Nominations Open for the A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award

The Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) is calling for nominations for its A.I.R.E. (Access, Inclusion, Responsiveness and Equity) Faculty and Staff Award. Nominations may be made with this online form through April 15, 2020, at 12 p.m.

The A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award recognizes and supports staff and faculty who are actively advancing access, equity and inclusion on campus. Up to five faculty and staff members will be selected and honored as recipients of the A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award. Honorees are selected based on recommendations from a colleague/supervisor and on their attendance at a minimum of three A.I.R.E. (and partner) workshops, events, seminars or programs directly related to advancing equity, access and inclusion.

A.I.R.E. workshops and trainings are safe spaces on campus where members can connect across cultures to define challenges to equity and articulate inclusive solutions to campus inequities. These include the A.I.R.E. World Café Series, which provides opportunities for campus members to engage across cultures, define threats to equity and craft ideas that empower underserved populations at the College. With sessions on self-awareness, building equitable spaces and crossing cultures every semester, these large-group workshops provide lunch and are open to all CofC campus members. A schedule for the 2019–20 World Café is available on the OID website. Faculty and staff may register for a session through this online form.

Extending from the World Café, the 90-minute A.I.R.E. Tailored Seminars are available to all campus organizations, programs, departments and divisions and are adjusted according to the needs of the group. Beginning level seminars focus on self-awareness, empathy and defining challenges within the organization, office or division/department; intermediate level seminars address the dynamics of difference and facilitate solutions and ideas; and advanced level seminars build cultural convergence within a group and elevate participants’ awareness and culturally responsive practices. Faculty and staff may request an A.I.R.E. Tailored Seminar through this website.

The A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award is the result of feedback from faculty and staff who attended A.I.R.E. workshops when the initiative was piloted last year. 

“Based on their input, we decided to scale our diversity training opportunities this fall to include other opportunities not necessarily housed in OID, a certificate that acknowledges their effort and really cool CofC paraphernalia,” says Charissa Owens, director of diversity education and training for OID, noting that this semester the office launched the A.I.R.E. Signature Series, allowing programming from other CofC organizations as eligible training partners. “We wanted to have faculty and staff be able to participate in multiple workshops and learning opportunities across campus that centered on inclusion, equity and access. So, this semester we included the Neurodiversity Initiative as an eligible training partner. This expanded our education and trainings to include learning opportunities designed and executed by faculty. The response was favorable with more faculty and staff being engaged in trainings that suited their interests and schedules.”

The A.I.R.E Signature Series is a collection of programs and/or events about inclusion that allow attendees to observe diverse experiences, reflect on their awareness and collaborate across cultures. Faculty, staff and students who attend the signature programs regularly are eligible for consideration to be honored with an A.I.R.E Student Scholarship or A.I.R.E Faculty and Staff Award.  

To nominate a candidate for the A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award, complete the nomination form by 12 p.m. on April 15, 2020.