Benita focuses her efforts on getting UMass Amherst students to work with each other in order to teach them how to collaborate in a much larger world.
I have been at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2005. One of the courses that I teach is called Embracing Diversity. I really wanted to integrate a civic engagement component into my large undergraduate course. It's essential for students to think about how they're treating, and how they're respecting, and how they're embracing people that they're sitting in class with. And so my intent was to focus this whole notion of embracing diversity on our university campus. So we partnered with a variety of offices on campus that in some way or another have an interest in diversifying and making the campus more inclusive. The university is always interested in helping people who have traditionally been excluded. One of my responsibilities particularly teaching undergraduate students is to expand their world view, so that then they can't become more receptive and open to differences. Students who come out of the University of Massachusetts understand the advantage of collective thinking. They walk away with an acceptance and an appreciation for that. I'm Benita J. Barnes, associate professor in the College of Education. I stand for social justice, and I stand for UMass.