Citation read at the Awards Ceremony at the 2014 Convocation:
British chemist William Henry is quoted as saying, “What is research, but a blind date with knowledge?”
Your groundbreaking research into race, religion and education has taken you on dates to the White House, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas at Yale University — and even to Danish Public Radio. The result has been an outpouring of knowledge, as you shed light on multicultural learning environments and how racial and religious diversity impacts 21st-century America and the world.
One colleague writes, “I find Khyati Joshi’s scholarly work to be highly original, making valuable contributions to social justice education, teacher education, Asian American studies, and religious studies. Her work on religion and race provides crucial content to courses on curriculum and teaching and prepares teachers to be culturally relevant and responsive to their students.”
In 2013, you wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, “Keep Christmas, and Add Other Faiths,” in which you discuss the merits of government officially recognizing Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim holidays in addition to Christian and Jewish holidays.
As an external adviser to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, you contributed to a 2012 study called “Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths,” which examines Asian Americans’ religious practice and belief. Following the study, you highlighted and analyzed key findings in a blog for TheHuffington Post.
In establishing the Summer Institute on Diversity — which just celebrated its fifth year here at FDU — you’ve provided professional development on multicultural education to New Jersey educators.
You’ve also translated your research findings into the classroom with courses including Religion, Schools and Society and Multicultural Classroom. One student wrote that a course with Professor Joshi “makes you think in ways you’ve never thought before and opens your eyes to new points of view.”
You are now at work on editing the third edition of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice and writing a new book, Building a More Perfect Union.
“Her research on religion and privilege is unique and timely, by expanding the discussion of religious oppression beyond the traditional frames of antisemitism and, more recently, Islamophobia,” says another colleague. “She is an international star in this field.”
You are a star in the field and — of course — you are a star here at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and so today, we proudly bestow upon you this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.