Michelle Manno Returns to Diversity

It is with great pride and excitement that we announce that Michelle Manno has rejoined the Office of Diversity as Director for Diversity Initiatives. She is charged with guiding the Office of Diversity’s engagement with its students, faculty and staff through our various educational campaigns, workshops and programs aimed to support the university climate.

Michelle first came aboard back in 2014 after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialty in social inequality from Emory University while co-authoring two book chapters on the state of race in education and teaching at the undergraduate level at both Emory and UIC. As the Postdoctoral Research Associate and Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives, she coordinated the development and implementation of various campus-wide diversity initiatives. During the 2015-16 year, Michelle co-created the “Words Matter!” inclusive language campaign, a university-wide effort designed to engage the campus community in open, mutually-respectful, and difficult conversations about the power of language. During its inaugural year, she coordinated the Race and Ethnicity Workshop, a joint IRRPP and Office of Diversity effort designed to bring together a community of scholars doing innovative research on race and ethnicity. And, in partnership with Campus Housing, Michelle was also involved in the development of the Respect, Equity, and Active Learning (REAL) Community.

In her previous tenure at UIC, Michelle additionally served as Co-Chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender People and Allies, was staff advisor for the Gender Umbrella Society student organization, and co-founded the Gender Affirming Procedures (GAP) Advocates program, designed to assist trans and gender nonconforming campus members in accessing gender affirming healthcare at UIC.

Between her departure in 2016 and her recent return to UIC, Michelle worked as a Professional Development Specialist with the Science House Professional Development Group at the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM), a group chiefly funded by grants from the National Science Foundation which focuses on assisting organizations in transforming their institutional cultures to be more equitable and inclusive. With the Science House team, Michelle provided highly customized, interdisciplinary, research-driven professional development to a wide range of audiences including K-12 educators, museum professionals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses from across the country. She was also a member of the Change Management working group at SMM, which was tasked with assisting in effective large-scale change efforts across the museum.  Meanwhile, in her rare and all too brief down time, Michelle also focused her energies on the conception of yet another literary project that explores the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality within women’s collegiate athletics.

Having reclaimed her old turf at the Office of Diversity, Michelle reins in a few new objectives such as expanding Diversity workshops for faculty and staff and overseeing cross-unit efforts in the creation of UIC’s Equity Scorecard. Michelle looks forward to bringing her experience, content expertise, and facilitation skills gained in the informal science sector to the diversity and inclusion efforts at UIC.