Message from our Committee

Dr. Adam Kozaczka

Dr. Adam Kozaczka, Assistant Professor of Humanities

     2020 has been a year of unprecedented difficulties, yet Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has come together under the banner of diversity and inclusion to offer help and support to our learning community. TAMIU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion grows from our unique position as one of the largest Hispanic-serving institutions of higher learning in the United States, our location near the Texas-México border, our diverse student body, and our truly international faculty. Cultural exchange occurs every day at TAMIU and is essential to how we define the educational experience. Anthropologists often tell their freshmen that the goal is to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange”—here at TAMIU, we strive to break out of our comfort zones to encounter new cultures and new ideas as we learn from each other. TAMIU is proud to send its students to prestigious jobs and occupations all over Texas, the United States, and the world where they can put their firsthand experience of diversity to work. We hope to inspire our students with the confidence that our strength lies in our differences.

     Though TAMIU has had a diversity committee in past years, the challenges posed by current events and global changes in 2020 have moved the university to reinforce its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Born from the vision of our university provost, Dr. Thomas Mitchell, the TAMIU Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (TIDE) Committee was formed in the summer of 2020 and is proof of the university’s commitment to making our campus a welcoming place for all while exploring diversity in research, teaching, and programming. The TIDE Committee is comprised of 16 scholars and administrators plus two students. Between the eighteen of us, we represent most of the university’s departments and programs, meaning that ideas hatched in TIDE meetings can quickly make their way back to every corner of the university. Under the bold leadership of Professor Peter Haruna, director of the Public Administration program, and Ms. Mika Akikuni, associate director of marketing for TAMIU, TIDE plays a vital role in organizing events and facilitating dialogue. TIDE encourages the TAMIU community to address issues in diversity and inclusion not only in the abstract sense of issues that influence Texas, the USA, and the world at large, but in the practical sense of day-to-day operations and climate here in our campus community.

     As you navigate TIDE’s website, think of it as a developing and interactive space where the TAMIU community can work together in pursuit of TAMIU’s mission to promote diversity and inclusion. The website helps you to stay up to date with our committee’s activities and provides you with opportunities for participation in our programming. TIDE’s goal is to coordinate a wide range of activities that promote diversity, so please contact Mika Akikuni, our Committee Co-Chair, if you or your own organizations or departments are planning something.

     The pursuit of diversity and inclusion has a lighter side as well: please join us in submitting your recipes for foods and deserts enjoyed in your culture, region, or country, and tune in to our virtual film festival and related panel discussions. Even these ‘lighter’ engagements with diversity are far from superficial: TIDE believes that encouraging cultural exchange and multicultural learning is an essential foundation for the pursuit of diversity and inclusion as university-wide goals. Becoming comfortable with each other’s cultures, languages, values, and ideas is the first step toward realizing that we can all come together as one TAMIU community, united in its diversity and drawing strength from the differences among its members.

- Dr. Adam Kozaczka