Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership

Provost Brooke Barnett

Brooke Barnett (PhD) is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Butler University. She is deeply committed to justice, understanding our differences and the celebration of our many identities, backgrounds, experiences and cultures. She has served in several leadership roles including as CCOM Dean at Butler and Associate Provost at Elon University providing administrative oversight of a university-wide inclusive excellence framework, access and success programs, civic engagement, and a life-long learning program for community members. Provost Barnett regularly publishes and presents on media, inclusion, and leadership in higher education including a co-edited volume with Peter Felten Insight into diversity: Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions (2016).  Provost Barnett completed the Institute for Educational Management program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Diversity Management certificate at Cornell’s University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the HERS Institute for Women Leaders in Higher Education, and the Scripps Howard Leadership Academy program. She was a board member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  As Provost, Dr. Barnett’s goal is to keep diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of decision making and a key part of the culture at Butler University. She works to ensure the Academic Affairs DEI plan aligns with Butler’s overall DEI strategy, encourages active participation in the surrounding community, and seeks to improve the work environment for Butler faculty and staff across the board. 

Su-Mei Ooi

Director of Academic Affairs for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Faculty Director of Butler in Asia Program, Center for Global Education 

Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

In her role as Director of Academic Affairs for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Ooi has worked closely with Provost Barnett on focussed efforts in 3 key areas of (1) representational and interactional diversity in the Butler community (2) belonging amongst faculty, staff and students (3) faculty and staff engagement with, and capacity for, DEI work across all identities and backgrounds, through various institution-wide initiatives.  Dr. Ooi joined the Department of Political Science as Assistant Professor in 2010, shortly before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a joint specialty in international relations and comparative politics. Dr. Ooi studied and worked in many different parts of Asia, Europe, and North America and brings a global perspective to teaching, research and service to the University. At Butler, she teaches courses in international relations and Asian politics with the express purpose of helping students to understand that there are many different ways of being in this world. Since 2017, Dr. Ooi has led students to Southeast Asia on the Butler in Asia program. She has also led efforts to create AAPI representation in the Core Curriculum in the form of a new Global and Historical Studies section, GHS 212: Asian Americas, and is the faculty advisor of the student group Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (APIA). More recently, her scholarship has addressed emancipatory peace on the Korean Peninsula, US-China relations, global citizenship education, and the well-being of faculty in teaching-focused institutions. You can read her publications here. Dr. Ooi is also active in the Indianapolis Community, and is the Media and Communications Director of the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center Inc.; a Council Member of the Indiana Chinese American Association; a member of the National Asian and Pacific Women’s Forum; and involved in the K-12 AAPI History Initiative of the Indiana Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association.

Susan Adams

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Education

Associate Professor of Education, College of Education

As inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the College of Education, Dr. Adams’ primary focus is capacity building for facilitation of intentional learning communities of practice for COE faculty and staff.  These intentional learning communities of practice will foster personal and collective growth through the use of courageous conversations and instructional dilemma protocols to better align professional and scholarly practices with the COE Shared Commitments. Dr. Adams’ teaching responsibilities in the Butler University College of Education regularly include teaching educational foundations, introduction to secondary education, multicultural education, ESL methods, and graduate courses. Dr. Adams’ publications are included here. Dr. Adams and her co-author, Jamie Buffington-Adams, Ph.D. published their book from Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, as part of Roland W. Mitchell and Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner’s series, Race and Education. Dr. Adams was selected for the 2012 ATE-I Anne Patterson Paper Award for her scholarly paper, “Whiten Up! An Autobiographical Exploration of the Impact of White ESL Teachers’ Race, Privilege and Positionality on English Language Learners in K-12 Schools” and was chosen for the 2014 Association of Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher of Education (AILACTE) Scholar Award. In 2015, Dr. Adams and her colleague, Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco were awarded a Desmond Tutu Fellowship and were selected as a 2016 Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Clinical Fellow. She also served as Butler University Co-Faculty Development Fellow with Dr. Elizabeth Mix (2013-2014) and with Dr. Jane Gervasio (2014-2015).

Cynthia Chen

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Communication

Assistant Professor of Sports Media, College of Communication

Cynthia Chen teaches Media Entrepreneurship and Media Analytics for CCOM students. Her research is published in flagship journals: Journalism, Journalism Studies, and The International Journal of Press/Politics, etc. She also received the 2023 News Research Audience Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Chen earned her Ph.D. in Information and Media from Michigan State University with a concentration in the media business. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Nankai University and an M. A. in Journalism and Communication (Hon.) from Tsinghua University in China. Since 2013, Chen has worked with international students from more than 20 countries and organized weekly social and cultural events for international students at MSU. She will continue working with individuals from socially/culturally diverse communities at Butler University. 

Elise Edwards

Associate Dean of Program & Faculty Development and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Professor of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Edwards completed her BA in International Studies at Stanford University (1991), and her MA and PhD in Anthropology at the University of Michigan (2003). Her research focuses primarily on the worlds of soccer—from the professional ranks to amateur levels—in contemporary Japan and the ways the sport intersects with and shapes social, political, and economic realities in the country. In addition, her work examines the ways that discourses of sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and race inform and are informed by the world of sport. Recently, she has spent time researching and writing about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well as Japan’s new professional Women’s Empowerment League. In addition to teaching a range of courses about Japan and East Asia, Edwards regularly teaches courses in museum studies, anthropological history, methods, and theory, and science and technology studies. She is an affiliate faculty member in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, International Studies, and the Science, Technology & Environmental Studies program at Butler. Edwards was the starting goalkeeper for the Stanford Women’s Soccer team from 1987-91, and played and coached soccer in Japan’s professional “L-League” in the mid-1990s. When she arrived at Butler (2004), she became the goalkeeping coach with Butler University’s women’s soccer team, a position she held for 13 years. She spent a similar amount of time serving as the faculty co-advisor to Alliance, Butler’s student-led LGBTQIA+ advocacy group. She was the chair of the Department of History and Anthropology for six years and after that served as the Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate. As the Associate Dean of Faculty & Program Development and Director of DEI for the College of LAS, she is committed to working with her LAS colleagues to create an environment where faculty, students, and staff feel valued and supported and to fight for greater equity and inclusion at Butler.

Derek Reid

Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Jordan College of Arts

Professor of Dance, Jordan College of Arts

Derek Reid began his training at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet in his birthplace, Washington, D.C. He earned his B.F.A in Dance Performance from Butler University in 1987 and his MA in Organizational Leadership and Development from Gonzaga University in 2010. Mr. Reid’s professional dance career, spanned a variety of countries and cultures, including Louisville Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, Quebec and Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. He created leading roles in works by internationally acclaimed choreographers, among them Choo San Goh, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, and Ohad Naharin. His repertoire ranged from the classical to the contemporary and included a fusion of cultural representations.

Mr. Reid began teaching in 1985 with the Northwest Florida Ballet while still performing with various companies. Following a successful and fulfilling professional career, Mr. Reid was named Associate Director of the Fort Wayne Ballet in 2000. In Fort Wayne he taught and led outreach efforts in the Fort Wayne community, working to bring arts experiences to area public schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the NAACP. In 2004, Mr. Reid transitioned to higher education, leaving Fort Wayne and joining the faculty at his alma mater, Butler University. As Professor of Dance, Mr. Reid teaches Ballet History, Classical Ballet Technique, Classical and Contemporary Pas de Deux, Choreography, and Black Dance in the American Tradition, a Perspectives in the Creative Arts core curriculum course that explores developments in American culture from its interactions with African and African American arts. Mr. Reid continues to guest teach nationally, recruit dance talent and choreograph original classical and contemporary works for regional companies as well as for Butler Ballet. His strong classical technique background and experience creating and performing contemporary choreography inform his technique and content in teaching. The social events of the world feed the themes of his new choreographic works. Mr. Reid’s passion and love for arts ability to make us think critically combined with his commitment to serving his community have and will continue to guide his efforts in bringing about change as they relate to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access.

Andrew Schmelz

Faculty Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Andrew Schmelz graduated from Purdue University with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2008 and stayed to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in academia and ambulatory care. He practiced as a staff pharmacist with Walgreen Co., and after becoming a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist, he worked as an ambulatory care pharmacist with Indiana University Health and Community Health Network. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice with the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and practices at Eskenazi Health caring for vulnerable populations on the west side of Indianapolis. Dr. Schmelz has maintained a long-standing interest in social determinants of health and caring for underserved patients, and after starting at his current institution, he completed a university-based fellowship in social justice and diversity vocation. He is now the course director for Diversity and Inclusivity in Healthcare, a required course in Butler’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, has given numerous presentations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in healthcare, and serves on the DEI Task Force for the American College of Clinical Pharmacists.

Ronia Hawash

Faculty Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Lacy School of Business

Associate Professor of Economics, Lacy School of Business.

Dr. Hawash holds a B.A. in Economics from Cairo University (Egypt); an M.A. in Economics from the American University in Cairo (Egypt); and a Ph.D. in Economics from Indiana University (Indianapolis). Her primary teaching areas are Microeconomics, Economic Development, Health Economics, and Econometrics. Dr. Hawash’s main areas of research are focused on socioeconomic problems in developing countries including poverty, inequality, poor health and education outcomes, political conflict and refugees, and climate change. Her research has been published in Applied Economics, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship,  International Journal of Happiness and Development, Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, Eurasian Economic Review, International Journal of Development and Conflict, Social Business, and Journal of the Knowledge Economy.

Sarah Ward

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Butler Libraries

Performing and Visual Arts Librarian / Assistant Professor, Butler Libraries

Information on Sarah Ward coming soon.