New York. Toribio is an expert on language contact and variation and a trajectory from theoretical to more empirically-based approaches. Her studies are elaborated with mixed methodologies, including ethnographic and laboratory approaches and ‘big’ data computational methods of corpus linguistics.

Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, professor of linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, spoke on “My Life as a Linguist: Building Bridges between Disciplines.” Toribio is an expert on language contact and variation.

he STEM alumnae panelists included, at left, Melisa Olgon ’10 (moderator); Dr. Lucy Hutner ’92; Dr. Fludiona Naka ’11; and LaNell Williams ’15.

The STEM alumnae panelists included (left to right): Melisa Olgun ’20 (moderator); Lucy Hutner ’92, MD; Fludiona Naka ’11; and LaNell Williams ’15.

Hutner is a nationally recognized expert in the field of reproductive psychiatry and women’s mental health. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan, Dr. Hutner received her M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. She has held numerous academic leadership positions, including as the associate director of the Women’s Program at Columbia, where she oversaw all trainee initiatives in women’s mental health and reproductive psychiatry. Hutner is part of the leadership team of the National Task Force for Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, which is creating the first standardized digital curriculum for students and trainees in reproductive psychiatry.

Dr. Hutner is a nationally recognized expert in the field of reproductive psychiatry and women’s mental health. Hutner is part of the leadership team of the National Task Force for Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, which is creating the first standardized digital curriculum for students and trainees in reproductive psychiatry.

Naka, who double majored in neuroscience and biology, is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine where she is pursuing a combined degree in medicine and master of public health (MD/MPH). Naka has dedicated extensive time to serving the community and doing research in the field of public health, community medicine and dermatology. Her professional interests include inflammatory skin diseases, teledermatology, interprofessional education, health policy, and community engagement.<br /> Williams, who majored in physics at Wesleyan, is a current Ph.D. student at Harvard University studying soft condensed matter physics. As the founding member and chair of the Society of Underrepresented Students in STEM, she passionately advocates for creating meaningful resources to support underrepresented researchers in pursuit of physics. Her current research interest includes an in-depth analysis of the physics of self-assembled systems by studying the assembly pathway of viruses.

Naka, who double-majored in neuroscience and biology, is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine, where she is pursuing a combined degree in medicine and master of public health (MD/MPH). 
Williams, who majored in physics at Wesleyan, is a current PhD student at Harvard University, studying soft condensed matter physics. As the founding member and chair of the Society of Underrepresented Students in STEM, she advocates for meaningful resources to support underrepresented researchers in pursuit of physics. 

Jumoke McDuffie-Thurmond ’19

Jumoke McDuffie-Thurmond ’19 listens to the panelists. (Photos by Caroline Kravitz ’19)