Melissa McClinton, assistant professor of video production and immersive media in the Reynolds School of Journalism, has been part of The Wolf Pack Family since August 2020.
“Since arriving at University of Nevada, Reno, I’ve been working to increase enrollment at the Reynolds School, but also at the University as a whole,” McClinton said. “By building the fiction film and the broadcast news components of the program, I hope to attract more students to the department and expand our story-telling output.”
Although her position is housed in the Reynolds School, McClinton also serves as part of the University’s Black at the Pack group, as well as on the University’s Cultural Diversity Committee (CDC) as one of two co-chairs.
“Black at the Pack has been such a welcoming group which helped me to anchor myself here in Reno. We were initially on zoom, but now that we are in person, we are able to recognize each other on campus and share our extended experiences as faculty of African descent,” McClinton said.
Her work with the Cultural Diversity Committee focuses on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, as well as advancing the conversations that surround those topics.
“As a co-chair of the CDC, I wanted to provide resources for departments across campus to identify and promote openings and opportunities in their respective departments to the protected groups of the Civil Rights Acts,” McClinton said.
McClinton co-chairs the Cultural Diversity Committee with Dr. Taya Kohnen, the project coordinator of the University’s WIC Breastfeeding Support Campaign from the School of Public Health.
“We want to build relationships with the groups that don’t know about the opportunities at the University,” McClinton said. “We want to have an exchange with places like historically black colleges, veterans’ groups, women’s professional organizations and Native American educational facilities.”
Both McClinton and Kohnen worked with Dr. Angela Moore, a program development specialist from the University’s Diversity & Inclusion Office, on a resource guide that outlines the committee’s goals in regard to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
“The resource guide is a very straight forward document that gives the current data for various demographics on campus,” McClinton said. “It shows us where to go to improve our numbers through clear and direct relationships with organizations and other universities that serve historically oppressed or marginalized groups.”
In addition to the demographic data, the resource guide also includes an overview of the committee’s action plan and four overall goals to promote the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of the University in order to receive national exposure to try and recruit both graduate students and faculty members.
McClinton enjoys focusing on promoting the diversity, equity and inclusion based-work being done at the University. One way the Cultural Diversity Committee is already doing that is through the on-campus club, Vibrant Voices.
“I’m also the advisor for Vibrant Voices and the CDC is promoting their diversity efforts on campus and chronicling them,” McClinton said. “I intend to make short video clips of the work on UNR’s campus that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in creative and innovative ways. I want other universities to model our efforts.”
Those looking to get involved can contribute any efforts that promote diversity, equity and inclusion to Vibrant Voices by sharing their stories and experiences. The Cultural Diversity Committee also has an interest form on their website for those wanting to join and is open to faculty, staff and students.