The Office of Inclusion and Equity (OIE) at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) offers on a yearly basis a competitive opportunity for an exceptional NYUAD graduating senior to take part in a prestigious one-year research fellowship. Funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the fellowship seeks to foster knowledge of IDBEA in and out of the NYUAD context.
Riko was appointed the 2022-2023 post-graduation research fellow at the Office of Inclusion and Equity (OIE). As a fellow, Riko is researching the transformative moments that students and faculty have during their time at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Through her research, Riko aims to understand in what spaces transformative moments at a diverse institution like NYUAD take place, and how they manifest. Riko also works with the OIE to advance inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging, and access/accessibility (IDBEA) at NYUAD. Riko majored in Social Research and Public Policy with a minor in Legal Studies.
Thais Thomas served as the inaugural fellow in the Office of Inclusion and Equity. During her fellowship year, she collaborated on projects to advance the strategy for inclusion, diversity, belonging and equity across the institution including unconscious bias training for campus safety officers, and programming on themes such as colorism and global Blackness. Thais also served as a Program Organiser for the Colorism Across Global Lines symposium in spring 2023. Thais graduated with a BA in History with Minors in Legal Studies and African Studies in 2021.
Thais' fellowship research project focused on faculty racial/ethnic diversity and classroom climate. The project explored the unique experiences of students in the NYUAD classroom, as well as their nuanced perception of faculty diversity at this global liberal arts university. Ultimately, her research concluded that although the racial/ethnic diversification of faculty is of paramount importance, universities, particularly those serving international student bodies, must also invest in faculty training programs that encourage discussions of positionality, develop intercultural understanding, and center classroom climate management.