Terrier STARs: Dr. Richard Biffle and Professor Judy Hansen-Childers MacKenzie Riley Young | December 1, 2020

Last June, in an open letter to the Thomas College community, President Laurie Lachance urged Terriers to “find their voice” in response to “the familiar, painful feeling of injustice” brought on by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Shortly thereafter, President Lachance created the Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice co-chaired by Dr. Richard Biffle and Professor Judith Hansen-Childers. For their hard work and dedication to this effort, Richard and Judy are this month’s Terrier STAR award recipients.

“Rich and Judy have given tirelessly of themselves over the past seven months in creating, from whole cloth, the Inaugural Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Social Justice. Over the summer they spent hundreds of hours developing an approach and a committee structure, then they personally reached out to invite the volunteers to join,” said a senior colleague. “What this group has accomplished for Thomas College in such a short period of time is absolutely phenomenal. Rich and Judy’s passion for creating a culture of inclusion at our precious college is a gift to all.”

Another senior colleague said both professors have gone above and beyond for this community: “Besides educating and advising our students in their traditional passionate way, both Judy and Rich have spent countless hours designing, organizing, and leading the Task Force efforts. They both lead this tremendous work with transparency and passion.”

One of the task force members said they have enjoyed having Richard and Judy co-chair this effort: “Judy and Rich’s leadership in this has been outstanding. Their focus on not solving things quickly but taking this as a long-term plan and goal to really make institutional and long-term change has been outstanding.”