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History of Funded Programs


Academic Year 2020-2021


Advancing Teaching and Course Design (University Park)
The purpose of our project is to design, pilot, and assess a faculty workshop to develop skills and provide resources for inclusive pedagogical practices. To improve the learning outcomes and experiences of our increasingly diverse student population, we seek to intentionally build our faculty’s capacity for creating inclusive learning environments. The impacts of the project include tools to help faculty create a more inclusive teaching philosophy, reflect on and adjust their pedagogical approaches, and make changes to their everyday practices to achieve a welcoming learning environment that will lead to broad student success. 

Diversity Oral History (Altoona)
Oral history of underrepresented populations including current students and alumni. A chance for members of the underrepresented population to share their story and experience in their own words. This will promote awareness as well as authenticity of the experience at Penn State Altoona as well as document change and growth.

Excel Learning Communities (Greater Allegheny)
Penn State Greater Allegheny is requesting funding to improve the co-curricular learning environment for historically underrepresented students served through Trio Student Support Services. The proposed intervention seeks to actively engage students in their learning process, helping them develop an increased level of confidence in their capacity to excel in academically challenging domains, and consequently increasing student retention and graduation rates. Collaborators are proposing the creation of a Supplemental Instruction program, grounded in cognitive apprenticeship, for identified gatekeeper courses that have a high failure rate evidenced by at least 30% of students dropping the course or earning a D or F.

Farm-to-Table Workshop Series (University Park)
The Studio for Sustainability and Social Action (S3A) Farm-to-Table project will raise awareness on issues of food insecurity by hosting a Farm-to-Table workshop every semester for students, faculty, and staff. The cost of admission will support the purchase of a modest refrigeration unit for the Lion’s Pantry, which enables food grown and transported from the Student Farm to have a longer shelf life. In line with contemporary art practices that creatively re-imagine the relationships between social issues and daily life, this project emphasizes sustainable agricultural practices and promotes social inclusion and equity through a convivial and transdisciplinary art education. 

(FIFSA) First in Family to Study Abroad (University Park)
Study Abroad programs help to develop global fluency, self-reliance, communication skills, intercultural competencies and many more skills employers and graduate schools are looking for in future professionals (NACE, 2018). The college of Ag Sciences has the highest number (25%) of first-generation students at Penn State. First Gen students are disproportionately underrepresented students of color and low income (Engle & Tinto, 2008). We look to provide a study abroad opportunity with a decreased cost to make gaining international experience more equitable and attainable and provide students with opportunity to gain the skills employers and grad schools seek in their students.

Global Engineering Fellows Diversity Initiative (University Park)
The goal of Global Engineering Fellows Program is for globally engaged engineering students who have studied abroad to build on their experiences and develop leadership skills. The Fellows program prepares participants to enter the workforce with cross-cultural awareness and communication skills, poising them to become global change-makers. Fellows serve the University by generating interest in global opportunities and helping to create meaningful connections between international and domestic students. The Global Engineering Fellows Diversity Initiative supports underrepresented students, encouraging them to promote study abroad, global competence and the Fellows Program to peers. CQ training is offered to the broader group.

Latina/os Transform the City (University Park)
I propose to convene a conference at University Park on the history of Latina/o urbanism—a subject at the cutting edge of Latinx Studies and one that is changing our thinking about American life. The conference will be open to the Penn State community, who will hear presented papers, question the conference participants, and complete linked assignments in Latina/o Studies classes, allowing them to apply and show what they have learned. The proceedings are slated for publication by a top university press; the book will showcase Penn State’s support of scholarship relevant to the University’s and state’s fast-growing Latina/o population.

Leveraging Social Capital for Faculty Career Advancement (Harrisburg)
The Faculty Career Advancement Program (FCAP) at Penn State Harrisburg is intended to enhance the social capital of women and underrepresented minority (URM) members in order to build community and foster agency in career advancement. Career advancement in a research enterprise requires a balanced portfolio of teaching, research, and service. While many faculty members ascend the traditional academic hierarchy, women and URM faculty face unique identity-related challenges that hinder career advancement.

Liberal Arts - An Appetite for Cultural Competence (University Park)
Liberal Arts will provide bi-monthly lunch-and-learn sessions covering a wide range of topics geared toward developing the cultural competence of our staff. Topics may include religion, gender, race, sexual preference, age, geography, socioeconomic status, etc. The purpose of the program will be to provide interactive sessions, led by subject matter experts, on a variety of topics to help participants build awareness, gain knowledge, and develop skills to allow them to interact successfully with those who are different from them. The intent is to engage staff in a personal growth opportunity that will benefit the college, university, and community at large.

Lions of Fusion Territory (LOFT) Peer Mentor Program (Hazelton)
Our Penn State Campus proposes to develop a diversity and inclusion student peer mentor program, which will work in conjunction with our campus’s existing diversity and inclusion program the Lions of Fusion Territory or “LOFT”. The peer mentor program will: (1) will hire and train three undergraduate peer mentors (2) facilitate diversity and inclusion focused programs designed to support students from frequently marginalized populations, such as LGBTQA+ students, students of color, students with disabilities, (3) create and provide educational resources focused on bringing awareness to the expenses of LGBTQA students, student of color, and students with disabilities.

Maymester in Mexico: Language, Culture, and Community-Based Learning (University Park)
This is the second year of a faculty-led study abroad program to Mexico that develops equity-minded dispositions, leadership and advocacy skills through experiential learning in multicultural, multilingual communities. Program engages students in ethnographic inquiry within Spanish-speaking and indigenous communities as they examine their own cultural, racial, and linguistic biases to build understanding of systemic oppression and the interpersonal and global impact of language. An innovative program design builds a partnership with Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO). Mexican students join PSU students in online instruction (Spring semester) and on-ground during a four-week Maymester in Oaxaca.

Midcareer Faculty Advancement Program (MFAP) (Harrisburg)
The Midcareer Faculty Advancement Program (MFAP) at Penn State Harrisburg is intended to serve as a resource to support the career advancement of midcareer faculty members from underrepresented minority (URM) groups as well as those or those who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Midcareer faculty members are those who have achieved promotion from early career stage assistant professor to associate professor with tenure. While many faculty members move successfully to the rank of associate professor, the midcareer stage has been a challenge to further advancement, specifically for those from URM groups.

Preparation for RHS Internships Through Structured Experiential Learning in Culturally Diverse Philadelphia School Settings (Abington)
The purpose of the proposed program is to enhance the curriculum of the Rehabilitation and Human Services Bachelor of Science degree by incorporating cross-cultural experiential learning that pre-prepares students in the major for their required 600-hour internships (RHS 495A). Students will not only gain course credit but will be able to build their resumes and become more marketable as graduates. Students will gain intercultural experiences with financial support, and be more equipped (emotionally and skill-wise) to engage in their full-time internships in their senior years.

Student Academic Retention and Success Program (STARS) (Hazelton)
Penn State Hazleton proposes the continuation of a retention program which mirrors components of the PSU-wide Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program. This previously funded program echoes the participant pool (first-time college students who are either low income, first generation college students, students with disabilities, adult learners, and/or are Latinx, Black, African American, Native American, Asian (herein ”students of color”))and outcomes of PaSSS (Increased persistence from first to second year; Increased GPA; Increased graduation rate).

The Intercultural Learning Community (Abington)
In the spring 2020 semester, Penn State Abington is piloting the Intercultural Learning Community (ILC) with the intent to expand the program in the fall2020 semester. The ILC was developed to engage faculty and staff in developing skills to support international and multilingual students, and facilitate intercultural interactions on campus. Faculty and students at PSA have reported a number of intercultural challenges associated with working and learning in a diverse community. The expanded program seeks to create a more inclusive environment by cultivating effective social justice pedagogical strategies to support student success and promote meaningful intercultural interactions among students.

The Penn State Conference on Latinx Faculty Development and Academic Leadership (Harrisburg)
The purpose of this conference is to foster the hiring and promotion of Latinx/a/o faculty and leaders at Penn State University. Co-sponsored by Penn State Harrisburg and Al Día, a Latinx/a/o multimedia company, the conference will feature Latinx/a/o scholars and leaders from the Pennsylvania Department of Education who will address the challenges experienced by Latinx/a/o academics and review culturally sensitive practices for recruiting, supporting, and promoting Latinx/a/o faculty members to professor and senior leadership positions in the academy. A Peer Working Group of conference attendees will also be formed to support ongoing work on this issue throughout the University.

Welcome Workshop for New Graduate Students Traditionally Underrepresented in Engineering (University Park)
To better integrate new graduate students and reduce attrition rates, we propose an annual weekend workshop for incoming graduate students traditionally underrepresented in Engineering (i.e., underrepresented minorities including Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; and women). Through the Welcome Workshop, first year graduate students will: 1) learn about graduate resources offered by the College of Engineering and Penn State; 2) have an opportunity to interact with key multi-cultural leaders, faculty/staff allies, and current graduate students; and 3) start building community with one another.

Summer 2020


CLEO Summer Institute, June 15 to July 11, 2020 (Carlisle) 
Penn State Dickinson Law was selected to host the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) 2020 Pre-Law Summer Institute from June 15to July 11, 2020. CLEO is the longest-serving national organization committed to diversity in the legal profession. The Pre-Law Summer Institute—a multi-week online and residential program launched in 1968—is designed to introduce students to the skills, knowledge and values essential to their success in law school, including self-directed learning, legal reasoning, writing and the Socratic teaching method. Multicultural graduating seniors or graduates who plan to attend law school in fall 2020 are eligible to participate.

D.C. Social Justice Fellowship (University Park)
This fellowship develops critical pedagogical and equity-oriented advocacy skills both in theory and in practice. Through study of social justice topics, students interrogate personal bias and examine both causes and symptoms of structural oppressions, connecting observations to the campus community and beyond. PSU students participate in a 2-semester long program exploring educational equity in Spring and teaching high school students in Washington, DC in Maymester. While in DC, students continue development and analysis of social justice competencies at Georgetown Law and collaborate with DC-area stakeholders to gather feedback on civic action plans they create.

Partnership for "Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus: Retention Models for Underrepresented Engineering and Science Students" (Abington, Altoona, Berks, University Park)
Summer bridge and transition programs serve incoming students from diverse groups under-represented in STEM. Programs are run concurrently across Penn State to create communities of belonging and increase student success. Pre First Year in Engineering and Science, Academic Summer Enhancement, Engineering Ahead, Jump Start and Leadership Conference programs serve over 150 students. Bridge programs increase grades in the first math course, first year GPA, entry into STEM. PreF increased graduation rates to 68% compared to 44% for UP students who don't do the PreF program.

Resiliency in Engineering Education (University Park)
Re·sil·ience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Gender diversity represents a unique challenge for engineering academic institutions and industry; recent calls for greater representation of women in STEM fields has brought to light many characteristics that make STEM educational environments less desirable or even hostile for women [1-3]. The ELD and Design programs propose the creation of a summer course aimed at building resiliency in women within the college of engineering. The course will provide an experiential learning environment in which women students are exposed to challenging experiences designed to help them thrive and lead in the field of engineering. Specifically, this course is designed to support a woman-led Maker program.

The ACHIEVE Summer Bridge: Facilitating Access and Success at Penn State Abington (Abington)
Abington seeks seed funding for a new summer bridge program for incoming first year ACHIEVE students in Summer 2020. Building on the success of the first academic year of ACHIEVE in 2019-20 (funded by Campus Access and Success), the bridge will support the recruitment and retention of students who are first generation college, low-income and/or from underserved communities in Greater Philadelphia. The program will ensure that ACHIEVE students are empowered to succeed from the beginning of their PSU journey, through a week-long residential experience designed to introduce students to campus life and resources.

The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program (Berks)
The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program at Berks assists African American, Hispanic/Latino, first-generation, and/or low-income first-year students in their transition from high school to college. The program seeks to introduce and acclimate students to campus and the college environment in a way that encourages success in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. Through this one-week residential summer bridge program, participants receive classroom-based instruction focused on academic skills, self-reflection activities, and interactive team building activities--serving to support self-awareness, communication, and decision-making skills with the ultimate goal of increased retention and 4- to 6- year graduation rates. 

Academic Year 2019-2020

Advancing and Promoting Diversity in International Affairs (University Park)
SIA proposes a new marketing recruitment strategy to increase Hispanic/Latino student enrollment, currently at 7%. With students engaging in discussion over global issues, policymaking, cultural awareness, and other sensitive topics, there is a need to increase this underrepresented population to broaden perspectives and increase diversity within our graduate program. 

African and African Diasporic Artists Residency Program (AADARP) (University Park)
We will pilot AADARP bringing6 master teachers of African dance and drumming to PSU to foster understandings of these art forms and cultures. Three artist pairs will participate in weeklong residencies, guest teaching university and local middle school classing and offering campus-wide and community-based classes. AADARP will expand student knowledge of these cultures, the interconnections, and the histories from which the art forms evolve. Staff and faculty capacity will be bolstered. Mental and physical wellness will be improved and respect for these cultures will be enriched. This pilot is intended to seed future grant proposals submitted externally.

Beyond PaSSS: Supporting English Language Learners (ELL) During the Academic Year (Behrend)
Behrend proposes a comprehensive, three-phase program to: 1) help immigrant and refugee (New American) high-school students develop English skills required for success in college, 2) provide English Language Learner (ELL)-supported Pathway to Academic Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) programming and continued support throughout the academic year through a specially designed course cluster of general education courses and other support mechanisms; 3) increase retention and persistence of these students toward graduation.

Boundary Work in Oaxaca, Mexico: Advocacy & Education in Multilingual Spaces (University Park)
A new faculty-led study abroad program to Mexico develops equity-minded dispositions, leadership and advocacy skills through experiential learning in multicultural, multilingual communities. The program offers classroom instruction preparing students for ethnographic inquiry within Spanish-speaking and indigenous communities as they examine their own cultural, racial, and linguistic biases to build understanding of systemic oppression and the interpersonal and global impact of language. An innovative program design builds a reciprocal relationship with Universidad Iberoamericana in Oaxaca. Mexican students join PSU students in online instruction (Spring semester) and on-ground during a three-week experience in Mexico (Maymester).

Changing the Future for Women in STEM at Penn State: A Leadership Development Program (University Park)
Drs. Wendy Hanna-Rose (Science) and Zoubeida Ounaies (Engineering) are organizing a6-month leadership training program for female STEM faculty at Penn State in collaboration with the consulting firm Next Level Leadership. The program aim is to improve the productivity of STEM women faculty to the benefit of our students, our climate and our scholarship and to promote leadership effectiveness to the benefit of our departments and colleges. The program will launch on a small scale with an initial cohort of 24 (nominated) women faculty but is designed to scale-up and perpetuate to impact interested faculty across all Penn State campuses.

Climate Improvement for Aerospace Engineering Women (University Park)
Our goals are to improve climate for women and other diverse students in our aerospace and other engineering departments, and then to improve their recruitment and retention in STEM education programs and career.  We approach these goals by providing professional development opportunities (career and life skill seminars, self-promotion/presentation practices, and networking) and mentoring programs that covers from pre-major students to post-docs.  Rather than getting inspired (or intimidated) by superstars, we plan to develop healthy expectations and practical solutions and to  provide  inclusive  and  encouraging  learning  environment  for  their  sustainable  and  happy  school  and  career life.

Excel Learning Communities (Greater Allegheny)
Penn State Greater Allegheny is requesting funding to improve the co-curricular learning environment for historically underrepresented students served through Trio Student Support Services.  The proposed intervention seeks to actively engage students in their learning process, helping them develop an increased level of confidence in their capacity to excel in academically challenging domains; consequently, increasing student retention and graduation rates. Collaborators are proposing the creation of a Supplemental Instruction program, grounded in cognitive apprenticeship, for identified gate keeper courses that have a high failure rate evidenced by at least 30% of students dropping the course or earning a D or F.

Explore Law (University Park)
Penn State Law proposes a reset to the Explore Law program, which for twelve years has introduced underrepresented undergraduate students to legal education. Students admitted to law school are primarily judged on two metrics, their undergraduate GPA, and their score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Penn State Law proposes to restructure the Explore Law program to (1) recruit predominantly nonwhite and/or first generation Penn State students from University Park and Commonwealth Campuses, (2) add targeted LSAT preparation to the curriculum of the program, and (3) increase the number of participants who become qualified applicants to Penn State Law.

Hispanic Outreach Program (Hershey)
Penn State College of Medicine Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion proposes to develop an academic year outreach program for Lebanon County Hispanic students, including those who have been displaced from Puerto Rico.  Students will be introduced to sciences that will prepare them for careers in both clinical and research medicine; participate in science fairs designed to enhance confidence, knowledge, and development; provided an opportunity to simulate life as a medical/allied health student, clinician, or researcher; assigned an Hispanic clinician or researcher as a mentor that will facilitate shadowing opportunities; and provide preparation for college, health career pathways for those who desire it. The program will run nine months beginning in September for up to 45 students between their sophomore and senior years. Junior and Senior year student participants will require travel.

“I’m First!”: Identifying, Elevating and Celebrating Abington’s First Gen Students (Abington)
Penn State Abington will implement the second year of “I’m First!” -a college-wide campaign to identify, elevate and celebrate our first-generation college students, faculty and staff. Funded by EOPC in 2018-19, the pilot year of the program engaged 42 students.  Renewed funding will support Abington’s efforts to build on this success and use lessons learned to improve the program in AY 2019-20.

Impacting Culture in the Nutritional Sciences Department: Increasing Student Diversity While Building Community (University Park)
The Nutritional Sciences department proposes to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion by exploring ways to increase the number of ethnically and culturally diverse students in our undergraduate and graduate programs. This project will address the University’s strategic goal of fostering a diverse student body by directly addressing student recruitment. The proposed program will be the first phase of a five-year student recruitment campaign. The proposed project will be two-pronged: 1) to conduct focus groups with faculty, students, and staff to determine best practices for recruiting marginalized student populations (i.e., African-American, LatinX, Asian, Native American; and 2) to develop outreach materials for advertising and marketing our programs to prospective high school and college students of color.

Inclusive Learning Model for Serving Students with Disabilities: A Pilot Workshop and Innovative Resources for Stimulating Organization Cultural Change (University Park)
While students with disabilities enrollment increase in the online environment, the importance to provide resources in order to create inclusive environment becomes more abundant with colleges and its partnering units. The Inclusive Learning Model (ILM) was designed to assist faculty/staff members with creating a more inclusive student experience. The ILM provides a roadmap for defining unit competencies and applying best practices to address unique challenges and misconceptions. The proposed pilot workshop will help units to think through their cultural tasks and how to best apply them to people with disabilities. The proposed pilot has the potential for expansion to other units by developing a train-the-trainer toolkit in the future. 

Lions of Fusion Territory (LOFT) Peer Mentor Program (Hazelton)
Our Penn State Campus proposes to develop a diversity and inclusion student peer mentor program, which will work in conjunction with our campus’s existing diversity and inclusion programs provided through our inclusive space, the Lions of Fusion Territory or “LOFT”.  The peer mentor program will: (1) will hire and train three undergraduate peer mentors (2) facilitate diversity and inclusion focused programs designed to support students from frequently marginalized populations, specifically including LGBTQA+ students, students of color, students with disabilities, and international students. (3) Create and provide educational resources focused on bringing awareness to the experiences of the above-referenced student groups.

Shenango STEP (Student Transition and Engagement Program) (Shenango)
Shenango STEP is an immersion program providing historically under-represented and socioeconomically challenged students the higher education experience. Participants will take an existing, college-level course and will be mentored in tools (financial aid, academic advising, etc.) to successfully transition to Shenango or another academic institution. Shenango is identified as the only urban Commonwealth campus, however, African Americans represented six percent of our student population in Fall 2018. We are 2.3 miles away from Farrell whose African American pool represents 40 percent of their population. Shenango STEP will bridge that gap by increasing our student diversity to be more representative of our community.

Stuckeman School Welcome Events for Incoming Students of Color (University Park)
At the Stuckeman School (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Graphic Design), a disproportionate number of students of color (African-American, Latinx, and Asian-American) struggle academically or leave these programs. In response, the Stuckeman School will host a Welcome Event for incoming students of color and their families that includes five experiences over two days. The goal of these events is to improve retention and to help students to excel in their chosen majors. The activities will help students develop a self-supporting cohort of peers within the School, connect them with alumni and faculty, and introduce resources on campus.

Student Academic Retention and Success Program (STARS) (Hazelton)
Penn State Hazleton proposes the continuation of a retention program which mirrors components of the PSU-wide Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program. This previously funded program echoes the outcomes of PaSSS: Increased persistence from first to second year and second year to third year; Increased GPA; Increased graduation rate.

Telecom Multicultural Initiative (University Park)
We seek program funding for mentorship, networking and professional development opportunities for women and students of color majoring in Communications and related fields, through involvement in two national professional organizations, the National Association for Multiethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT)and their Penn State chapters.

Underrepresented Student Pre-Med Mentorship Program (Hershey)
Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, Office for Diversity Equity and Inclusion proposes medical school admissions support to prospective medical students who are members of underrepresented populations (Black/African American, American Indian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latinx) including  coordinating an annual pre-medical mentorship program for under-represented undergraduate students interested in careers in medicine. The program will consist of MCAT test preparation, medical school admissions informational workshops, and health career webinars. 

Summer 2019

Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program (Berks)
The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program aims to assist program participants (primarily African American and Hispanic/Latino, first-generation, and/or low-income) in their transition from high school to college. The purpose of the program is to introduce and acclimate students to campus and the college environment in a way that encourages success in the classroom, on campus, and in the community.  This is accomplished through a one-week residential summer bridge program during which participants become familiar with the campus and surrounding community, learn about campus resources and policies, as well as interact with university professionals. Students receive classroom-based instruction focused on academic skills, self-reflection workshops, and interactive team building activities all of which help build self-awareness, self-confidence, communication, decision making, problem solving, academic skills, and goal setting abilities. The assumption is that through summer bridge program participation, students will be more successful and more likely persist in higher education.

Community Diversity Conference (University Park)
The Community Diversity Group (CDG), with support from Penn State’s Finance and Business Department and Education Equity’s EOPC funding, and in partnership with the Borough of State College (the Borough) wish to provide a third all-day Community Diversity Conference, a needed educational opportunity for those directly involved with shaping the overall cultural climate for the increasingly diverse population enjoyed by our community due to its location near Penn State. Penn State is ranked 10th by the Institute for International Education “Open Doors” for its number of international students, and in the top 25 “gap closers” for graduating minority students (top 6 in United States for closing the graduation gap for African American and Hispanic Students) by The Education Trust, ranked in the top 100 nationwide in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American undergraduate degree producers by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Penn State recruits many talented and successful employees and their families – this conference aims to improve and enhance the present environment for existing residents and provide a more welcoming climate for newcomers so they decide to stay and make our community their home.

DC Social Justice Fellowship (University Park)
This fellowship develops critical pedagogical and equity-oriented advocacy skills both in theory and in practice. Through study of social justice topics, students are invited to interrogate personal bias, examine causes and symptoms of structural oppressions for purpose of positively affection campus community and beyond. PSU students participate in a 2-semester long program, exploring social justice and educational equity in Spring and teaching high school students in Washington, DC in Maymester. While in DC, students study diversity and social justice competencies at Georgetown Law and collaborate with various stakeholders in the D.C. area to gather feedback on civic action plans they create.

Resiliency in Engineering Education (University Park)
Re·sil·ience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Gender diversity represents a unique challenge for engineering academic institutions and industry; recent calls for greater representation of women in STEM fields has brought to light many characteristics that make STEM educational environments less desirable or even hostile for women [1-3]. The ELD and Design programs propose the creation of a summer course aimed at building resiliency in women within the college of engineering. The course will provide an experiential learning environment in which women students are exposed to challenging experiences designed to help them thrive and lead in the field of engineering. Specifically, this course is designed to support a woman-led Maker program.

Summer Transformative Excellence Proven (STEP) Program (Abington)
In 1965, Lyndon Johnson proclaimed “...it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.” Today, with a minority white undergraduate population (45% white, 16% Asian, 13% Black, 11% Latinx, 12% international and 3%two or more races), Penn State Abington has—opened the gates—provided access for historically underserved and minoritized peoples. The Summer Transformative Excellence Proven (STEP) Program (Appendix A) presents an environment where students author and embrace their efficacy.  STEP ensures students’ first steps—through the gates—toward success are fortified with (1) academic achievement; (2) cultural growth; and (3) belonging.

Academic Year 2018-2019

 

ASPIRE Academic Year (Berks)
The intent of the ASPIRE Program (EOP) is to provide an effective method to support incoming students who are considered "at risk." Students in this category tend to be first generation, low income, ethnic minorities, as well as educationally disadvantaged. "At risk" students have lower retention and graduation rates when compared to their counterparts. Often as a result of poor prior educational experiences, these students are not adequately prepared for college level academics; specifically lacking the academic skills, knowledge, attitudes, and self-confidence necessary for college success. The majority of these students require developmental math and English courses, tutoring, guidance, and support especially during their first year—transitioning from high school to college. Providing an educational and social support network can assist "at risk" students in enhancing academic success, encouraging connection to the university, and improving retention rates.

Climate Improvement for Aerospace Engineering Women (University Park)
Our goal is to promote diverse participation, especially women, in STEM by offering a professional development workshop, seminars by women leaders, and company visits for aerospace women students. Rather than getting inspired (or intimidated) by superstars, the goal here is to develop healthy expectations and practical solutions for a sustainable and happy school and career life. Throughout the year, we will provide the forum where our women students can obtain knowledge, skills, and networks that will benefit them in the current climate: career/grad school preparation, existing challenges and solutions, on-campus resources, networking and negotiation skills . Last year, we focused the one-time workshop on professional development for graduate women. This year, based on its success, we are extending our scope to include undergraduate women and to host more events throughout the academic year.

Cross-Cultural Engagement & STEM Diversity Initiative (University Park)
The Cross-cultural Engagement and STEM Program is a 6-week summer study abroad program (May-June) in collaboration with Peru's Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria. The vision of the Diversity Initiative is to create an inclusive experience for PSU students, bringing together STEM and non-technical majors in a learning community. Students will develop global leadership skills through an interdisciplinary platform, analyzing the role of scientific knowledge in humanity. Participants collaborate on projects based around international development challenges and UN sustainability goals. The program will be led by PSU professors from diverse disciplines, including Spanish, and enriched by local Peruvian professors and students. Homestays and excursions with locals will foster intercultural competence and foreign language gains.

Global Engineering Fellows Diversity Initiative (University Park)
The goal of Global Engineering Fellows Program is to provide an opportunity for technically grounded, globally engaged students to build on their international experiences (of studying or interning abroad). The Fellows program is intended to prepare participants to enter the workforce with cross-cultural awareness and communication skills, poising them to become global leaders. Additionally, Fellows serve the College of Engineering by generating interest in global opportunities and helping to create meaningful connections between the College's international and domestic students.

Hispanic Outreach Program (Hershey)
Penn State College of Medicine Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion proposes to develop an academic year outreach program for Lebanon County Hispanic students who have been displaced from Puerto Rico. Students will be introduced to sciences that will prepare them for careers in both clinical and research medicine; participate in science fairs designed to enhance confidence, knowledge, and development; provided an opportunity to simulate life as a medical/allied health student, clinician, or researcher; assigned an Hispanic clinician or researcher as a mentor that will facilitate shadowing opportunities; and provide preparation for college, health career pathways for those who desire it. The program will run nine months beginning in September for up to 25 students between their sophomore and senior years. With an end of year banquet presentation for all senior participants and brief highlight updates for underclassmen.

"I'm First!": Identifying, Elevating and Celebrating Abington's First Gen Students Penn State Abington (Abington)
Penn State Abington will develop and implement "I'm First!" - a college-wide campaign to identify, elevate and celebrate our first generation college students, faculty and staff.

Jr. MANRRS (University Park)
Jr. MANRRS is the pre-college initiative for the National Society of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS). By collaborating with this national organization, the College of Ag Sciences – Multicultural Affairs plans to re-start a chapter within the state of PA at WB Saul High School in Philadelphia. Penn State Jr. MANRRS chapter plans to strengthen Ag Sci interest, provide mentoring for high school students in Jr. MANRRS with college students, and develop a pipeline from WB Saul High School and others in the future, into Penn State and Ag Science majors.

Latino Cultural Arts Project (LCAP) (Berks)
The annual Latino Cultural Arts Project (LCAP) will deepen an understanding of global diversity and inclusion by building community connections and promoting positive change. By fostering interdisciplinary cultural integration, LCAP's goal is to nurture empathy among participants by sharing in the personal stories expressed in Latin American art, music, and literature. Student participation in performances, presentations, and workshops, will allow them to develop an understanding of societal and global issues, thus enabling them to play a role in community relations. LCAP enhances PSU Berks' commitment to diversity by welcoming the contributions and collaborations of their Latino neighbors in a continuous, visible fashion.

"Name It, Claim It, Aim It": Strengths Assessment in the Abington First Year Seminar (Abington)
Building on Abington's recent announcement it is one of the first PSU campuses to be designated a "Strengths-Based" campus by Gallup, we will integrate strengths assessment, interpretation and ongoing support into the new First Year Seminar, to facilitate the success of first-year students at Penn State's most diverse campus.

Online Intervention Style Quizzes (University Park)
Stand for State, Penn State's bystander intervention initiative, proposes to create two online "Buzzfeed" style personality quizzes online that will educate students, faculty, and staff on simple intervention tips when witnessing acts of bias and discrimination (Quiz 1), and sexual and relationship violence (Quiz 2). The online format enables the quiz to be utilized at all Penn State campuses, including World Campus. Its use can be promoted within classrooms, within student organizations and work units, and through individual social media use.

Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through the Performing Arts Collaborative (University Park)
Our collaborative initiative is comprised of three (3) interrelated components – programmatic component, transformational student leadership development coaching component and a research study component. The programmatic component involves developing and delivering student engagement and community outreach programs around six (6) Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) at Penn State performances. Program participants – students, faculty, staff, alums and community members – attend performances and interact with artists on a personal level (e.g., talk back sessions, workshops, class visits), structured group discussions and focus groups. CPA performances are selected based on their potential to create cognitive dissonance and to promote dialogue, self-reflection and self-examination of individual beliefs, values and behaviors around issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and civil discourse.

Student Academic Retention and Success Program (STARS) (Hazelton)
Penn State Hazleton proposes the continuation of a student retention program for the fall/spring semesters which mirrors many components of the invitation-only PSU Pathways to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program. This previously funded program mirrors the overall desired outcomes of the PaSSS program, which are: 1) Increased persistence from first to second year and second year to third year 2) Increased GPA 3) Increased graduation rate.

Women in Business Day 2018 (Behrend)
In our Women in Business Day program, local area female high school students will participate in sessions where they will: a) be introduced to different fields of business by female faculty; b) learn about career opportunities in business; and c) get excited about exploring careers in business.

Summer 2018

 

Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program (Berks)
The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program aims to assist program participants (primarily African American and Hispanic/Latino, first-generation, and/or low-income) in their transition from high school to college. The purpose of the program is to introduce and acclimate students to campus and the college environment in a way that encourages success in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. This is accomplished through a one-week residential summer bridge program during which participants become familiar with the campus and surrounding community, learn about campus policies and expectations, interact with university professionals, as well as gain exposure to campus resources. Students receive classroom instruction focused on academic skills, self-reflection, and interactive team building activities all of which help build self-awareness, self-confidence, communication, decision making, problem solving, academic skills, and goal setting abilities. The assumption is that through summer bridge participation, students will be more successful students and more likely persist in higher education.

Community-Building Activities for PSU Altoona Engineering Ahead Summer Bridge (Altoona)
The Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus project (publicly known as Engineering Ahead; NSF IUSE #1525367, 2016 to 2020) seeks to accomplish three goals: (1) Increase retention in Engineering among racially underrepresented Engineering students by extending a successful summer bridge model and transition program to regional campuses in the Pennsylvania State University system, (2) Develop long-term sustainability plans for these programs, and (3) Compare the efficacy of three different bridge models. To address the urgent need to expand the pool of STEM graduates, especially racially underrepresented students, and consistent with the University foundational value of Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World, the Engineering Ahead project initiated new math-intensive summer bridge programs in 2016 at Penn State Abington, Altoona, and Berks to improve the retention and graduation rates among underrepresented Engineering students at Commonwealth Campuses. Underrepresented students in Engineering include African American, Hispanic, and Native students. This proposal seeks funding for community-building activities for the Engineering Ahead Altoona students for the Summer 2018 cohort. The PSU Altoona campus is not located near commercial areas. Funding is requested for social activities (and transportation) that promote community building among the bridge students and are not supported by current funding. 

DC Social Justice Fellowship (University Park)
PSU Students participate in a 2-semester long program. Students learn about issues of social justice and educational equity in the spring course and teach an issue of choice in the summer (two week Maymester) to high school students in Washington, DC. While in DC, students take a course at Georgetown Law that teaches diversity and social justice competencies and work with various stakeholders in the D.C. area to address complex social issues. In addition to teaching responsibilities, students partner with civic leaders to explore research queries.

Launch Literacy Symposium (Brandywine)
First-generation and low-income students often struggle their first year of college. In addition to under-preparedness for academics, these students often lack the skills necessary to navigate higher education and require additional assistance in understanding how to handle their financial aid, employ study skills, and advance their motivation to succeed. Additionally, the growing trend of mental health issues among college students often impacts incoming students' ability to cope with college demands. This proposal seeks to address this need by piloting a series of workshops, or symposiums, along with a mentoring component, as an enhancement of our summer bridge program. This longstanding and effective program, entitled Launch, which is designed to improve the math and English abilities of the incoming students, often fails to address their other needs. In Summer 2018, weekly symposiums will be held on the topics of financial literacy, motivation, mental health, student information panel, and social interaction. Students will be engaged through the interactive style of the workshops, and lunch will be provided. In addition to the symposiums, a mentoring component will be included as students will meet with a peer mentor and the coordinators to ensure their unique concerns are addressed. To continue the learning gains after the program, student participants will receive a campus-specific weekly newsletter, and parents and families will receive their own monthly newsletter that revisits symposium topics along with tips for academic success. A financial incentive, in the form of a partial rebate of the Launch fee (in the form of Lion Cash) will also be offered.

Penn State Summer Leadership Keynote Speaker (University Park)
The Penn State Summer Leadership Conference Planning Committee requests EOPC funds which will be matched 1:1 to fund keynote speakers for this annual conference. These funds will help attract diverse and impactful speakers that can help advance and connect students to the vision of the conference in providing a challenging and motivating experience, where students will learn to be empowered, confident leaders, both personally and professionally, and will be inspired to lead purposeful lives while upholding the Penn State Values. More specifically the funds will be used to solicit speakers that can integrate culturally relevant content into student development theory and leadership.

Underrepresented Diverse Student Groups Pre-Med Mentorship Program (Hershey)
Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, Office for Diversity Equity and Inclusion proposes to provide support to its medical students who are members of underrepresented diverse student groups and coordinate an annual pre-medical mentorship program for undergraduate students who are considered underrepresented in medicine.

Welcome Week Interactive Theatre Pilot (University Park)
This Welcome Week Interactive Theatre Pilot will complement current University-wide education around the topics of sexual assault prevention/Title IX, diversity and inclusion, and alcohol and drug use/abuse. The initiative will bring together staff in Educational Equity, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, and the Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design (C-PAD) to develop a brief musical theatre production that will deliver these important messages in an impactful way. The production will be performed to all new first-year students and include a talk-back with actors and members of the New Student Orientation Team. In line with the University's strategic plan's six foundations that support all University endeavors, this initiative will increase student engagement and work to foster and embrace diversity as foundations of our work. Additionally, this new initiative supports the following strategic priorities for Penn State -- Transforming Education and Advancing the Arts and Humanities. Specifically, we see a great fit with EOPC's mission to promote greater equity for historically underrepresented or underserved groups within the University. Similar interactive theatre initiatives around the country create low-barrier programming which provides both affirmation for underrepresented or underserved students and direct challenge and education for majority students.