BIPOC Leaders Forum

The College of Arts of Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is delighted to invite you to the BIPOC Leaders Forum. This forum centers the experiences, perspectives, and needs of BIPOC leaders or people considering leadership roles in academia. This forum is open to all.

BIPOC Leaders Forum

Tuesday, April 11, 2023
2-5 p.m. with a light reception to follow

2571 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43202

Please register at the link below by Monday, March 27, 2023. Space is limited. 


Forum Agenda

  • Welcome: Interim Associate Dean Korie Little Edwards
  • Opening remarks: Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa Gilliam
  • Keynote speaker: Vice Provost Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Vanderbilt University, Journey and Pathway to the A-Suite: Strategies, Challenges, and Daring to Grow
  • Workshop 1: Dean Miguel Garcia-Garibay, University of California, Los Angeles, Challenges and Opportunities for BIPOC Leaders in STEM
  • Workshop 2: Director Jamilah Hackworth, University of Cincinnati, Battling Emotional Exhaustion: Choosing to Thrive Instead of Simply Surviving
  • Closing remarks: Dean David Horn
  • Reception

The BIPOC Leaders Forum was inspired by the Arts and Sciences BIPOC Leaders group, a network of Arts and Sciences BIPOC faculty, chairs, directors and deans that is dedicated to fostering a community of support, peer mentoring, networking, and advocacy for BIPOC leaders in our college. Research shows that structural and historical factors uniquely impact the experiences of BIPOC leaders. Groups and communities like the Arts and Sciences BIPOC Leaders are important for BIPOC leaders personally and facilitate success in our roles as leaders.

Speakers and Presentations

Melissa Gilliam

Melissa Gilliam, The Ohio State University

Dr. Melissa Gilliam is Executive Vice President and Provost at The Ohio State University where she holds the Engie-Axium chair. As the institution’s chief academic officer, she oversees 15 colleges across six campuses with more than 67,000 students and nearly 7,600 faculty members. Prior to joining Ohio State in August 2021, Dr. Gilliam was Vice Provost and the Ellen H. Block Distinguished Service Professor of Health Justice at the University of Chicago. Her scholarship uses humanistic practices to address the health and well being of adolescents. Dr. Gilliam is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.


Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting, Vanderbilt University

Professor Sharpley-Whiting is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Humanities (AADS and French), Associate Provost for Academic Advancement, Chair of African American and Diaspora Studies, and Director of the Callie House Center. She is the author/editor or co-editor of fifteen books. She is currently researching, a biographical study of four African diasporic figures across French historical movements. She is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, editor of the journal Palimpsest, one of the series editors of "Blacks in the Diaspora" (Indiana University Press, 2007-2015), and co-series editor of "Philosophy and Race" (SUNY Press). She served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association (2014-2018). 

Journey and Pathway to the A-Suite: Strategies, Challenges, and Daring to Grow
This presentation offers pathways to the central administrative track (A-Suite) through a personal narrative about leadership development in various institutional settings and work-life balance.


Miguel Garcia-Garibay, University of California, Los Angeles

Miguel A. García-Garibay was appointed dean of physical sciences in 2016 and senior dean of the college at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2022. Professor Garcia-Garibay has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since 1992. He joined UCLA after doing postdoctoral research at Columbia University, which followed his PhD studies at the University of British Columbia, in Canada. His research efforts are aimed at the development of artificial molecular machinery and the development of green chemistry. Miguel has been a member of the editorial board of several chemistry journals. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Awards for his scientific and academic accomplishments include an NSF Career Award, the Herbert Newby McCoy Award, NSF Creativity Award, the ACS Cope Scholar Award, Inter-American Photochemical Society Award, and the 2016 UCLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. 

Challenges and Opportunities for BIPOC Leaders in STEM
Very few of us in academia plan for careers in leadership and administration. In my own case, after years of training to become an expert experimental scientist, and after having learned on the fly how to become a good research mentor and a competent educator, I was sequentially self-coerced to become a department vice-chair, a chair, and eventually a dean of the division of physical sciences and senior dean of the college at UCLA. While academic leadership and administration were never part of my ambitions, I found myself accepting all these positions primarily because I would become the first person of color to take those roles in my institution. It is likely that the self-inflicted responsibility to help pave an easier way for others, and the perceived (or real) responsibility of having to represent our entire communities, looms large in our minds at the moments of decision making. Thankfully, with the right attitude and a good dose of humility if does not take too long to learn many critical aspects of effective academic leadership, to point that it may become enjoyable and rewarding. Now, I wish I had been more proactive about my own leadership preparation, and I have become a strong advocate for the preparation of faculty of color, especially in areas like STEM, where diversity and inclusion remain very challenging. 


Jamilah Hackworth, University of Cincinnati

Jamilah Hackworth, MSEd, EdD, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Assistant Chair of Academic Affairs, and Director of the Office of Academic Affairs and Career Development at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In this role, she uses her training and previous experiences in student development, adult learning theory, curriculum development, program management and educational administration to develop, implement, and evaluate a cadre of faculty career development programs/curricula including career development/grantsmanship seminar series; leadership development programs across the career span (emerging, midlevel, and senior faculty); wellness and vitality programs; initiatives supporting the career development and retention of women and underrepresented minority faculty; a comprehensive faculty mentorship initiative; and various networking collaboratives - all of these efforts intentionally designed to support all faculty and trainees in defining and achieving vitality, engagement, and personal/career success.

Battling Emotional Exhaustion: Choosing to Thrive Instead of Simply Surviving
The last few years have heightened our experiences with emotional exhaustion and those challenges are often amplified for BIPOC leaders. This workshop is designed to highlight the depth of the issue of burnout, its consequences, and tangible strategies that can be used to mitigate emotional exhaustion and burnout to promote vitality – a state of professional fulfillment, motivation, and commitment to ongoing intellectual and personal growth, full professional engagement, enthusiasm and positive feelings of aliveness, energy, and excitement. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a personalized plan for achieving a state of vitality.