Photo caption: Dr. Stacey Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology at UW-Eau Claire, is among the recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award from the UW System. The awards are given out each year to faculty, staff, students or community members to recognize their achievements in advancing equity and inclusion for people of color within the UW System and communities across the state. (Photo by Shane Opatz)
Dr. Stacey Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is among the recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award from the UW System.
The award is given annually to faculty, staff, students or community members to recognize their achievements in advancing equity and inclusion for people of color within the UW System and communities across the state.
“It is an absolute honor to receive the Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award from the UW System,” Jackson says. “This award is just one instance where my work, efforts and, most importantly, my identity as a Black woman has been celebrated, accepted and validated within academia. And for that, I am truly thankful.”
Now in its 27th year, the Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award has recognized more than 400 women of color for their transformational work.
“The UW System has a longstanding commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at our universities," says UW System President Jay Rothman. “We are proud to honor these women of color, whose achievements in advocacy and scholarship have transformed our campuses and communities to be more equitable and inclusive.”
Jackson says she became an educator because she wants to have an impact on the lives of everyone she engages with. She takes “very seriously” the trust that UW-Eau Claire has placed in her to foster academic excellence in all students, she says.
“I recognize that for some students, less than favorable race-related experiences within an academic environment make it extremely challenging to be successful,” Jackson says.
Her own experiences are helping shape how she goes about her work, Jackson says. Several “less than favorable” experiences within academic environments due to her race left her doubting her intellectual abilities and questioning her value and worth within academia, she says.
“It was these experiences that motivated me to become an educator,” Jackson says. “I knew my identity as a Black woman was needed to be seen not just by Black students, but all students, faculty and staff.”
Jackson teaches undergraduate psychology courses and a graduate counseling course. She incorporates her expertise in African American mental health into her courses and includes topics such as multicultural psychology and cultural issues in abnormal psychology. Her class assignments include counseling the culturally diverse, which exposes her students to culturally diverse material. A course Jackson created, Black Psychology, has been in high demand since she began teaching it.
Jackson also established the Marginalized Identity Status and Trauma Research Lab, where she mentors students as they conduct research geared toward the social justice and empowerment of students from marginalized identities on college campuses.
In addition to her teaching and mentoring, Jackson is a part-time clinician in University Counseling, providing individual, couples and group counseling, crisis intervention and campus outreach. She created a women of color focus group to help meet the needs of women of color on campus, a therapy group that grew into a student of color drop-in support group.
Jackson has engaged in outreach efforts to educate the campus community on mental illness and the ability to recognize distress among students and get them connected to resources. She has helped to create and facilitate the professional development workshop, “Identifying and Responding to the Mental Health Needs of UWEC Students: A Comprehensive Guide for Faculty and Staff Training.”
Jackson serves on several campus and community committees, including the UW-Eau Claire EDI Rapid Action Task Force, the psychology department EDI subcommittee, the EDI student training subcommittee, the Eau Claire Area School District Equity Committee, the American Psychological Association Division 45 Racial Justice Task Force and the advisory board for the Power of Perception mentorship program for Black and biracial youth. She also is a member of the American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists and the American Psychological Association Division 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race.
As a member of her local church leadership team, Jackson organized and hosted a racial justice and reconciliation conference that addressed the ways that religious individuals and institutions can best respond to racial injustices within their communities and be of support to those impacted by racial injustice.
“Whether it be the courses I teach, the research I conduct, the service initiatives I engage in or my very presence as a Black woman faculty member at a predominately white institution, equity, diversity and inclusion will always be at the forefront of all that I do,” Jackson says.
“While this work isn’t easy, it is my passion, and it brings me significant joy to know that my efforts and contributions to my campus and community are having an impact and are being recognized.”
Her work is far from complete, but she is “thrilled to continue to gain the support and collaborative efforts from colleagues on campus and peers within the community to continue to advance the work of equity, diversity and inclusion through my role as an educator,” Jackson says.
Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award recipients were recognized Nov. 10 in Madison at an awards ceremony and reception hosted by the UW System.