CHS awards Gerron Scott the Leadership in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Award
Gerron Scott is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHS Leadership in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Award. Scott is an undergraduate academic adviser in the Department of Biology. He also serves as the vice-chair for the University Academic Advising Board.
Through mentorship and advocacy, Scott uses a multi-level approach to promoting diversity and inclusion both on campus and in his work coaching academic advisers nationwide. He is the proposals co-chair for the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Mid-Atlantic Region, which consists of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. NACADA is a global community for academic advising where Scott volunteers his time and expertise to promote inclusion, diversity and equity to students, faculty and college advisers in the region.
What does receiving the Leadership in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Award mean to you?
The award means a lot to me. To be recognized by my peers shows that the work that I am doing to promote inclusion, diversity and equity is being noticed. It shows that if you continue to work hard and believe in yourself, great things will happen. I try to live out the ideals behind inclusion, diversity and equity in my everyday life so the award really shows that my actions are lining up with my values.
How has your experience with implicit bias and training in debiasing techniques impacted your work with academic advisers?
It has greatly impacted my work with academic advisers. Our biases can often keep us from seeing our students for the unique individuals that they are. They also cause us not to recognize when systems and policies are in place that hurt our students. Through my work, I have been able to reach hundreds of advisers across the country. I hope that message has trickled from those advisers to their peers to create a better experience for students.
Are there partners in your work that helped you achieve this honor?
There are several partners that helped me achieve this honor. The Biology advising staff, the biology department, the College of Humanities and Sciences, University Academic Advising Board and several people and organizations outside of VCU have all poured into me. They have allowed me to talk their ears off and practice my presentations. They have soothed my nervousness and have given me great advice. I am thankful for everyone who has helped me grow as a professional.
What excites and motivates you about your work?
What excites and motivates me is that there will always be work to be done. We all have biases and my goal is to bring awareness to that so we can begin to discuss ways to manage and ultimately get rid of our biases. I believe that once we examine our biases we can be more intentional about not only dealing with our personal biases but also dismantling systemic biases for our students.