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Social Justice Research Center

314 UW Beta House

1731 Fraternity Row

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3422


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Who We Are

Kate Muir Welsh

Dr. Kate Muir Welsh, Director

Kate Muir Welsh is an educator with over twenty five years (10 of them at UW) experience in both formal and informal education settings. Her primary research agenda and published work to date focuses on equity, access, and social justice in education in general with an emphasis on science education. Welsh served as a member UW Shepard Symposium planning committee for seven years, chairing the committee from 2007-2010. During the 2010-11 academic year Dr. Welsh spent her UW sabbatical at Teton Science Schools working in the shadow of the Grand Tetons with graduate students and faculty. Currently she is an Associate Professor in the Elementary and Early Childhood Education department and the Department Chair of Secondary Education. Her teaching includes course work in math/science methods, place-based education and instructional strategies. In January 2012, Dr. Welsh was named the 2nd director of UW's Social Justice Research Center.

Conor Mullen

Conor Mullen, Graduate Assistant

Affiliation: Social Work and Environment & Natural Resources | I view my understanding of social justice as a constant work in progress. I try to learn something every day, so my understanding of this pursuit should be different and deeper next week. I currently see social justice as a web of support that works to identify and eliminate injustices at the root, while simultaneously advocating for and maximizing the wellbeing, potential, and participation of all people in the betterment of society - paying special attention to the dismantling of perpetrators, the complexity of intersectional experiences, and the empowerment of victims across instances and histories of oppression.

Melissa Alexander

Melissa Alexander, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Law | I joined the Social Justice Advisory Board because I believe that working on social justice, and aiding and encouraging other people who do, can help make concrete changes that improve lives. Studying health law exposes the myriad ways that structural inequality undermines health for vulnerable populations. Approaching health policy, practice and laws with humility, respect and solidarity with those impacted, leads to dramatically improved results and a stronger community.

Andrew Arnette

Dr. Andrew Arnette, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Business |

Christi Boggs

Dr. Christi Boggs, Advisory Board

Affiliation: Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning | To me Social Justice is honoring all ways of knowing and being. It is work to create an environment which is safe and supportive and within which the magnificent variety of human experience and difference is celebrated. It also includes ways of being and knowing that are connected to spirituality, the earth, the environment, nature… everything in an interconnected web of beauty. Social Justice includes challenging and breaking down systemic and personal barriers to individuals and groups so that everyone has the ability to realize their own dreams. As an activist and an accomplice it is my responsibility to use my privilege and power where and whenever I can support others in their pursuit of justice

Maggie Bourque

Maggie Bourque, Advisory Board

Affiliation: Haub School of Environment & Natural Resources | Social justice is a way of living and taking action with the understanding I am inextricably bound up with all others. The actions of social justice for me are grounded in broad and inclusive kinship—in being with one another, acting out of love, seeking to understand our own fears, and working to change the structural and individual barriers to justice. Participating on the board of the Social Justice Research Center allows me to engage in and help support academic research investigating all aspects of social justice, and to join the UW community in practicing kinship for a more just world.

Nicholas Crane

Dr. Nicholas Crane, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Arts & Sciences | For me, “social justice” refers to the joyful work of collectively challenging systems and institutions that devalue, coerce, and exclude some categories of people. The SJRC is one body through which we can pursue that work, assert justice claims, and pursue reparation of social inequality.

Erin Irick

Dr. Erin Irick, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Agriculture & Natural Resources | Social Justice is a primary focus in my personal life as well as professionally. This is why I wanted to join the SJRC advisory board. In my career, I educate and encourage consumers and companies in the apparel and textile industries to make more socially responsible decisions. This includes advocating for fair-trade policies, ethically-produced products and environmentally-sustainable methods, which I believe all fall under the larger umbrella of social justice.

Michelle Jarman

Dr. Michelle Jarman, Advisory Board

Affiliation: Wyoming Institute for Disabilities | Social justice is a central value in my life — it shapes my personal commitments as well as my academic interests. As a professor and citizen of the university, I see social justice as a broad, critical framework essential to providing students with tools for understanding the complexity of their world. My pedagogical practice is shaped by social justice concerns, especially individual, community, and structural inequities shaped by dis/ability, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and nation. My work with the Shepard Symposium is driven by a desire to engage with diverse perspectives and difficult conversations in an effort to collaboratively work toward more just and equitable futures.

David Macaulay

David Macaulay, Advisory Board

Affiliation: UW Libraries | Social justice is the goal of sustained efforts to identify, understand, and dismantle systemic barriers to the full realization of everybody’s human potential as participants in society, while redressing the historical effects of past injustices. I joined the SJRC as a representative of University of Wyoming Libraries, with the aim of helping researchers on social justice-related topics make their research as widely accessible as possible.

Emily Monago

Dr. Emily Monago, Advisory Board

Affiliation: Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | In July 2017, Dr. Emily Monago began working as the first chief diversity officer at the University of Wyoming. Her role includes providing leadership and collaborating widely to develop the 2017-2022 UW Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and overseeing its implementation. Emily has more than 30 years of experience working at three different public universities. Most of her career has been dedicated to promoting and creating socially just communities as a means to create a more inclusive society. Her service as the co-director for the Social Justice Research Center during 2018-2019 is an honor to support researchers dedicated to advancing all of these efforts.

Alec Muthig

Alec Muthig, Advisory Board

Affiliation: Information Technology | Social justice, at its very foundation, is a movement toward equitable human flourishing, and is concerned with the elimination of unjustified obstacles to flourishing faced by many members of society. Being associated with the Social Justice Research Center gives me a chance to support academic inquiry and educational programs that explore the qualities of a just society, identify factors that perpetuate unjustified inequalities, encourage persons to work toward a fair treatment of the various members of society, and ultimately remove obstacles to human flourishing.

Christine Porter

Dr. Christine Porter, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Health Sciences | Democracy theorist Iris Marion Young notes that “the concepts of domination and oppression, rather than the concept of distribution, should be the starting point for a conception of social justice” (in Justice & the Politics of Difference, p16). Social justice work, then, means working to end the ways our society systematically works against some groups of people according to classifications our society creates and marks as different. As “other.” As “them” and not “us.” The philosopher-activist Cornel West tells us how to do that work when he says that “justice is what love looks like in public” (fabulously on the Colbert Report, 1/18/11). Oppression stems from fear and the hate that grows from fear. Justice (and personal joy) grows when we muster the courage to face our fears (which often manifest as feeling anger, guilt or defensiveness) and to act, instead, out of love. Social justice work gives meaning and purpose to my life. It is my life’s work. Thus, I am grateful that UW has the SJRC to provide a “home” for collaborating on that work within our University.

Reed Scull

Dr. Reed Scull, Advisory Board

Affiliation: College of Education | Social justice is a larger, community-scale state of being, it is a cause, and it is a value. Fair treatment, care for the welfare of others, respect for differences, harmonious relations with neighbors, and the sharing of resources all are ideas consistent with social justices concepts. The opportunity to contribute to these ideas at the university level is why I have joined the Social Justice Research Center advisory board.

Contact Us

Social Justice Research Center

314 UW Beta House

1731 Fraternity Row

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3422


SJRC logo
Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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