Three University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Law students have been selected to serve as fellows focused on leadership and inclusion efforts within the college.
The Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program, spearheaded by College of Law Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Maria Saez Tatman, aligns with the university’s goal to intentionally create positive and inclusive learning and work experiences for internal and external communities.
“We’re so pleased to be able to provide our students with this opportunity to engage and lead at the forefront of our college’s diversity and inclusion efforts,” Interim Dean Doug Blaze said. “Their voices are so important to this work, and their involvement and leadership will be instrumental in our success.”
The fellows include third-year law student Miles McDowell, second-year student Mikayla Swinson, and first-year student Jasmin Hampton. All are currently working to identify the specific projects they’ll undertake throughout the academic year, Saez Tatman said.
Their work will center upon projects that promote civility and accountability, enhance cultural competency, and advance best practices that support equal access to resources and opportunities.
In addition to helping implement the College of Law’s Diversity Action Plan, the fellows will be assisting the Office of Admissions to expand the College of Law’s reach to diverse populations; working to create a robust collection of diversity and inclusion resources; and assisting Saez Tatman to evaluate and improve the experience for new student orientation.
The College of Law received a grant from the University of Tennessee’s Division of Diversity and Engagement to fund the fellows and some of the important projects they identify. Saez Tatman said she hopes to be able to continue funding students in future semesters to assist with the college’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“We’ll be working to design a set of objectives and measurable goals for each of their projects tied to goals outlined in our diversity action plan,” Saez Tatman said. “We will be accountable to our community and clearly establish the fellows’ roles and their projects and outcomes.”
The students were selected through an application process overseen by a committee of College of Law faculty and staff. The fellows will serve throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
Swinson said she looks forward to building relationships and gaining knowledge and experience that will enable her to make a positive impact.
“I believe we all should be recognized and celebrated for our uniqueness,” Swinson said. The legal profession “should be a reflection of the world we live in today. A variety of perspectives and experiences can help prevent discrimination and promote inclusivity.”
Rachel McClelland (865-974-6788, firstname.lastname@example.org)