The Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Academic Affairs at Adler University selected Erica Wade-Ball, Ph.D., to serve as the University’s inaugural Diversity Faculty Fellow. The 12-month fellowship program provides faculty members with opportunities to develop and implement strategies and initiatives that improve the success of minoritized students, faculty, and staff within Adler University.
“Our intention and hope for launching this fellowship program is to support faculty, particularly faculty of color, as they develop their leadership skills and work to advance social justice at Adler University,” said Tamara A. Johnson, Ph.D., Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.
The program will serve as a professional development opportunity for the faculty fellow. Dr. Wade-Ball is the Director of Clinical Training for the Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs and teaches in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in Chicago. She began her fellowship on March 1.
“When I first saw this opportunity, I knew it would be a great fit for me,” Dr. Wade-Ball said. “I enjoy being able to create opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to find ways to explore difficult conversations specific to diversity. I also like being a conduit to help create opportunities for people to enhance their own awareness about diversity.”
Dr. Wade-Ball is working to support Adler University’s institutional efforts focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion with her leadership on specific initiatives. Some of these initiatives include working with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to enhance the Diversity Leadership Program and Leading with Excellence, Achievement, and Diversity programs focused on supporting students of color on the Chicago campus.
Dr. Wade-Ball will also provide leadership in developing a Diversity Learning Outcomes Comprehensive Guide for faculty to further integrate social justice and diversity competencies within course syllabi and throughout the curriculum. This activity will occur in tandem with the University’s Transforming the Curriculum Initiative focused on decolonizing and centering the curriculum so that it is more aligned with Adler’s social justice mission of preparing socially responsible graduates.
“I knew this would be a great opportunity to help me learn more about the University, and to help me enhance my own professional development, knowledge and skills specific to growing and learning as a counselor educator,” Dr. Wade-Ball said. “My goal for this project is to align with the mission of Adler, enhance my professional understanding as a counselor educator and clinical training director, and to support the growth of each student’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes as it pertains to diversity awareness, humility, and understanding.”
In addition to her leadership role on initiatives within the college, Dr. Wade-Ball participates on several committees, including on curriculum transformation and student mental health and wellness. She also attends Academic Affairs team meetings and support other diversity initiatives.
“We look forward to working closely with Dr. Wade-Ball and are confident that she will make significant contributions during her appointment as Diversity Faculty Fellow,” said Wendy Paszkiewicz, Psy.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs.