Initiatives

pop up barbershop in the Museum of Art

Pictured above: In collaboration with Connect, a program focused on helping first-generation and multicultural students succeed at UNH, the Museum of Art organized a pop-up barbershop to build community on campus. 120 haircuts were given and more than 470 people visited the museum that day.

Examples of projects and events that aim to increase diversity and inclusion across the College, University and community.

Administrative Initiatives in COLA

  • College-wide Fora on Diversity:
    • College Forum on Racism, June 23, 2020. Discussion of structural/institutional racism with a presentation from Kabria Baumgartner, assistant professor of English and American studies, followed by Q&A. Discussion of the idea of a mandatory diversity requirement for all COLA students and the idea of offering a Cognate in Diversity.  Video of Kabria Baumgartner's Presentation
    • "Difficult Conversations" meeting on the topic of diversity on September 25, 2019
    • What Can COLA Do to Make UNH More Inclusive?, April 1, 2019, Three Chimneys Inn
  • Dean and department chairs, coordinators and directors meeting to discuss strategies for diverse faculty retention and recruitment, May 2020.
  • Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars: We welcome two new Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars to the College of Liberal Arts in fall 2020: Dr. Mike Alvarez (Communication) and Dr. Ryan Gibson (Sociology).
  • Social Justice-Diversity Working Group: The College established a Social Justice-Diversity Working Group in spring 2019 to explore and catalog all current COLA undergraduate course offerings on these topics in order to streamline offerings, identify and rectify gaps in offerings, and better advertise the breadth of courses we offer.
    Working Group Members:
    Anna Wainwright, Chair, Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies
    David Kaye, Theatre and Dance
    Jason Sokol, History
    Lin Zhang, Communication
  • Review of teaching evaluation process to better understand the role of issues of diversity in biasing teaching evaluations
  • Review of college-wide facilities for accommodating students with disabilities who qualify (quiet space for exams, etc.)
  • Focus on recruitment of diverse faculty and staff, including department meetings to discuss strategies and cluster hiring where relevant
  • College-wide faculty of color receptions
  • College-level mentoring of pre-tenured faculty of color to promote inclusive excellence and academic success
  • Focus on retention of diverse COLA students through social gatherings at Dean’s Office

Indigenous New Hampshire

Local Abenaki leaders, UNH professors and students, and community members are working to recover Indigenous people’s history in New Hampshire and give it a new voice in the present. On the shores of Oyster River, anthropologist Meghan Howey is directing an archaeological dig that’s uncovering Indigenous history. Anthropologist Svetlana Peshkova is working with community members to build the Indigenous New Hampshire story map, an online reinterpretation of key events and the places where they occurred from a Native American perspective. English professor Siobhan Senier runs the online journal, Dawnland Voices, which publishes a wide range of Indigenous writing from New England and the Northeast.


Museum of Art

The Museum of Art (MOA) at UNH, housed in COLA, is a hub of exhibits and events that foreground diversity and inclusion.

Recent events:

  • In collaboration with Connect, a program focused on helping first-generation and multicultural students succeed at UNH, the MOA organized a pop-up barbershop to build community on campus. 120 haircuts were given and more than 470 people visited the museum that day. (Pictured above)
  • “For Freedoms,” a public art display created by UNH community members that uses lawn signs to express definitions of freedom.

Recent exhibits:

  • Fahamu Pecou: DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance. Pecou explored the state of Black existence through performance, painting, drawing, music and video.
  • Yoav Horesh: Aftermath. Site photographs of Israel suicide bombings, months and years after destructive blasts.
  • Messengers: Artists as Witnesses. Nine contemporary regional and national artists created work that gives voice to others. Themes addressed incarceration, criminality, state-sanctioned violence, terrorism and evil.

Museum of Art Website


Black New England Conference

The Black New England Conference is an annual 2-day gathering where academics, artists, activists, and community members share insights and research on Black experiences, past and present, in New England and beyond. The Conference is both an academic conference and a celebration of Black life and history.

Black New England COnference Website


The Civil Discourse Lab

Communication faculty Jennifer Borda, associate professor, and Renee Heath, principal lecturer, founded the Civil Discourse Lab, which seeks to strengthen the ability of students and community members to conduct meaningful conversations, collaborate and make decisions around sometimes difficult but important topics to a civil society. Two recent community discussions have been on topics of immigration and the stigma around drug addiction.

Civil Discourse Lab Website


Confucius Institute at UNH

A partnership between Chengdu University in China and the College, the Confucius Institute at UNH provides opportunities for cultural learning through events such as Lunar New Year, Chinese performing arts, visiting exhibitions of Chinese art and culture, and cultural exchanges for faculty, students and administrators.

Confucius Institute at UNH website


Cultural Stages: The Woodward International Drama and Dance Initiative

An initiative designed to promote a greater understanding of world cultures through drama and dance, Cultural Stages includes an international playwriting competition and production as well as guest performances by international artists.

Cultural Stages WEbsite


Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab (GHURL)

Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab (GHURL) is an initiative of the Department of languages, Literatures and Cultures. It provides a site where undergraduates and faculty together can engage with each other, with external resources, and with technology, to address the grand challenges and pressing questions of our time, and to discover novel ways of understanding and explaining the world. One initiative of GHURL has been the Puerto Rico Lab, which brings students and faculty together to better understand the challenges facing Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab (GHURL)