Continuing its legacy of leadership in equity, diversity, and justice, the Washington State University College of Education has named two of its faculty members as associate deans of equity and inclusion.
Katherine Rodela, an associate professor of educational leadership at WSU Vancouver, will have faculty and staff development as her primary focus. Amir Gilmore, an assistant professor of cultural studies and social thought in education at WSU Pullman, will have student success and retention as his primary focus. Both will join the college’s leadership team and have a college-wide focus, despite their respective locations. The associate dean position at the College of Education has been in place since 2013.
“These two individuals are strong leaders with respect to equity and inclusion and each brings a unique skill set to the position,” Dean Mike Trevisan said. “I am grateful for the willingness of Drs. Rodela and Gilmore to step up at this time, and we can all look forward to good things as a result of their work.”
In her role, Rodela will chair the college’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, building on the work of Gisela Ernst-Slavit and Paula Groves-Price, who previously led the committee. Also, part of her role will be supporting the retention and mentorship of underrepresented faculty and staff in the college. Rodela said this may include creating affinity spaces or writing groups for faculty and staff of color and LGBTQ+ faculty and staff.
Gilmore is well suited to oversee student success and retention. While he is only embarking on his second year as a tenure-track faculty member, he has been at WSU for six years, having earned his Ph.D. in the cultural studies program.
He has helped coordinate the Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color (AFTOC) program, which is designed to recruit and retain students of color into the teacher preparation program and place these students into the K–12 teaching workforce. He will continue to lead AFTOC, as well as lead the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers initiative, which aims to recruit more graduate students of color.
These will be two-year appointments effective Aug. 16.