When Kathy Burleson, a senior lecturer of biology at Hamline University, was preparing to teach a course on the biology of women, she was surprised that she couldn’t find any images of the female muscular system to use for the class. “I got really curious about the discrepancies in how women’s and men’s bodies are portrayed across anatomy and physiology textbooks,” she said. To learn more, she embarked on a research project in 2016 with the goal of helping to close diversity gaps in STEM.“Textbook images tell us a story about science and who belongs in science,” she said. “My hope is that, informed from interviews and data, we can give textbook publishers something to think about.”
Busy TAA People: TAA member recognized at SLU Black History Month Gala
TAA Sisters of the Academy Chapter Member Dr. Dannielle Joy Davis, received the Dr. Jonathan C. Smith Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award from Saint Louis University on February 24, 2023.
The Award, named after SLU’s late inaugural vice president for diversity and community engagement, was given to members of the SLU community who were judged to have shown “tremendous dedication and commitment to supporting the Black community at Saint Louis University while facilitating major social change on campus and within the St. Louis community.”
Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Textbooks
The need to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) extends to the materials we use to teach students. For authors, it can be tempting to relegate DEI discussions to feature boxes or individual chapters in a textbook—“add-on” features that may unintentionally convey exceptionalism. DEI should be as much a part of a manuscript as proper sentence structure and organization; it should exist within and throughout the narrative and encompass how the reader experiences the text, including visuals and accessibility. It is our responsibility to accurately reflect our diverse world.
Are you older than your professors? There’s hope
I immediately recognized Marlene’s voice on the phone. She was one of the brightest and most conscientious doctoral students I have ever served in my academic coaching and editing practice. An older student, “nontraditional,” Marlene had returned for her doctorate after three of her four kids were grown and on their own. She held down a full-time job in medical billing, and her youngest was now in high school, so Marlene embarked on a lifelong dream—she enrolled in a doctoral program. We were working together on the first of her course papers.
But now, instead of greeting me, Marlene fumed for ten minutes. Her professor had track-changed almost every page of her essay and added a four-paragraph single-spaced memo stuffed with questions. Marlene shouted over the phone, “I’m calling the doctoral police!”
What is critical race theory and why it should matter to academic authors
Recently, since the popularity of the 1619 project and its connection to critical race theory (CRT), there has been significant confusion about what CRT is. CRT used to be only known and debated by scholars in law, education, sociology and other related fields, but now it is troubling the minds of the parents of elementary students, among others. Let’s start with what it is, talk about what it isn’t and end with discussing what academic authors need to know about it.
President’s Message: Doing the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion
I once again find myself writing about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in textbooks. Not because I am—or feel myself to be—an expert in any aspect of DEI. Far from it. I am writing again because these concerns continue to weigh on me.
As a textbook author, I have a grave responsibility that goes beyond the obvious promise to deliver useful content for learning my subject. It is not only my descriptions and explanations and examples that affect my users—it is also the voice and vision that comes through those written words.