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New associate dean expands expectations for diversity

By C. Brandon Chapman, College of Education

groves-price-p-2011-80PULLMAN, Wash. – As the College of Education’s new associate dean for diversity and international programs, Paula Groves Price said those areas strongly relate to the university’s research grand challenges and have good potential for funding.

“There’s a lot of great research being done in the areas of equity, diversity and social justice,” she said. “I want to make sure we share that with the rest of the university, ours students, our faculty, our alumni and donors.”

Price ( succeeds Gisela Ernst-Slavit, who served as associate dean for two years. It is believed that her appointment was the first college-level position of its kind at Washington State University (

“Gisela took the position at its inception and built it up,” said Mike Trevisan, college dean. “We fully expect Paula to take our diversity efforts to the next level.”

Price is an associate professor in the college’s cultural studies and social thought in education program. She won WSU’s Women of Color Faculty of the Year Award (2005) and Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award for faculty (2011). She is on the search committee for WSU’s next president and the steering committee for the new multicultural building.

Continuing a legacy

Diversity and international efforts have a history of success within the college, including:
 * International School Leadership Program, in conjunction with the East Asia Regional Council of Schools.
 * Partnership with Nishinomiya, Japan school system on teaching and faculty exchanges.
 * Globalization, Diversity and Education Conference, which enters its 12th year in 2016 of holding critical dialogue on issues of race and culture in education.
 * WSU-Coeur D’Alene Tribe STEM, Leadership and Sports Camp.

Under Ernst-Slavit, new initiatives included International Days and the college’s first faculty-led study abroad efforts.

Taking it to the next level

Price has set in motion a new partnership between the College of Education, Clearinghouse on Native Teaching and Learning and Pullman School District.

“Our hope is that this professional development field trip and curriculum training will spark a desire in our students to learn more about different tribes throughout the state, so when they go out to do their student teaching, or when they start their careers, they will know how to better reach out,” Price said. “We want our students to understand that the best way to learn much of the important information about tribes is from the tribes themselves.”

She said reaching out and forging relationship between schools, teachers and tribes is as important as teaching actual lessons in the classroom.

“We want the College of Education to be the premier institution in our state for Native American and indigenous education and engagement,” she said.



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