NEC has been set on a course for change and inclusion as of late. Whether it be the events we have on campus or the growth of our school as a whole, NEC has been focused on bettering itself for the staff and faculty, and especially the students.
Recently, there has been a series of calls for more courses on diversity. It started with the LGBTQ class, and has now grown to include an up and coming African American Literature class.
The African American Literature class is slated for Fall 2018. Administrators are looking for a professor of color to spearhead this class and insure its success. As of now, this course will align with the Creative Writing and Philosophy and Literature majors.
NEC, being one of the most diverse schools in the New England area, has been searching for ways to be sure the campus and the curriculum feels inclusive to all. D’nysha Cook, a junior, has been the VPAA of student senate for the past two years. Previously this year, she’s created the Academic Affairs Committee.
Cook overheard comments from students of color on campus. Many of them said that there weren’t enough courses that were dedicated to students of color and taught by a professor of color. Cook then sought to make this change.
Cook went through all sorts of avenues, including Maura McNeil, Professor of Creative Writing for Arts and Humanities, as well as James Walsh, the Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities, and Fran Chelland, a Philosophy professor. All of these professors were interested in helping students on campus know that their voices were heard. They are all eager to make this course happen and are doing as much as they can to do so.
“I think it is important for a professor of color to teach this class, it’s like a man teaching women’s studies. He’s qualified but it doesn’t connect on an emotional level,” McNeil said in regards to the class.