Dr. Chip Celenza is one of the newest members of DIAT, a representative group across CAS and GRS that facilitates and implements diversity, equity, and inclusion at BU. The team consists of 12-15 members of faculty, staff, and students who are committed to addressing: (1)Assessing Accessibility in CAS (2) First Year Success, and (3) Engaging undergraduate student DEI needs.
Dr. Celenza describes himself as growing up in a homogeneous “majority” town without economic hardship. However, he has found common ground with those from different socioeconomic backgrounds and recognizes his own pre-conceived judgments about people from diverse backgrounds. He states,
“Advising and teaching students at BU has played an important role in making me aware of my biases and helping me change them.”
BU students come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds where school systems and communities may have not provided adequate support or opportunities. This results in some students being at a disadvantage academically and socially. Moreover, students may experience economic hardship, resulting in them working long hours during the semester. As a faculty member, Dr. Celenza has taken responsibility for becoming more aware that some students may require remedial help to get caught up with more advantaged classmates. He also recognizes that students have limited time when completing assignments outside of class. Dr. Celenza remarks that BU faculty members should consider the grading policies that allow grade remediation and flexibility in assignment deadlines.
“My commitment to diversity means suppressing pre-conceived judgments based on stereotypes and be sure to listen (and ask) for student concerns. I try to demonstrate my commitment to diversity by involving myself in department and college level groups aimed at recognizing and supporting diversity across BU. I would say that I am a novice and I participate to learn.”
Congratulations, Dr. Celenza!