Enhancing diversity

Faculty projects receive President's Diversity Initiative funding

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2 p.m., May 4, 2012--The President’s Diversity Initiative (PDI) has awarded funding to several projects, based on the recent Call for Proposal from academic units. Twenty-nine proposals were submitted and subsequently reviewed by the PDI Faculty Advisory Committee, an interdisciplinary group of University faculty.  

“It was very encouraging to see how many quality projects were submitted in this initial call for proposals,” said Margaret Andersen, executive director of PDI. “We are pleased to fund seven projects for the next academic year that focus on a diverse array of activities, all with the goal of enhancing diversity within academic units. The proposals that the PDI was unable to fund were also of high quality and, in some cases, will become the basis for collaborations that may result in new projects in future years.“

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Those receiving funds from the PDI will be expected to share the results of their work with the campus community at the conclusion of their work. The funded projects also have additional support from colleges and academic departments/programs. 

Faculty awardees 

Pam Cook, Robin Andreasen and Heather Doty (College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences) were awarded funding for their project that will extend the work of the NSF-funded ADVANCE project to improve the climate for underrepresented faculty in STEM departments (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Sam Gaertner, Department of Psychology, a national leader in the study of unintended bias, is also collaborating on this project.

Paul Head, chair of the Department of Music, Janet Hethorn, chair of the Department of Art, Sandy Robbins, chair of the Department of Theatre, and Lynnette Overby, chair of the dance minor, are funded to collaborate on Advancing Diversity through an Artists-in-Residence Program that will bring distinguished visiting artists to campus to initiate new work, advance work-in-progress and share existing work through performances, exhibits, lectures and work with students. Initially, the PDI grant will support three visiting artists in the 2012-13 academic year.

Stuart Binder-McLeod, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, and William Farquhar, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, will collaborate to develop a new program, APaPT, jointly sponsored between the two departments to develop a mentoring program, undergraduate research program  and a new bridge course in anatomy as a means of attracting a more diverse group of students into the College of Health Sciences and the nationally ranked doctoral program in physical therapy.

Ann Ardis, deputy dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Diversity and the President’s Diversity Initiative, will develop an assessment of the College of Arts and Sciences’ NUCLEUS program. The project will develop strategies to coordinate and integrate college and University-wide efforts to improve student outcomes related to recruitment, retention, graduation and student engagement. 

Deborah Bieler and Jill Flynn and a campus-wide team of those working in teacher education (in the College of Education and Human Development, College of Arts and Sciences and the Christina School District) received a small grant for professional development and the development of a collaborative project to enhance diversity in teacher education programs. 

Anne Colwell of the University's Associate in Arts Program will use PDI funding to develop the UD-Pluribus Program, an outreach program designed to enhance the academic success of Hispanic students and others in southern Delaware for whom English is not the first language. 

Gretchen Bauer, on behalf of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, received funding to develop a systematic approach to enhancing diversity by connecting recruitment and retention to mentoring, peer learning, assessment, and curriculum change.  

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