O'Brien to Direct Wismer Office

Written by Laura Paskin
October 12, 2015

Sociology Professor Jodi O'Brien has been named the inaugural director of the university's Wismer Office for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence. The new office focuses on advancing inclusive excellence through a focus on faculty development, support, and advocacy in areas of gender and diversity studies.

"There will be close collaboration with our Center for Faculty Development as well as broader work implementing recommendations from President?s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, especially as they may further improve our teaching and learning environment," said Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Education William Ehmann, PhD, in making the announcement.

O'Brien has held several distinguished university positions, including Patricia Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity,Rev. Louis B. Gaffney, S.J. Endowed Chair, chair of the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work, and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program. She is a past-president of the Pacific Sociological Association and a former editor of Contexts, published by the American Sociological Association.

In addition to her service to the university as the director of the Wismer Office, O?Brien will continue to teach in the College of Arts and Sciences, including courses in sociology, women and gender studies, and the University Honors Program.

O'Brien received her PhD from the University of Washington and joined the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995. She focuses her scholarship on institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, and related forms of discrimination. A prolific scholar O?Brien has also published several books and book chapters. Her academic articles have appeared in many journals, including Social Philosophy Today, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Social Perspectives.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees, 7 master's degrees, and 3 graduate certificates.