- Montclair State University associate English professor Patricia Matthew is profiled by the Chronicle for her creation of an academic primer on violence and strained relations between police departments and communities of color.
- Matthew says that the conversation was sparked by consistent questions from white students about recurring shooting deaths of black men in cities around the country.
- The reader, which has been widely distributed at college campuses around the country, contains links from academic research and editorial journalism, to create a full portrait of views on the controversial subject.
Matthew is no stranger to adding bold minority perspectives into space where it is infrequently welcomed. As the editor of an anthology on the negative experiences of minority faculty seeking tenure at predominantly white campuses, she is becoming an authority on introducing valuable perspective to audiences and setting which otherwise may reject or ignore them.
But more than that, she is a part of a growing culture of academics looking to make more intimate ties between the lived experiences of students and the content they consume. For deans and provosts, these projects and the acclaim they earn are a part of the benefit of diversity. But not only that, structuring course instruction in ways that are relevant and relatable to students is the best way to increase student engagement and, ultimately, will lead to positive outcomes around retention and completion.