Four faculty members from the College of Arts & Letters are being honored by the University as recipients of 2022-2023 Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards. These awards, presented by MSU’s Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, recognize recipients’ exceptional and innovative contributions that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Michigan State University through their teaching, research, programming, service, community outreach, and/or organizational change.
Two of the College of Arts & Letters faculty are receiving individual Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards. They are Salah Hassan, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, and Denise Troutman, Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures.
Two other College of Arts & Letters faculty members are jointly receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. They are Marsha MacDowell, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, and C. Kurt Dewhurst, Professor in the Department of English.
This year’s Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13, at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center. Registration for the event is now closed, but the ceremony will be live-streamed for those who have not already registered or who are unable to attend.
For a complete list of all the 2022-23 winners, including information about each recipient, see the Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards article in MSU Today.
The individual Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards recognize the emerging and/or sustained efforts made toward advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in thematic categories, including excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion; advancing knowledge and scholarly engagement; fostering engagement, collaboration(s), and partnership(s); advocating justice and equity; promoting learning and educating for inclusivity; and creating transformative organization change.
An Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities Program, Salah Hassan also is a core faculty member in the Muslim Studies Program. He teaches courses that focus on the Middle East, anti-colonialism and culture, literatures of empire, and Arab and Muslim American cultural production.
Hassan has been an active advocate for campus initiatives, programs, and units that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also has been a member of multiple research projects that promote DEI values.
“This award recognizes the collective commitment to anti-racist education that I share with many others at MSU who aim to create an environment that is inclusive of all groups and amplifies diverse voices, especially Arab and Muslim voices,” Hassan said. “Taking steps to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion is the least that academic institutions can do to acknowledge and eventually transcend historic social injustices.”
“Taking steps to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion is the least that academic institutions can do to acknowledge and eventually transcend historic social injustices.”Salah Hassan, Associate Professor
Hassan is the founder of the Muslim Subjects website. He has produced two films: Migrations of Islam and Death of an Imam (2010). These projects on Arabs and Muslims in the United States were supported with grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. In 2013, he was the principal investigator and project coordinator for Crossroads of American Literature: A Collaboration between Iraqi and US Scholars, funded by the Institute for International Education (IIE). Hassan is the Academic Director of the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute on Civic Engagement, an international program supported by a grant from International Research & Exchanges (IREX), which promotes global diversity, equity, and inclusion.
An Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures, Denise Troutman teaches first-year writing, linguistics and sociolinguistics classes, and Women’s Studies courses.
She has received two Fulbright Awards (2018-2019 and 2001-2002), a 2009-2010 Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) Award, and a 2003-2004 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Educational Foundation. A few of her other awards and recognitions include: 2021-2024 Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen Faculty Fellowship, Co-recipient of a CAL Engaged Pedagogy and Programming Grant in collaboration with Ellen Moll (May 2022), 2017 Inspirational Woman of the Year Award from the Center for Gender in Global Context, and 2018 Faculty of the Year Award from MSU’s Black Student Alliance. She has recently served as Special Advisor to the Dean for DEI and General Education and, from 2004-2007, served as Diversity Coordinator for the College of Arts & Letters.
Troutman is the co-founder of Daughters of the Collective (DOC), a group that mentors middle-school-aged girls in Lansing to instill in them attributes of confidence, sisterhood, cultural pride, academic excellence, broader worldviews, community ownership, and self-awareness. Her research is conducted at the intersection of linguistics and ‘race.’ Her published work focuses on racialized experiences, resistances to hegemonic linguistic constructions, Black women’s linguistic practices, intersectionality, linguistic equity for Ebonics, especially politeness and impoliteness norms, and interjecting marginalized perspectives.
“DOC (Daughters of the Collective) acts prodigiously in constructing counternarratives and real teachings/educational experiences that produce transformative outcomes.”Denise Troutman, Associate Professor
“DOC members’ firsthand knowledge as well as extant literature has made it imminently clear that ‘serious interventions are necessary to alleviate the knowledge desert that exists around the lives and experiences of Black women and girls’ (Crenshaw, Williams, & Nanda 2015, p. 6); thus, DOC acts prodigiously in constructing counternarratives and real teachings/educational experiences that produce transformative outcomes,” Troutman said. “Thus, the acknowledgment and broader dissemination of our work through the EDEIA (Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards) is Indubitably rewarding.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize long-term, exemplary efforts made during a recipient’s time at Michigan State University toward advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in enduring ways that have enhanced the institution’s policies, work, climate, and/or organization.
Marsha MacDowell and C. Kurt Dewhurst
A Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, Marsha MacDowell also is Director of the Quilt Index and Michigan Stained Glass Census, both at MSU’s Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences; Curator of Folk Arts and Quilt Studies for the MSU Museum; and Director of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program in MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.
A Professor of English, C. Kurt Dewhurst is Director emeritus and Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage for the MSU Museum. He also serves as Director for Arts and Cultural Partnerships and Senior Fellow of University Outreach and Engagement.
MacDowell and Dewhurst have explored, celebrated, and expanded diversity, equity, and inclusion through their work as museum professionals, teachers, mentors, researchers, writers, and administrators. They push the boundaries of building museum exhibits and programs, and their careful curatorial and scholarly work has been based on an ethic of collaboration and co-creation with diverse communities. They have aided countless individuals and communities to tell their own stories, project and promote their own cultures, and create safe spaces for extending dialogue and understanding.
“We are so grateful for the MSU administrators who saw this work as important and for the wonderful colleagues with whom we have co-created so many diverse initiatives.”Professors Marsha MacDowell and C. Kurt Dewhurst
“We are so grateful for the MSU administrators who saw this work as important and for the wonderful colleagues with whom we have co-created so many diverse initiatives,” MacDowell and Dewhurst said.