Danny Barreto, associate professor of LGBTQ studies and director of the LGBTQ studies program, has been named a New York Six Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow by the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium (NY6).
Barreto is one of six faculty members in the humanities and related fields, each selected to represent an NY6 institution. In addition to Colgate, consortium institutions include Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College.
The Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow is a two-year program funded with a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grant will allow faculty members to explore academic leadership through an immersive experience on their home campus while working on a discrete project or portfolio that will advance important goals of their institution.
“This fellowship provides a unique opportunity to draw on my knowledge and experiences as a scholar and faculty member to find creative and innovative ways to engage with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility — all of which are essential to academic excellence,” says Barreto.
With funding provided by the fellowship, Barreto will explore how our curriculum and pedagogies can contribute to the DEI goals outlined in Colgate’s Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. His project will consider how and where epistemic exclusions occur — whether that is the marginalization of faculty because of their identities or areas of expertise, or the marginalization of particular disciplines, intellectual traditions, or emergent fields.
“Do the curricula of our departments and programs equally value different professors’ areas of expertise? Do our universitywide curriculum and degree requirements favor some modes of inquiry over others? Are our syllabi and teaching materials reflective of the changes that our fields have undergone in recent years?” Barreto asks. “I'm interested in how the answers to those questions impact the choices of faculty and students to come to and stay at Colgate.”
Barreto received his PhD in Hispanic languages and literature and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from SUNY Stony Brook in 2010. He has taught courses on LGBTQ literature and film of Latin America, global LGBTQ politics and migrations, and queer rural communities, as well as courses in Spanish language and women’s studies. His research explores the intersections of sexuality, gender, language, and national identity in literature and film from Galicia.
In addition to his position within Colgate’s LGBTQ studies program, Barreto is a member of the Faculty Affirmative Action Oversight Committee and the Faculty Diversity Council and serves on several academic advisory boards. Since arriving at Colgate in 2013, he has participated in numerous campus initiatives focused on enhancing inclusivity and diversity in Colgate’s classrooms and curricula and in hiring, retention, and promotion procedures.
“The Mellon Fellowship is just one small way that Colgate and its peers can continue to address the underrepresentation of scholars from different social and disciplinary backgrounds in higher education leadership,” he says. “On a personal level, I view this as a welcome opportunity for mentorship, to explore leadership pathways, and to reimagine how to foster inclusivity and creativity at Colgate.”