The State University of New York Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion announced the recipients of the Faculty Diversity Program awards for the 2013-2014 academic year. The winners include Geneseo’s assistant professor of dance studies Mark Broomfield ‘94. Broomfield is the first Geneseo professor to receive this award.
According to Carlos Medina, associate provost and associate vice chancellor for SUNY ODEI, the program started around 15 years ago. It was created in conjunction with the State University of New York system and the New York legislative body “as a result of not having enough diversity within the faculty ranks,” he said, in a phone interview.
The program aims to encourage diversity through recruiting, retaining and promoting scholars of different backgrounds, including those from groups who have been historically underrepresented in higher education, according to the SUNY ODEI website.
Broomfield is knowledgeable about the rich tradition and culture of the African and African-American experience. He has worked with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company and recognized choreographers that include Talley Beatty, Katherine Dunham, Eleo Pomare and Ronald K. Brown.
Broomfield said we live in a world where everyone dances, offering so much to choose from, yet, “oftentimes that level of diversity isn’t manifested in the program itself.
“So that’s part of my reason of being here too: to diversify the curriculum in ways that it doesn’t necessarily show in a diverse student population,” Broomfield said.
His recent work focuses on “the production of an internationally recognized branding of the black male dancing body and the queer embodied resistances that arise between on and offstage performances of masculinity,” according to the guide from the Decentering Dance Studies: Moving in New Global Orders conference. He presented this paper in California in November, titled “Branding Ailey Men and the Embodied Resistances of the Queer Male Dancing Body.”
Broomfield is also producing a book manuscript and documentary film exploring the world of professional black male dancers and their insights on masculinity.
Broomfield said he has seen how the student population brings greater diversity than what is demonstrated in the dance program.
“We have diverse offerings, but we could do better,” he said. Broomfield is teaching DANC 104: Cultural Dance I: Urban Dance in spring 2014.
His experience, academic credentials, scholarship and passion for teaching, Medina said, made him stand out among the pool of candidates.
“All of that together made him a pretty outstanding candidate,” Medina said.
Medina explained that a two-pronged process is used to select recipients. First, campuses nominate a junior faculty member who they believe is deserving of this recognition. Once picked, SUNY faculty members considered experts within their fields review the candidates and provide recommendations to the SUNY Provost, who makes the final decision.
The recipients of this award are granted faculty salary support for three years in addition to research grants up to $15,000.
Other recipients include assistant professor of history Melixa Izquierdo of Farmingdale State College, research assistant professor Glenda Trujillo of Stony Brook University and assistant professor of chemistry Luis Velarde of University at Buffalo.