Committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: How One GSEAP Student is Impacting Many

Committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: How One GSEAP Student is Impacting Many

Gina Ludlow pictured with her daughter,

Gina Ludlow and daughter Alexandra Ludlow at the 2019 Graduate Student Service Award Celebration

Winner of the 2019 Graduate Student Service Award, Gina Ludlow is committed to serving the Fairfield University community and beyond.

What I’ve found at Fairfield is that if you are a student who wants to do more, there is a lot of space to grow.

— Gina Ludlow

Gina Ludlow is the winner of the Graduate Student Service Award for the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP), in recognition of her contributions to Fairfield University. Pursuing her master’s degree in school psychology, Ludlow is a Graduate Student Senator and a graduate assistant to the Black Studies Program, the Peace and Justice Studies Program, and the Women and Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She also served on this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, and she was a panel speaker at the annual Diversity Lecture with keynote speaker Antonia Darder, PhD.

“What I’ve found at Fairfield is that if you are a student who wants to do more, there is a lot of space to grow,” said Ludlow.

In addition to serving the Fairfield University community, Ludlow is actively engaged in efforts beyond University gates. Last month, Ludlow collaborated with a committee from one of the public high schools in the town of Fairfield, Fairfield Warde Voices for Equity, and the Connecticut Writing Project Fairfield, to host more than 200 middle and high school students at Fairfield University. Part of the third annual Identity and Education Conference, the topic of the conference was “Empowering Our Communities and Beyond – a Writing Our Lives Event.”

The Writing Our Lives event was a chance for young people to inspire their peers on issues that matter most to them. Stephanie Burrell Storms, EdD, associate dean and associate professor, offered guidance and support to Ludlow, who was eager to bring the Fairfield Warde Voices for Equity conference to campus. 

The goal of the annual conference is to reduce gaps in opportunity and achievement of marginalized groups in local schools through student empowerment, professional development, and advocacy. During the conference, students from several school districts discussed the ways they raised awareness of inequity in their schools, including a group of students in Stamford who staged a walkout, and a team from Staples and Harding High Schools who collaborated on yearlong literacy projects with social justice themes.

“I had the chance to meet Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka,” said Ludlow, speaking of Fairfield’s associate vice provost for scholarly, creative, and community engagement. “When I heard her speak about Fairfield’s mission towards inclusive excellence and radical hospitality, I knew it made sense to host the conference on campus. It was amazing to hear our youth speak about changing the world.”

Those who attended the event participated in ten breakout sessions. Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, director of the Connecticut Writing Project Fairfield and associate professor, was a key contributor to the success of the conference. Students who help lead youth writing camps with Dr. Crandall each summer, as well as teachers and students from the Saugatuck StoryFest Youth Board, also presented at the conference. 

"It was wonderful to be able to invest in the Fairfield Warde vision for a youth conference on campus,” Dr. Crandall noted. “The Connecticut Writing Project was given a generous gift in memory of Lisa Calderone-Perrelli MFA’10, a former employee of Fairfield University. She was a dedicated student, a wonderful colleague, and writer.” This significant gift helped fund the conference.

On reflecting about her decision to join the Fairfield community to pursue her graduate studies, Ludlow shared that it was Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, chair of psychological and educational consultation and associate professor of psychology and special education, who won her over.

“I love Dr. Gill Lopez’s approach to being a scientist practitioner, analyzing data, and looking at the whole person while also being self-reflective.”

School psychology students are asked to select an area of specialization on which to focus as part of their graduate studies. Ludlow has selected implicit bias and student performance, and will use these focus areas to investigate disparities in education, both from a systemic and social-emotional perspective.

“It’s amazing to have found people at Fairfield who are really passionate about the same things I am passionate about. I feel honored to work alongside them.”

Tags:  GSEAP

Last modified: 06-03-19 4:26 PM

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