ODI Updates

Announcement of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies 2021-2023

Posted by Shane Martin, PhD, Provost and Natasha Martin, JD, Vice President for Diversity on Friday, July 2, 2021 at 11:25 AM PDT

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that Fr. Steven Sundborg, S.J. appointed Dean Spade as the 2021-2023 recipient of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies. Professor Spade’s research resides at the intersection of Gender Studies, Law, Critical Race Studies, and Disability Studies, and includes numerous articles, book chapters, editorial projects, as well as two books – Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law, a foundational text for Trans Studies, and Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next) (October 2020), which has already sold over 15,000 copies and is soon to be published in Spanish, German, Italian, Thai, and Czech.

Professor Spade is an influential scholar with broad intersectional reach, whose scholarship is anchored in intersectional feminism and anti-racism and informed by two decades of participation in social movements for gender, racial, economic, and disability justice. Read more about Professor Spade here.

The Wismer Professor serves as an intellectual leader, modeling academic excellence through a scholarly agenda that is focused on issues of structural inequality and rooted in our commitment to education for justice in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition. This two-year professorship supports academic scholarship in the fields of gender and sexuality and its intersections with race and class. As the Wismer Professor, Dean Spade will collaborate extensively with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to pool talent and resources, co-sponsor university-led programs and events, and support inclusive excellence priorities such as LIFT SU. Read more about the vision for the professorship here.

Thank you to the selection committee listed below for its partnership in making recommendations from this year’s excellent slate of candidates.


Shane P. Martin, Provost
Natasha T. Martin, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Committee members:

  • Holly Ferraro, PhD, immediate past holder of Wismer Professorship (2018-2020), and Associate Director, Center for Faculty Development
  • Theresa Earenfight, PhD, Director, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
  • Natasha Martin, JD, Vice President for Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD, Director, Institute of Catholic Thought and Culture and Stamper Endowed Chair in Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Traditions