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Updated 12:30 PM February 14, 2007
 

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National center seeks diversity projects, practitioners

The National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) is calling for proposals from those interested in becoming faculty fellows or community practitioners-in-residence, or who would like to sponsor a program or project that incorporates an innovative conversation about diversity.

The NCID, established in May 2005, is a center that works to address the challenges and opportunities of diversity through innovative scholarship that engages the U-M campus, as well as state, national and international communities.

"This past year the center funded faculty projects involving topics such as retention in higher education, health disparities, and parenting and its effects on Latino adolescents—all of which engaged leaders on and off campus in addressing diversity issues at U-M and in the greater community," says Phillip Bowman, NCID director.

Faculty who are interested in becoming fellows or who wish to be considered for funding for a program or project under the theme, "Enabling Conversations about Diversity," have until March 14 to complete an RFP for the 2007-08 cycle.

Nominations for the Community Practitioners-in-Residence program do not have a specific deadline, but 2-3 fellowships of varying length are funded annually through this program, and during the upcoming cycle these residencies must begin no earlier than summer 2007 and end no later than June 30, 2008.

The center is looking for individuals or projects meeting the following criteria:

• Faculty Fellowship: U-M faculty with an extensive record of research, practice and/or teaching related to diversity, and who wish to spend one year at the NCID working on faculty-defined projects related to the mission of the center, are eligible. Up to four fellows positions will be awarded. Each fellowship will be one year in length, beginning in the summer 2007 and no later than Sept. 1, 2007.

• Enabling Conversations about Diversity: The NCID seeks innovative conversations on diversity to occur within a conference, colloquium, forum, program, retreat, seminar, workshop or similar gathering. The initiative provides funding of $15,000-35,000 to teams of faculty and staff who design and organize an event that prepares people for active engagement in a diverse society, and that works toward building productive, inclusive communities at the University and beyond.

• Practitioner-in-Residence: Each community leader will work on a project that contributes to community development in ways that advance the mission of the center, involving initial planning of a new idea, implementation of a project that already is planned, evaluation of one that is underway, and/or communication that increases an existing project's impact. Ideal candidates will collaborate with a U-M colleague. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a U-M faculty member.

"We have been most impressed with the scope and breadth of our first projects at the center and look forward to more creative ideas for how U-M, through its unique national center, can continue to be a leader in furthering diversity on campus and beyond," says Bowman.

More information on each opportunity and RFP forms can be found at www.diversity.umich.edu/center/rfp/index.html.

Recent NCID projects

During the 2006-07 funding year, the National Center for Institutional Diversity funded the work of four faculty fellows and three major projects. Fellows and their work included:

Deborah Carter, associate professor of education and director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Along with graduate students and staff from academic and student service units, Carter launched a pilot study of transition to college, emphasizing the various pathways and University programs that prove effective for different groups of students, as they adjust to the academic and social demands of the University. The study involved intensive interviews with 60 first-year students drawn randomly from multiple racial/ethnic/gender backgrounds within specific programs that are intended to foster engagement, performance and retention.

Rosario Ceballo, associate professor of psychology, whose research project involving undergraduate and graduate students investigates parenting strategies that three Latino populations use that foster academic success and psychological wellbeing of Latino adolescents. The project, conducted with faculty colleagues at New York University and City University off New York Graduate Center and community groups in Southwest Detroit and New York City, involves 100 Mexican, 100 Puerto Rican, and 100 Dominican mothers and their adolescent (7th and 8th grade) children.

Gregory Markus, professor of political science, along with colleagues from the Residential College and the political science department, graduate students, undergraduate students, and community members affiliated with MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength), worked to develop and implement efforts to strengthen and leverage relationships among Detroit-based community organizations. The project involved community-based research; development of new courses, internships, workshops and public events to educate undergraduates about community organizing; and a scholarly volume that combines theory and practice data derived from the work of MOSES with African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods in Detroit.

Antonia Villarruel, professor of nursing, along with other faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and community partners from such groups as the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, the Kellogg Foundation Project, is investigating the benefits/costs of community-University partnerships to reduce health disparities. The project, which builds upon the 2006 NCID colloquium on University-community partnerships to reduce health disparities, seeks to identify key characteristics that produce effective partnerships and provide case studies that can be used as exemplars of successful and failed partnerships.

The NCID also sponsored three recent projects that encouraged conversations about diversity: Creating Campus-Community Partnerships in the Arts, on Jan. 19; Advancing Diversity and Excellence in Science and Engineering, Jan. 18-19; and the National Workshop on Achieving Diversity in Genetics Policy Decision Making, held last September at Howard University.

The former was a one-day conference held by Arts of Citizenship that was designed to be a catalyst for an ongoing investigation of the role of citizenship, democracy, diversity and the arts (see www.umich.edu/~urecord/0607/Jan15_07/02.shtml). The science and engineering event was a two-day conference featuring Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It addressed efforts to promote diversity among graduate students and faculty in the fields of science and engineering (see www.umich.edu/~urecord/0607/Jan22_07/06.shtml).

The workshop on diversity and genetics, organized by the Life Sciences and Society Program and the Michigan Center for Genomics and Public Health, focused on developing a national network to form and promote policies to guide genetics policy toward the elimination of health disparities.

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