Academic Year 2019-2020

Results of the funded programs


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.