The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Faculty Fellowship program was designed by Dr. Tamara A. Johnson, the inaugural Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), in 2022. This fellowship affords Harper College's full-time faculty members a distinguished opportunity to obtain exposure to the administrative aspects of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice (DEI&SJ) work while supporting the ODEI in achieving departmental goals and helping the institution actualize its equity-centered priorities. JEDI Faculty Fellows are awarded a one academic year appointment, with the possibility of renewal, 3-hour course reassignment each semester and access to professional development resources and experiences. Fellows also receive direct mentoring and coaching from Dr. Johnson and unique opportunities to interact with senior-level leadership.
The JEDI Faculty Fellowship program garnered national recognition within six months of its launch in the Community College Daily. Click here to read the news article "Harper’s JEDI Faculty Fellows are a Force for Change" by Bryan Wawzenek!
Each JEDI Faculty Fellow extends their talents, passion, scholarship and leadership to the program. Fellows commit to ten hours of service per week (including four office hours on campus at the Cultural Center) to support the ODEI. The Fellows' primary contributions and experiences are rooted in the following categories:
Additionally, Fellows attend weekly 1:1 meetings with Dr. Johnson and monthly ODEI team meetings. Fellows also have opportunities to lead, design and support campus-wide DEI initiatives.
Joshua P. Sunderbruch, Ph.D.
Professor: English Department
Dr. Joshua P. Sunderbruch is a Professor of English and currently serves as a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Faculty Fellow in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As a JEDI Fellow, he collaborates with student groups, faculty and administrators to help complete various DEI projects for the Harper community.
Dr. Sunderbruch has been teaching composition for 25 years and has taught in three departments at Harper (English, Humanities, and Speech) while also engaging in campus initiatives as part of the Achieving the Dream program, including serving as the faculty leader on efforts to decrease student achievement gaps in at-risk populations. During his career, he has been heavily involved with new teacher training and with efforts to help college campuses address taboo subjects, navigate conflicts, and create more equitable processes.
Dr. Sunderbruch has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a B.A. in English from Bradley University.
Markenya L. Williams, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor: Early Childhood and Education Departments
Dr. Markenya L. Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood & Education departments at Harper College, and she teaches Introduction to Education and Introduction to Early Childhood Education. Dr. Williams is a returning Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Faculty Fellow for the 2023 - 2024 academic year and she is also one of the inaugural JEDI Faculty Fellows in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
As a JEDI Fellow, she leads and supports a range of departmental and institutional DEI initiatives. Dr. Williams also serves as the Chair of the DEI Shared Governance Committee and is a member of the Teaching & Learning Strategic Goal Team.
Dr. Williams is a Chicagoan with great Southside pride and has been an educator since 2005. Throughout her career, she has held multiple positions within the K-12 public sector and transitioned to higher education in 2021. Her research interests include: curriculum gaps in teacher education programs, the impact of equity-centered higher education leaders, racialized trauma and healing strategies and transformational DEI practices in higher education.
Dr. Williams is a proud Board member and the first Diversity and Equity Chairperson for the Kishwaukee region of the Illinois Principals Association, a Board member and the first Vice-Chairperson for Burst Into Books Inc. and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Action Network. Dr. Williams has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from DePaul University, a master's in Curriculum and Instruction and a bachelor's in Board of Governors from Chicago State University and an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Richard J. Daley College. Additionally, Dr. Williams earned two valid Illinois Professional Educator Licenses in Early Childhood Education (Type 04) and General Administration (Type 75).