What has been an exciting aspect to transitioning into your role as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging?
Meeting the students, faculty, and staff. This job requires partnership with all the various groups within JHSON. Talking with the different constituents has helped me understand, more fully, the role and what needs to be my priorities.
What do you think are some challenges related to diversity in the nursing profession?
Nursing is unique in that is so vital to the sustainability of the healthcare profession. Sometimes the need to practice nursing takes precedent and the profession forgets about the people. It is important for nurses to be able to do both practice and effectively engage with people.
For a fancy dinner, do you prefer surf or turf?
Surf! I LOVE seafood.
How do you plan to impact the needs of the Baltimore community as we prepare future nurses?
Providing opportunities for our students to engage more with the community is vital to our success at training the next generation of nursing leaders. Baltimore has a rich history that should be recognized and appreciated. As a school of nursing, we have an awesome opportunity to effect the change that we want to see in the world. What a privilege we have to be able to affect that change in a dynamic community like Baltimore.
List the goals at the top of your list for your new position
- Initiate a new Diversity Advisory Council that the Office of DEI works with to effect meaningful programming for all stakeholders.
- Increase the office’s participation in conferences and publications.
- Collaborate with the MSN, DNP, and PhD faculty on curriculum redesign around issues specific to DEI.
Head-first parking of back-in parking?
Back in… the extra work in the beginning pays off when I’m ready to leave.
What is your favorite family tradition?
Friday night curry at my grandparents’ house. My great-grandfather is from Bangladesh, so Friday night curry is a tradition that my grandmother has maintained since she was old enough to cook.
Toilet paper – under or over?
Over- of course…. My grandmother taught me well.
Beach or mountains?
Beach- I detest the sand but I love being around the water.
How do you plan to find balance with your personal and professional lives?
Having clear boundaries. Sometimes work has to be taken home, but I am a strong believer in self-care.
What does diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging look like to you?
A setting where people are recognized and seen, in addition to being given access and opportunity.
Philly Cheesesteak or Baltimore Crab Cake?
Baltimore Crab Cake!
How do you see DEI efforts supporting students pursuing a degree online?
Online learning is a modality that universities must embrace in order to stay viable. Online learning does not prevent issues or concerns regarding DEI. One of the best ways I can think of to help address DEI challenges that arise in online learning is to do two primary things: (1) build community amongst online learners and (2) make sure that students can access our staff/offices when they need us. Online learning can be isolating enough, accessibility helps to combat feelings of isolation.
What is your favorite book you’ve read in the past year?
Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place by Richard Taylor.
What food do you cook the most?
I make a chicken Cesar salad at least three times a week at home.
What are a few key points that have contributed to your success in your career so far?
- Being authentic
- Show up!
- Remain disciplined
- Be willing to ask for help
- Take the initiative
How would you describe your style?
I think being able to work collaboratively is key. No one man or woman or person is an island. The moment I start to operate that way my job becomes that much harder.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
What is your favorite childhood memory?
The day I returned to my mom’s custody from foster care.
About the Author: Alexander Murphy
Alexander Murphy is the Assistant Director for Diversity Initiatives and Healthcare Organizational Leadership Recruitment at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Alexander is part of the admissions team.
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