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Diversity Committee

Who we are:

Diversity Statement

The Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee consists of members from each of the five schools in the college, WOUB Public Media, graduate and undergraduate students, and is chaired by the college’s chief diversity officer.

The committee works toward creating and maintaining a culture that actively and intentionally includes diverse perspectives in decision-making processes and power structures within the college.

We do this work through our definition of diversity which is as follows:
The Scripps College of Communication's concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It is understanding that each individual has a unique set of life experiences shaped along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic status, age, abilities, and religious, political, and ideological beliefs. It is about understanding one another and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the distinct attributes of each individual. The College embraces diversity and the exploration of varied life experiences in a positive and nurturing environment.

What we do:

Student Support

Thanks to an endowment from the Scripps Howard Foundation the Committee is able to offer support for students’ academic efforts in a number of ways.

  • Scholarships
    The committee provides $10,000 in scholarships to Scripps students from underrepresented groups. Eligible students may apply for these scholarships as part of each school’s general scholarship application. Interested students may contact committee member from their respective school or the chief diversity officer for additional information.
  • Travel Support

Students may apply for support to help defray costs for travel to academic conferences. Download the travel grant application (PDF).  

Applications for travel support are accepted on a rolling basis up until October 15 for travel during the fall semester and up until March 1 for travel during the spring semester.

  • Research Support for Graduate Students

Graduate students may apply for support of their master’s thesis/project or dissertation research (PDF). Eligible graduate students must either be from an underrepresented group or their research must involve an underrepresented group.

Deadlines for applications are as follows:

Spring Semester: November 1 at 5 p.m. (for expenses incurred December through April)

Summer and Fall Semester: March 1 at 5 p.m. (for expenses incurred May through November)

  • Student Programming Support

Scripps College student organizations can apply for support for programming (PDF) that involves an aspect of diversity and inclusion. Applications for programming support are accepted on a rolling basis up until October 15 for programs during the fall semester and up until March 1 for programs during the spring semester. 

Faculty Support

Thanks to an endowment from the Scripps Howard Foundation the Committee is able to offer programming support to faculty in the college. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until October 15 for funding during the fall semester and until March 1 for funding during the spring semester.

  • Mini-Grants
    Faculty members in the college are encouraged to apply for mini-grants (PDF) for support efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
  • Programming Support
    Faculty members organizing programming like speakers and workshops may apply for funding (PDF) to support those efforts.

Committee Members

Michael Rodriguez (Chair and Chief Diversity Officer) 

Mike Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez has served in public broadcasting for over 25 years. At WOUB Public Media, he is the Director of Production Services and Student Development. Michael leads a team of skilled multimedia professionals. He also is the primary coordinator for more than 120 Scripps College of Communication student volunteers offering hands-on digital media experience in a broadcast facility.

Laura Black (COMS)

Laura Black

Laura Black is an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies. Dr. Black studies group deliberation and dialogue with a special focus on storytelling, conflict, and group facilitation. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, she also is actively engaged in the community by facilitating difficult conversations in Athens and other areas of Southeast Ohio.

Surin Chung (Journalism)

Surin Chung

Surin Chung (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is an Assistant Professor in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. His research centers on crisis and risk communication, particularly focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) issues. He is a former public relations professional in South Korea.  

Roger Cooper (MDIA)

Roger Cooper

Roger Cooper is Associate Professor of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University and Director of the OHIO-in-Los Angeles Program. Dr. Cooper focuses on career development for the media and creative industries. He is recipient of the University Professor Award, voted by students and given annually to four Ohio University professors. Roger has published research on the attributes for career success in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and the Journal of Media Education and presented numerous papers and panels on the topic at national and international conferences.

Iman Ikram (COMS)

Iman Ikram

Iman Ikram is an international doctoral student in the health communication track at School of Communication Studies. She practiced dentistry and healthcare administration for over seven years in India. Currently, her interest lies in women's health specifically negotiating stigmatization against menstruation in terms of culture and gender. She is also a member of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity. Access, and Social justice (IDEAS) committee at the School of Communication Studies.

Gary Kirksey (VISCOM)

Gary Kirksey
Gary Kirksey is an associate professor in the School of Visual Communication. Gary has been very active in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) serving as the past chair of the Visual Task Force within NABJ. Gary's photography has been displayed in regional and national exhibitions. In addition to his advertising work, Gary's photography has been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Life magazine.

Katie Kobasuk (ECT)

Katie Kobasuk

Katie Kobasuk, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a junior majoring in Emerging Communication Technologies, with a minor in Business, concentrating in Management Information Systems. She is Vice President of Telecommunications Systems Management Association and a member of Information Systems and Analytics Professionals.

Trevor Roycroft (ECT)

Trevor Roycroft

Trevor Roycroft is Professor Emeritus in the J. Warren McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies, where he conducts graduate and undergraduate courses in regulatory policy and law, privacy, and the economics of information and telecommunication industries.

Mia Walsh

Mia Walsh

Mia Walsh is a sophomore studying journalism at OHIO and a Cutler Scholar. At Thread Magazine, she is SEAMS section editor. Mia is also the Scripps College Representative for Bobcat Student Orientation. She regularly writes for both Thread Magazine and Backdrop Magazine on campus.

Congratulations to the 2020-21 Diversity Committee award recipients!

2020-21 Awards

The Scripps College Diversity Committee offers support for student and faculty/staff research and creative activity related to diversity and inclusion. Join us in congratulating these award recipients.

  • Michael Blackshire – MFA TA appointment
  • Bharbi Hazarika – Innovation Challenge
  • Danzia Mulaj - Graduate Grant Award
  • Kujang Laki - conference fees
  • Luis Miguel Lopez - Graduate Grant Award
  • Srijita Chattopadhyay - Dissertation Grant Award
  • Danielle Biss – conference fees
  • Lenny M. Cauich Maldonado – Dissertation Grant Award
  • Dr. Surin Chung – Faculty mini-grant
  • Satrajit Ghosh Chowdhury – Graduate Grant Award


Ohio University Resources

Teaching Resources