The UW–Madison School of Education’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) is adding another member to its team.
After a nationwide search, Samantha Becker (she/her) has been named the inaugural equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) director of teaching and learning innovation. Becker will begin her role on May 24.
“Samantha is an experienced and talented educator with a wealth of expertise that will greatly contribute to the School’s efforts at capacity building related to equity, diversity, and inclusion,” says LaVar Charleston, the School of Education’s associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion. “She is an integral piece of the puzzle in developing the OEDI as we endeavor to create sustainable, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environments in the School, and we are absolutely thrilled that she is joining our team.”
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion provides leadership to faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that promote the School of Education and UW–Madison’s mission for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Becker is joining the OEDI team after serving in the UW–Madison Multicultural Student Center as the social justice education specialist. In her new role, Becker will deliver high quality workshops, learning experiences, and development programs to senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students within the School of Education. Becker will design, customize, and implement capacity building programs and activities that address the professional development of faculty, staff, and students in the School as it relates to the School’s strategic diversity agenda and related goals.
“I can’t wait to creatively utilize my skillsets and innovate in collaboration with the amazing staff, faculty, and students in the School of Education,” says Becker. “The opportunity to bring my experiences to a community like the one in the School of Education is really exciting, and I’m looking forward to learning together in this new role.”
Prior to transitioning to UW–Madison, Becker’s academic career included teaching courses and providing research assistance as an academic librarian, as well as supporting social justice education programming, at Drake University. She brings with her a passion for education as a pathway toward liberation and a strong belief in the importance of information use in operationalizing one’s autonomy. Authenticity, reflection, and continual development are key to her professional identity, as is sharing her knowledge in ways that are accessible and meaningful to diverse audiences.
Becker holds a BA in English and philosophy from Roosevelt University and an MA in library and information science from UW–Madison. She is currently completing her doctoral work in education from Drake University.