Mari Castañeda, Professor of Communication, Appointed SBS Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion
The UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences has appointed Mari Castañeda, Professor of Communication, in the newly-created position of SBS Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion. The new Associate Dean position includes oversight of efforts to internationalize the SBS student and faculty experience as well, which was initiated by Amel Ahmed in her previous role as Director of Diversity Advancement.
Mari Castañeda was the first Director of Diversity Advancement in any college on campus, has served as a Chancellor's Leadership Fellow and Chair of Communication, and has excelled in all these positions. She will continue to serve as Chair through the fall semester. Castañeda will be fully engaged as Associate Dean by the start of the Spring 2019 semester.
Castañeda's research interests include the study of digital media and telecommunication policy, Latina/ethnic media studies, and global communications. Her work promotes "engaged scholarship" and aims to address inequality, power, community voices, and the role of intersectionalities in shaping media and cultural spaces. Her recent co-edited books include Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning From Social Justice Partnerships in Action (2018, Peter Lang Publishers), Mothers in Academia (2013, Columbia University Press) and Soap Operas and Telenovelas in the Digital Age: Global Industries and New Audiences (2011, Peter Lang Publishers).
Castañeda is also affiliated with the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latina/o Studies; Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies; and the School of Public Policy.
Regarding the appointment, SBS Dean John A. Hird says, "This is a critical position for the College, particularly in these tumultuous times, so I'm particularly pleased that someone of Mari's talents and accomplishments will play an important leadership role for us all."