Madison, Wis. (October 2, 2012) – With the start of a new month, Edgewood College announces its new Ethnic Studies major, the first discipline-specific undergraduate major in the School of Integrative Studies.
“The School of Integrative Studies is proud to house the Ethnic Studies major,” says Interim Dean Dr. Kris Mickelson. “This new major is an academic expression of the College’s commitment to social justice, a campus climate of inclusion, and community collaboration.”
Students immediately responded to Ethnic Studies when the minor program was first offered in 2005. The program has since grown, with fifty or more students taking the track each semester. The significant growth of the minor and increased student interest in Ethnic Studies have built a strong foundation for the major.
Nicole Sandoval, a student advocate for the major and a junior majoring in International Relations has recently declared Ethnic Studies as her second major. “I’ve decided to major in Ethnic Studies,” says Sandoval, “not only because I championed the major, but also because it will prepare me to work in a society that requires the ability to respect ethnic differences and negotiate cultural boundaries. The major makes me better prepared and more marketable in the workplace.”
“It is a great honor to offer the Ethnic Studies major,” says Dr. Huining Ouyang, Director of the Center for Multicultural Education and Ethnic Studies and Professor of English. “Students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds will find the major personally and professionally rewarding. As a major in the liberal arts, Ethnic Studies enables not only interdisciplinary inquiry and problem-solving but also self-discovery, multicultural knowledge, and commitment to social justice.”
Dr. Andrew Witt, Chair of the History Department and Associate Professor of History, agrees. “The establishment of the Ethnic Studies major is such a wonderful development,” says Witt. “Not simply because it is part of the College’s larger work to become a more diverse and inclusive campus, but because this gives the students and faculty a chance to research and explore new, important issues that will make them better scholars and better citizens.”
The Ethnic Studies Program offers a multitude of student development opportunities, such as scholarships for incoming first-year and transfer students, Ethnic Studies Association memberships, and the annual Distinguished Lecture Series. With the new major, students will also have exciting new course offerings and expanded internship and community engagement opportunities.