Mônica A. Haddad
Role in the ISU ADVANCE Program
In my position as the Equity Advisor for the College of Design (CoD), I have a critical role in training search committees for hiring new faculty, and training Promotion and Tenure committees for understanding unconscious bias. At the university level, I work closely with the other EAs in several different tasks such as preparing workshops for faculty about promotion and tenure, and reviewing faculty policies. I also work closely with the CoD Senior Associate Dean and the CoD Multicultural Liaison Officer, to ensure the coordination of all our college efforts to promote an environment that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive.
Growing up in Brazil, I witnessed a country characterized by intra-urban inequalities, impoverished urban areas, and regional disparities. These roots are what motivate me to shape change and to center environmental justice as the driving force of my scholarship. For me, environmental justice can only be achieved when people have equal rights and equal access to living in healthy environments. My definition of healthy environments is informed by a strong social perspective and includes promoting socio-economic equity in the distribution of costs and benefits, minimizing the spatial differentiation of urban amenities, and allowing residents to participate in decision-making processes. I believe healthy environments go beyond the natural and built environments: they also incorporate intangible aspects of cities such as education and jobs. As an urban and regional planning scholar, I advocate that planning can function as a powerful tool to promote greater environmental justice.
In order to pursue my holistic concept of environmental justice, I divide my research agenda in four themes: social justice, social development, environmental planning, and economic development. In my quantitative approach to research, I frequently utilize mapping, spatial statistics, spatial analysis, modelling, and surveys to answer my research questions. I have also begun to use a few qualitative methods such as interviews and content analysis to capture opinions and perspective that are essential to planning processes. Because of the applied nature of my research, I usually develop case studies located in Brazil and the U.S.
Motivations for Being a Part of ISU ADVANCE
I have been the Equity Advisor for the College of Design since August 2016. When I read the call for applications about this position, I decided to apply. The same passion that motivates me towards environmental justice, motivates me to ensure that all faculty have equal rights and equal access to opportunities to succeed in their professional careers.
Greatest ISU ADVANCE Achievement/Proud Moment/Contribution
In Fall 2017 I took the lead to write a report about Gender and Equity using secondary data and focusing on tenured and tenure-track faculty. My leadership had an impact on diminishing the salary gap that exists at the College of Design between female and male faculty. Independently of specific budget situations, the Dean’s office has committed and dedicated a yearly fixed budget amount to improve salary equity at the CoD. Additionally, as a team effort, in the Spring 2016, we were awarded the Women's and Diversity Grants Program from the ISU Office for Diversity and Inclusion. We proposed a workshop series focusing on expanding diversity perspectives to all CoD faculty, staff, and graduate students. The first workshop happened in the Fall of 2016, and since then, every year, we have a workshop with an invited speaker. Our team work became the seed for a growing awareness about equity, diversity, and inclusion that we are building at the CoD.