New Appointment for Professor Candice Lowe Swift
I am delighted to let you know that I have appointed Professor Candice Lowe Swift as the Special Advisor on Inclusion and Engaged Pluralism, expanding her previous role as Liaison on Race and Inclusion with Interim President Jon Chenette. Professor Lowe Swift will join my senior team and be responsible for helping to embed the values of inclusion and engaged pluralism in all aspects of the college.
As an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Africana Studies, and International Studies; Professor Lowe Swift will continue her teaching and research, which she has pursued since joining the faculty in 2004. Her research interest is in networks of the Indian Ocean, with a particular focus on Mauritius and its relationships with Africa, India, China, and the Middle East. Working as a public intellectual in Mauritius as project manager and senior analyst, she has collaborated with Mauritian scholars and contributed directly to the inscription of Le Morne Brabant Mountain on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Based on the research for this project, she co-edited Le Morne Cultural Landscape: History, Symbolism, and Tradition. She is deeply interested in pedagogy, is co-editor of Teaching Food and Culture, and is known for course offerings that explore diversity and inclusion at Vassar and beyond.
In the fall of 2016, Professor Lowe Swift began working closely with then-Interim President Jon Chenette to develop mechanisms for learning about the challenges faced by first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students on the Vassar campus. Incorporating feedback from students, faculty, and administrators, Professor Lowe Swift and Interim President Chenette became Co-Principal Investigators on the Mellon Foundation grant proposal to address Vassar’s interest in becoming a more welcoming and generative learning community. The successful funding of that proposal allowed Vassar College to launch the Engaged Pluralism Initiative (EPI), which Professor Lowe Swift will continue to lead in collaboration with Dean Chenette, Wendy Maragh Taylor, and Sam Speers.
Please join me in welcoming Professor Lowe Swift to this role, and if you have ideas for her in this role, please be in touch. I am grateful for her willingness to contribute in this way to our shared journey of living, working, and learning together.
Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604