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WOUB’s Atish Baidya named chief diversity officer for college, diversity committee

Julia Brown | Oct 6, 2017

WOUB’s Atish Baidya named chief diversity officer for college, diversity committee

By Julia Brown

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 6, 2017)—On Sept. 25, Atish Baidya, digital content editor at WOUB and master’s candidate in the School of Visual Communication, was named the new Chief Diversity Officer for the Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee (SCCDC) and the college. The committee was created in 2014 to honor diversity through inclusion in all aspects of the college, starting with the Scripps College of Communication Diversity Statement.

Following a round of open nominations and discussion of interested candidates, the committee voted to nominate Baidya as the chief officer.

“Atish has played an important role in the past success of the committee,” said committee member Trevor Roycroft, a professor in the J. W. McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems. “In addition to his experience on the committee, Atish has also participated in the Summer Institute for Diversity Education.”

Dean Scott Titsworth approved of the committee’s selection. “In leading the committee, Atish will bring passion for promoting diversity, inclusion and social justice initiatives across the college,” Titsworth said in an email on Sept. 25. “I am personally thrilled to work with Atish in this capacity, and know that he will represent the committee very well as he engages others in the college and across campus.”

Baidya already has goals for the committee moving forward. “One of the goals for the year is to further increase the visibility of the SCCDC within the college, so we can better serve as a resource for all,” he said. “I want the Scripps community to know they can reach out to me or members of the committee with their ideas on how we can honor diversity by advancing inclusion within the college.”

His passion for diversity is twofold. First, Baidya has experienced marginalization firsthand as a gay, first generation Nepalese-American who has a twin brother with special needs. His incredibly diverse background across sexuality, culture, ethnicity and ability have allowed Baidya to become “acutely aware of the power and importance of inclusion.”

Second, Baidya believes as a college of communication, “we would be doing the students an incredible disservice if we are not preparing them to be citizens that can effectively communicate with the wide diversity of people they will interact with in their lifetimes.”

For Baidya, however, diversity goes beyond tokenism. “Diversity is not lists of categories that can be checked off based on whom you have within your organization,” he said. “It must be about recognizing the different lived experiences within each of us, acknowledging that those experiences shape how we see the world and creating a culture that actively and intentionally includes diverse perspectives in decision-making processes and power structures within the organization.”

Keep up with the latest Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee news and events by following them on Twitter and liking them on Facebook.

The 2017-2018 Diversity Committee members are:

  • Laura Black (COMS)
  • Jenny Nelson (MDIA)
  • Bill Reader (JOUR)
  • Trevor Roycroft (ITS)
  • Gary Kirksey (VICO)
  • Mike Rodriguez (WOUB)
  • Atish Baidya (WOUB)
  • Zahara Pruitt (Undergraduate)
  • Franklyn Church (Graduate)
  • Patrick Evans (Undergraduate)
  • Marquis Maines (Undergraduate)
  • Justice Hill (Dean’s Office)