Dr. Lisa Edwards2018 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award Recipient

Dr. Lisa Edwards, professor and director of counselor education in the College of Education, says that receiving the university’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award is so meaningful because diversity is what she feels most passionate about.

“It feels like a privilege to be an ambassador for diversity,” she says. “And as someone who has a lot of privilege — I’m perceived as white even though I come from what I’d call a biracial background, and I have a lot of educational and financial privilege — it’s always felt like a responsibility to do this work.”

Edwards’ research is focused on well-being among mostly Latinx populations, and thanks to a Women and Girls of Color grant from Marquette, her lab recently launched Proyecto Mamá, a multi-year community assessment that collects data about the resources and needs in Milwaukee regarding the mental health of Latina mothers when they are pregnant and postpartum.

“I’ve done pro-bono work at Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic,” Edwards says. “I really wanted to take the next step to understand how we can better support Latina moms in Milwaukee, and that led to this research.”

In addition to her research, Edwards has been involved in a number of diversity committees in her time at Marquette, and she currently co-directs the Latina/o Well-being Research Initiative with Dr. Lucas Torres, with the goal of developing an institute on campus where community members and researchers can come together to address large-scale problems.

“The mission of diversity is so in-line with the mission of our university,” she says. “We all have assets and privilege we can use to serve the underserved and to not perpetuate inequities. Marquette has the resources, the capacity and the location to be able to be a leader in issues of diversity, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”