Professor Ian O'Hara



This award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated noteworthy academic leadership in promoting and strengthening cross-disciplinary or interdepartmental teaching and learning endeavors. The award honors a faculty member who has developed creative/innovative interdisciplinary or integrative pedagogies as a means of connecting and enhancing the learning experiences of students. The successful applicant will be a scholar who systematically works across disciplines and departmental boundaries to enable students to confront real world challenges and experience the relatedness of knowledge.  The recipient of this year’s award is Prof. Ian O’Hara.

Prof. O'Hara has exemplified an unwavering commitment to integrating diversity into the curriculum, thereby enriching his students' learning about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in profound ways. His pedagogical approach is rooted in critical information literacy, where he empowers students to engage critically with information sources, understand the broader social, cultural, and political dimensions of information, and navigate increasingly complex information landscapes.

He has created several Research Guides for the University, including the Ability, Disability, & Accessibility Resources guide and the Race, Racism, & Anti-Racism Resources guide. He regularly updates these guides and shares them with students and faculty through his DEIA outreach efforts. The Accessibility Resources guide has been used over 300 separate times since its publication in January of 2023, and the Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism guide has been utilized over 1,596 times since its publication in June 2020. The accesses to these guides, especially the Anti-Racism guide, give an idea of the impact of Prof. O’Hara’s work at advancing Diversity in Learning on campus.

Through Prof. O’Hara’s leadership, the DEIA Committee has been essential in establishing several innovations in the library that make it a more equitable and welcoming environment. Among those innovations is drafting the Library's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility statement,

In the words of one nominator, “Prof. O'Hara’s comprehensive approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, which features heavily throughout his teaching/librarianship, scholarship, professional development, and service, makes him an exemplary candidate for The Diversity in Learning Award.”

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