Diversity in our Faculty

It was the first day of classes, and of course I came to class early to claim my unassigned assigned seat. I spotted a seat in the middle - not too close to the front and not all the way in the back, and it was close enough to the door so if I ever came in late I could plop right down. I had my phone and scrolled through Twitter as I awaited the professor that was going to probably make my life much harder than it should be.

“Good morning students,” said a voice as the person it belonged to came in. I look up, and I could not believe my eyes. My professor wasn’t white like the majority of the professors at St. Kate’s. She was African American, and she was going to teach my creative writing class! I felt ecstatic, excited, thrilled and eager to learn whatever it was that Professor Coleman had to teach. In my three semesters here at St. Kate’s this was the very first professor of color I've had. I wasn’t expecting to have one either since I was told by seniors that they’ve never had a POC professor during their time at St. Kate’s. Why did I feel so excited and happy to see a POC professor? It wasn’t that all my other instructors were terrible, they were all great and amazing teachers, but being able to connect with your professor or even a professor that is a minority like you are? That is a spiritual connection.

Just like I thought, having Professor Coleman as my instructor in this writing class is incredible. I am able to write about my life as a POC and have my professor relate to the issues I face. She can give me more advice on what I write that isn’t just grammatical errors which is beyond amazing. I love listening to her own stories while deriving connections between the two of us and discussing the issues minorities face in Trump’s America without the feeling of not being understood. If I had to pick just one word to explain what I feel when I am in her class it would be empowering. It feels like electricity is running through my veins as I watch and listen to her speak. She talks about her passion and how she brought it to life despite the whirlwind of obstacles the world threw her way.

This is why St. Kate’s needs way more diversity in their faculty than there is now. Imagine if every student had a professor that made them feel like they could accomplish anything and everything. We would have the highest, most intelligent, culturally aware graduating class in the nation. How many came and left St. Kate’s without ever feeling the deep connection with a professor from a minority group like them? I want to share the empowerment I feel; I want people to say yes St. Kate’s has such a diverse faculty that’s what makes them amazing. Our school is beyond fabulous, but to make it spectacular, we need to see more diversity in our instructors. We don’t want students to be shocked when a POC professor comes in like I was.