Psychology professor Kristoffer Romero considers himself part of the changing face of academia.
A Filipino-Canadian, he hopes that over time, more and more students will see themselves reflected in the faculty of the University of Windsor.
“My parents immigrated to Canada in the early ’80s, first landing in B.C. and eventually settling in Kitchener-Waterloo,” he recalls. “As they were part of an earlier wave of Filipino newcomers, I didn’t know many other Filipinos growing up.”
When he moved to Toronto to attend university, he found a more diverse population, but observed a discrepancy.
“Despite the diversity I saw in the city and the student body, the faculty were not nearly as diverse, and I only had one Asian professor during all of undergrad,” says Dr. Romero. “It was a situation I wanted to remedy.”
When he moved to Windsor in 2019, he did not expect much diversity in the faculty, based on his experience in Toronto.
“However, I was pleasantly surprised to meet two other Filipino professors during my faculty orientation day,” Romero says. “As time goes on, I continue to form bonds with other Asian and racialized faculty from across the University. Although smaller in number, we support and draw strength from each other, and I hope to see many more of us in the future.”
This article is the second in a series featuring voices from members of the UWindsor community in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. The 2021 theme “Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve” embodies the myriad of sentiments that peoples of Asian descent in Canada have experienced and honours their contributions and their diverse stories which are rooted in resilience and perseverance.