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CLLA jointly appointed faculty member A. R. Carter-Sowell, Ph.D. wins prestigious award for contributions to diversity and inclusion

The Shapiro Faculty Award from The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) recognizes Carter-Sowell’s work.

By Rachel Knight ‘18

Adrienne Carter-Sowell headshot

Adrienne Carter-Sowell is the 2020 recipient of the Jenessa Shapiro Award for Faculty Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion.

Adrienne Carter-Sowell, associate professor and associate head for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University, is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Jenessa Shapiro Award for Faculty Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion.

The Shapiro Faculty Award from The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) recognizes Carter-Sowell’s work for having a direct and significant impact on the representation and experiences of underrepresented individuals in social/personality psychology and the broader community at a pivotal time for diversity and inclusion in academia.

“There is NO better time for this work to occur,” Carter-Sowell explained. “Often campus life reflects the inequities and injustices that exist for marginalized people everywhere. The advocacy, guidance, recognition, and support provided through the College of Liberal Arts are vital.”

Leroy G. Dorsey, interim executive director of Interdisciplinary Critical Studies and associate dean for inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives, said it’s clear why Carter-Sowell deserves this award.

“Her dedication to advancing climate and inclusion efforts in her department and her discipline through her research, teaching and service rightly distinguishes her as a tireless advocate for underrepresented and underserved populations,” he said.

Carter-Sowell’s research explores group processes and social influence with a focus on topics related to ostracism and how it affects the psychological, cognitive, and behavioral responses of individuals and groups.

“My years of research, teaching, and service on these topics of visibility allow me to build genuine connections with many people and communities,” she explained. “I was well advised to never let reality limit my study ideas or research interests. I maintain both short-term and long-term goals, so that I can validate painful, chronic, everyday experiences that are often dismissed and minimized by others.”

The Shapiro Faculty Award is named in memory of UCLA professor Jenessa Shapiro, who thought it was extremely important to promote diversity and inclusion in her lab, at the university, and in the field more generally.

“I feel honored to receive the Jenessa Shapiro Award for Faculty Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion,” Carter-Sowell said. “I’m thankful for the support of my nomination and the work of the selection committee members. There are many dedicated and deserving members working in this field who are champions of underrepresented individuals in social science and beyond. I am proud to be recognized as having a positive and lasting mark on students, colleagues, and a community that strives to be as inclusive, compassionate, and diverse as possible.”