Brown, Christian Honored at Annual Faculty Awards Banquet
Each year, faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are recognized for their contributions to the college, the university, and the impact of their teaching and research at the annual faculty awards dinner. Two members of the Department of Sociology received awards at this year’s event, which took place Thursday, December 1, 2016.
The Diversity Leadership Award recognizes the extraordinary efforts of a staff or faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences to support the college’s and university’s commitments to diversity. Michelle Brown, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in sociology, and Michelle Christian, assistant professor of sociology, shared the honor of diversity leadership award this year.
Professors Brown and Christian serve together as advisors to multiple student groups, including United Students Against Sweatshops, Oxfam, Students Who Stand (a newly formed group for survivors of sexual violence), and the UT Student Peace Alliance, as well as informally to the Progressive Student Alliance. Each of these student groups include diverse constituencies, and the interests they serve are defined as diverse.
These two faculty also do enormous amounts of work that supports organizations such as Tennesseans Against the Death Penalty and United Campus Workers. Those served by these groups are disproportionately working class or people of color. They have co-organized events that bring diverse perspectives to the university, or that bring the university to others. Two examples include the organization of a public speaking engagement for Black Lives Matter activists; and travel to recruit potential minority graduate students.
Professor Christian is a key designer of a new research and teaching area in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies in the Department of Sociology and a member of the committee organizing a national conference ushering that new area into our program. Professor Brown is a leader on the departmental committee that addresses gender climate relations, which brought our community together for discussions and lectures on gender inequality.
Congratulations to Professors Brown and Christian for their achievements!