Statement of Contributions to Diversity

Statement of Contributions to Diversity

I was born and raised in an Asian country and traveled across the Pacific Ocean to study in the United States. My time as a graduate student and visiting assistant professor provides a well-rounded experience working with wonderful people from all backgrounds. It is a leap from the live in the closed and mostly yellow-skinned town where I grew up.

I thrived living and working at one of the most culturally diverse universities, the University of Texas at Dallas, while perusing my PhD. When I started my academic career, the heartwarming faculty at Birmingham-Southern College conveys me a sense of belonging. In return to the plenty of love and care that I received as a minority one, I consider diversity, equity, and inclusion central to my teaching and advising when I have a chance to be an educator.

Teaching a diversified student body is a challenge as well as a fulfillment to me. I strive to seek opportunities in research, the classroom, and across campus to enhance the inclusion of individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Specifically, I sincerely introduce appropriate academic resources, such as tutoring chances, English as Second Language courses, and study groups, to students based on their characteristics and interests. Furthermore, I passionately recommend minority students for scholarship, fellowship, and membership of fraternity and sorority. Deep in my heart, I know they desire one chance to involve, engage, and get recognized. That is why I am always there to listen, advise, and support them to succeed.

For those courses I have full responsibility for curriculum and examination, I have been actively accommodating students with physical challenges in hearing, vision, and walking. Under seamless cooperation with the university student accessibility office, I manage to involve those students in my class without an excessive amount of attention from other students. The increasing enrollment of students with accommodation needs is an affirmation to my effort.

Additionally, I encourage my students to think about problems from the standpoint of a qualified citizen with a global view. By expanding their horizons over developing countries and underprivileged populations, they cultivate the empathy and benevolence on which the real diversity relies. When students start to ponder the roles they might play in alleviating the vast inequities that continue to shape our world, they will embrace the idea of diversity and experience personal growth.

I sincerely look forward to my role in your institution, continuing my focus on incorporating students from different backgrounds into a welcoming classroom.

Zhengyang (Robin) Chen
Visiting Assistant Professor in Economics

My research interests include Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics, Time Series Analysis and Financial Economics.