Evan Johnson, an associate professor with the University of Wyoming’s Division of Kinesiology and Health, has a vision about diversity on campus and in the division’s classrooms: The more diversity among faculty and students, the better the outcome for students.

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They have received a grant, totaling $130,026, was approved through the UW Office of Academic Affairs, and will fund three graduate assistantships for two academic years, which will help with this goal.

Johnson, along with Boyi Dai, an associate professor; Christine Porter, a professor, and Wyoming Excellence Chair; and Kelly Simonton, an assistant professor, worked together to create an application that represents a wide-scope plan to bring students from many diverse cultures and backgrounds.

While most university-level exercise science programs have a good balance of male and female students, UW’s kinesiology and health program is 90 percent to 95 percent Caucasian.

With grant funding now in place, the division’s next step is to reach out to an institution in a different part of the country and determine if a student from that campus would qualify to come to UW.

An important component of the application created by the Division of Kinesiology and Health faculty members is having students arrive in a welcoming environment. This component is accomplished in two ways.

This is accomplished through the National Research Mentoring Network, of which UW is a member. The second is the American College of Sports Medicine’s national Leadership and Diversity Training Program.

Finally, to help faculty in the Division of Kinesiology and Health become more familiar with topics related to social justice, health disabilities and cultural humility, reading materials on these topics will be discussed in a faculty-wide meeting each month.

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