/* */ <img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1706078429670727&ev=PageView &noscript=1"/> /* */

DEI in action: Assistant Dean Johnson's yearly update

October 28, 2022 - Brian Johnson, Ph.D.

Brian Johnson

As I near completion of my first year at James Madison College, I am amazed at how quickly the year has come to a close. Some of the accomplishments that I am most proud of include:

  1. Renaming the James Madison College DEI Office

Now known as the James Madison College Office of Justice, Equity and Inclusion, or OJEI, the new office will represent core elements of transformative justice, equity and inclusion within James Madison College and beyond.

  1. Hiring of a new OJEI Team

We have hired two new DEI specialists/advisers. In addition, we have hired four students who will assist with pre-college and college programming within our OJEI Office.

  1. James Madison College Early Start Program

We recently completed our first Early Start Program for students entering James Madison College. Our first cohort included 21 students. As part of the program, Early Start participants received an academic credit, moved into their residence halls a week early and attended events focused on assisting with the transition to Michigan State University and James Madison College. Other highlights of the week for the Early Start participants included meeting with JMC faculty, staff and alumni, traveling to Toledo to see the musical "Hamilton," and touring the Michigan Capitol and Michigan Supreme Court.

  1. James Madison College Early Start Program Cultural Trip to Washington D.C.

Upon successfully completing Early Start requirements, Early Start participants traveled to Washington D.C. During this time, students visited the United States Capitol, the Federal Reserve and various Smithsonian museums. 

  1. De-Stressor Events

In conjunction with JMC Student Senate, our office hosted two de-stressor workshops for JMC students during final exams and midterms.

  1. Faculty Resource Workshop

Earlier this month, we sponsored a workshop that featured resources to support the academic and overall wellbeing of JMC faculty and staff. Many thanks to our Employee Assistance Program, RCPD, Office of Wellbeing, OCAT and JMC faculty who attended.

  1. Honoring Fiesta De Día De Los Muertos

Our new DEI Specialist Florensio Hernandez and our OJEI office recently collaborated with Case Hall REHS Staff, C.R.U. and the MSU Graduate School to celebrate Fiesta De Día De Los Muertos. The evening consisted of food, celebration and a special performance by Ballet Maria Luz.

Admittedly, I am proud of the accomplishments we have attained since I began my position in January; yet, there are many more goals and objectives to achieve. Looking ahead, stay tuned for an official opening of our JMC Welcome Center. This will provide a space for students to relax in between classes, grab a snack or simply ask any questions that may arise. In addition, in the near future, my office will release a climate survey to assess the needs of JMC and ensure that voices are heard.

Finally, immeasurable thanks to each of you who continue to show your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It requires the collective to implement transformative progress. I am committed to ensuring these aforementioned accomplishments either continue, or come into fruition, and I look forward to the journey ahead.

Brian Johnson

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion