DMA Staff Member Wins Employee Forum Award

Service with a Smile

One of the first things you notice about Mrs. Margie Scott is her smile. As the first person that students meet when they come into the Inclusive Student Excellence office in the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs suite in SASB North, Scott’s warm welcome and enthusiastic greeting is contagious. She is often the first point of contact for students and parents who call looking for information about the recruitment and visitation programs offered by UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA). Mrs. Scott’s patience and empathy have garnered her mounds of thank-you notes from families, prospective students, and current students.

Students who work with Margie will tell you that she is their cheerleader, their advocate, and their role model. Her ability to embody the vision and mission of Carolina: to make our campus welcoming and inclusive have earned Mrs. Scott a peer recognition award for customer service. The award, presented by the UNC Employee Forum on May 29, 2014 recognizes someone who serves the University on the front lines. DMA has over 2,000 high school students who apply to be part of our pipeline programs and many of them have questions or have family members who want to be reassured that their children’s needs are being met.

In her nomination letter co-workers cited her warmth and graciousness. “She is always such a positive person to work with and she has such encouraging words to share with students,” said one nominator. Her nomination went on to cite her empathy and a deep belief in equity and inclusion.

Margie Scott at the Employee Forum Awards with daughter, grandson and husband

Margie Scott at the Employee Forum Awards with daughter, grandson and husband

“Being chosen,” said Mrs. Scott, “confirms for me that the service I give every day has a positive impact on the students, the parents, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and the University, and more than that—my work is appreciated. I’m always surprised and elated when I win something, and being the recipient of the Employee Forum Customer Service Award is no exception.”

Grateful parents write notes about her caring spirit and the time she takes to listen to their needs, current students come to her frequently for encouragement and a hug, and students who have graduated come back to thank her for all she did to help them through their time at Carolina.

“As a colleague, she has been inspirational in her commitment to inclusive excellence in the work that we do and the way that we communicate with our campus and community members,” says Sharbari Dey, education programs coordinator for DMA and Scott’s nominator. “Working with Margie is a delightful opportunity and I am sure the many students and families whom she has touched agree with me.”

A native of Mrytle Beach, Sc., Scott has over 10 years of service at UNC-Chapel Hill and currently serves as administrative program specialist. She is active in her local community and church in Durham.  A breast cancer survivor, Scott also volunteers her time to support persons affected by cancer and participates in the annual Triangle Komen Race for the Cure.

About the Employee Forum

The Employee Forum consists of SPA and EPA Non-Faculty Employees elected by their peers and seeks to continually improve the quality of life at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for its Students, Faculty, and Employees through mutual understanding, recognition of Employee contributions, and respect for the worth of the individual.

Related Links

Summer Programs for Diverse Students

NCR GroupThe Carolina campus is buzzing with activity this summer as Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) holds two summer programs for high school students—North Carolina Renaissance and Project Uplift. These two unique programs are designed to give underrepresented minority, rural, and low-income students a residential immersion at the University. Participants explore all that the college experience entails including life in a residence hall, classroom lectures, and academic and cultural events put on by current Carolina students.

Rising juniors from rural communities just completed North Carolina Renaissance (NCR), an educational four-day enrichment program that took place from May 13-16. The objective of NCR was to inspire high-achieving scholars to pursue their educational aspirations while developing leadership skills. Students participated in specially designed sessions including leadership and team building, college admissions, financial aid, and a community service opportunity.

Carolina NCR counselors also benefit from the NCR experience. In helping younger students, counselors expand their leadership skills and give back to the communities from which they came. “You can see tangible outcomes,” says Frank Tillman III, a 2013 and 2014 NCR counselor. “You can follow these students’ success and progress as they come through the program.” According to other counselors, the program makes students want to challenge themselves academically which allows them to see the participants grow and learn.

Project Uplift for Rising High School Seniors

Project Uplift’s first week out of four begins Thursday, May 22 and goes through the morning of Saturday, May 24. Also known as PU, Project Uplift will host approximately 1200 rising high school seniors this year as it celebrates the 45th anniversary of the program.

Hosted in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, PU aims to enhance the diversity of Carolina’s undergraduate population. High achieving African American, Native American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian American, low income, rural and other rising seniors from historically underserved populations are recommended by their guidance counselors to apply for the program.  Accepted students are invited to experience the academic rigor and social climate of UNC. This early recruitment program provides prospective students with insight into college life and an opportunity to live and lead, and learn about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a first-hand basis. Participants attend classes, dine in Lenoir Hall, live in UNC residential communities and interact with current Carolina student counselors who coordinate cultural activities, lead group discussions, and conduct team-building exercises. The PU student staff is a close-knit cohort, many of whom have served as counselors for all four years of their Carolina tenure. Project Uplift and North Carolina Renaissance are both hosted by DMA’s Minority Student Recruitment Committee (MSRC).

Other summer programs being held on campus include Summer Bridge, a program hosted by the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling that targets incoming first-year NC students from small/rural high schools that may lack AP or other college preparatory courses; the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP), a graduate-level research experience for highly talented students from diverse backgrounds; the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE-REU) Program in Molecular Biosciences, which provides talented undergraduate students the opportunity to carry out independent research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors; and the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence (CCEE) youth programs that offer science summer camps for elementary and middle school students.

Project Uplift CounselorsAbout MSRC

The Minority Student Recruitment Committee partners with other student organizations such as the Black Student Movement, the Carolina Indian Circle, Carolina Hispanic Association, Student Government and various campus units and departments to coordinate and implement enriching academic, cultural, and social developmental programs to achieve our goal of an inclusive campus environment. The students of MSRC are committed to supporting current Carolina students in undertaking a rich, rewarding experience at the University.

 

Related Links:

Carolina ADMIRES Promotes Diversity in Science

Beginning this June, the Carolina ADMIRES program (Assisting in Development and Mentoring an Innovative Research Experience in Science) will make it possible for high school students to conduct research in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields under the guidance of a Carolina faculty mentor. Amy Oldenburg, an assistant professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s department of

Physics and Astronomy, has teamed up with Diversity and Multicultural Affairs to offer this exciting opportunity that is designed to encourage students to pursue STEM majors.

Dr. Amy Oldenburg

Dr. Amy Oldenburg- Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

ADMIRES was developed as the outreach component of a grant Oldenburg received from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  She came to the task of writing her proposal with a specific model in mind, and reached out to DMA to make it a reality.  Through NSF funding, her goal was to work with DMA to create an experience similar to Research Rocks—a former DMA initiative that provided high school students with research experiences and a faculty mentor. Oldenburg became involved with Research Rocks during her first years at UNC.

Although DMA was unable to continue the program, Oldenburg was inspired by the connections she made through Research Rocks and was committed to finding new opportunities to connect with young students interested in STEM. She developed the grant proposal and worked with DMA to ensure that diversity was a central component of the program.

“I wanted to see this type of program revived here at UNC, which offers an ideal environment for focused outreach,” she says.  “The STEM disciplines suffer from a lack of many of the best students who happen to come from diverse backgrounds, with women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged students greatly underrepresented in these disciplines.  I wanted to address this gap at a crucial phase in the development in a student’s life.”

Carolina ADMIRES will target high school girls and students from other groups underrepresented in STEM, such as American Indian, Latina/o, and African American students.  A cohort of twenty-five students will have monthly on-campus meetings with their assigned faculty mentors, spending the fall semester focusing on professional development and embarking on their own research in the spring.

“The ADMIRES grant proposal was a perfect example of how DMA can work with grant writers and principal investigators to add a diversity component to their work,” said DMA Director of Inclusive Student Excellence Ada Wilson. “With forethought and cooperation, we were able to devise a pipeline program for early high school students to channel their interests in the STEM fields to a real-world research experience and possibly capture the imaginations of future talented scientists.”

Meshay Long

Meshay Long- lead student coordinator for Carolina ADMIRES

Junior psychology major Meshay Long serves as academy development coordinator in DMA’s Inclusive Student Excellence program and will serve as the Carolina ADMIRES lead student coordinator.  Meshay is a student leader on campus who has a background in diversity and inclusion and has been active with the Minority Student Recruitment Committee, the Carolina Indian Circle and Alpha Pi Omega, Carolina’s first historically Native sorority.

Oldenburg hopes that the guidance of experienced professionals and the freedom to pursue their scientific interests will awaken participants to the roles STEM fields could play in their futures.  “It’s passion that is so important for success in science, as it will carry them through all of the hard work in order to make an impact in their chosen field,” she says.  “At the same time, students will see by example that successful scientists come from all backgrounds.”

ADMIRES is now accepting applications for the coming academic year.  Transportation will be arranged for students who live at a distance from the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

For more information regarding ADMIRES, contact Amy Oldenburg at aold@physics.unc.edu. For other information regarding diversity at UNC, contact Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at diversity@unc.edu or visit diversity.unc.edu.

Related Links:

Campus Partners Hold First Latina/o Graduation Celebration

Chancellor Folt speaks at Exitos, the 2014 Latina/o graduation celebrationÉxitos in Spanish means successes and that is what the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative (CLC) and the Latina/o Caucus at UNC-Chapel Hill celebrated on Friday, May 9, 2014. The successes of Latina/o graduates and those who have worked to support and promote the Latina/o community were acknowledged and thanks were given to family, friends, faculty, staff, and administrators who helped students achieve their goals. Each student received a CLC lapel pin to wear on their graduation gowns the following Sunday when they processed at commencement.

“We have so many people who are working to advance the Latina/o culture both on campus and in the surrounding communities,” said Josmell Pérez, multicultural programs assistant director for UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and coordinator for the CLC.” It is important that we recognize the graduates for their achievements. Many of them serve as role models to other Latina/o and non-Latina/o students and demonstrate how resilience and hard work can result in achieving your goals.”

William Vizuete

William Vizuete

William Vizuete, an associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering, was the keynote speaker. He shared the story of his immigrant parents and the sacrifices they made to help him succeed in school and how he carries on that tradition in his family. He urged the graduates that as they make a new path for themselves to remember they now have a shared responsibility to help others just as their family and the UNC community helped them.

Chancellor Carol Folt congratulated the graduates on all of their accomplishments. “You have achieved your own dream of graduation,” she said, “but you have also made Carolina a stronger, better place for those students who will come after you.”

As part of the experience of celebrating Latina/o culture and success, Paul Cuadros, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, played a trailer from an upcoming six-episode documentary for NuvoTV called “Los Jets.”

“Los Jets” follows the story of a high school soccer team in Siler City, NC that Caudros coaches. The television documentary stems from Caudros’ book, A Home on the Field, which was the 2009 Summer Reading Program selection for incoming first-year Carolina students.

Several students featured in the documentary are mentees in the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI), a program in the Center for Global Initiatives at UNC-Chapel Hill that provides higher education opportunities for Latino youth in North Carolina. Through the completion of a structured three-year program, students from under-resourced high schools are mentored by Carolina undergraduates to develop an enthusiasm for higher education and prepare academically for college success. The mentees receive assistance in the college application process and guidance on applying for scholarships in order to make college enrollment a reality.

About the CLC

The CLC has created a network that connects various groups on campus involved in academic and cultural projects and programs to develop a greater awareness of Latina/o issues, cultures and identities. By building collaborative relationships across campus and the community, the CLC provides a supportive environment for students, faculty, staff and alumni to discuss and understand important issues that affect the Latina/o community. For more information regarding the CLC, contact Mr. Pérez at clc@unc.edu. For other diversity news, visit diversity.unc.edu.

Related Links:

 

Webcast Addresses the School-to-Prison Pipeline

NatlWebcastLogoOn June 2-3, 2014 – Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute along with the School of Social Work and the School of Education at UNC will host the 20th National Health Equity Research Webcast (NHERW). Over the years, the webcast has evolved as a nationally-known and respected program advancing the twin goals of health equity and inclusion. 

“Launched in 1995 as a short-course on minority health research with about a 100 participants,” says Victor J. Schoenbach, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and one of the events longest-running coordinators, “this annual event now reaches 1,000-2,000 researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students throughout the nation, making it one of UNC’s most visible contributions to advancing health equity and diversity.”

School to Prison PipelineThe topic for this year’s webcast is “The School-to-Prison Pipeline”. The webcast will span two days and include programs that advance dialogue and research on the local and national impact of the issue. “School to Prison Pipeline” refers to multiple policies and practices enacted within schools such as “zero tolerance”, suspensions and expulsions, school based arrests, disciplinary alternative schools, juvenile detentions and criminal justice procedures for minor infractions.

“The school-to-prison pipeline is a timely and important topic that is being widely discussed and researched throughout the nation. This is a terrifying reality in our nation and an unfortunate growing trend for many of the children sitting in our primary and secondary school classrooms,” says Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, associate vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at UNC-Chapel Hill. “Selecting this topic for our annual health equity research webcast is an important step in extending the conversation on those social, psychological, economic, and educational factors impacting the lives of children and the ways in which they are channeled toward incarceration and a life in prison and parole systems. I am thrilled that DMA is able to maintain this on-going partnership with the Gillings School of Global Public Health and most recent partnership with the FPG Child Development Institute.”

School-to-Prison Pipeline
Still from “North Carolina’s School to Prison Pipeline”

As a lead-in to the webcast, a special program, “Suspension to Incarceration: the North Carolina Issue” will screen the short documentary NC School to Prison Pipeline on Monday, June 2, 2014 from 3:00-5:00 p.m in Peabody Hall. The documentary addresses the impact of stringent suspensions and incarceration on the youth of North Carolina. The School of Education’s Dean Bill McDiarmid will make opening remarks. After the screening, Durham Assistant District Attorney, Shamieka Rhinehart will lead a town hall meeting to discuss school discipline policies and its disproportionate impact on students of color within North Carolina. This event is co-hosted by the NHERW planning committee, the School of Education at UNC, and Youth Justice North Carolina.

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 1:30-4:30 p.m., the webcast, “School to Prison Pipeline: From Perceptions to Solutions” will be live-streamed from the University’s Tate-Turner-Kuralt School of Social Work auditorium. The webcast is offered as both a live-audience event and an interactive, live-streamed symposium on the web. 

The webcast  will feature three twenty-minute presentations by nationally renowned speakers: Anthony A. Peguero, assistant professor of sociology  and research affiliate of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech; Thalia González, assistant professor of politics at Occidental College; Gary Flowers, CEO of Gary Flowers and Associates. The presentations will be followed by a one and a half hour question-and-answer session with the studio and remote audiences moderated by Christopher Hill, director of the Education and Law Project at the North Carolina Justice Center.

Webcast Planning Committee members
Webcast Planning Committee members in a meeting, Dr. Victor Schoenbach, Trinnette Cooper, Dr Marco Barker and Sharbari Dey

The webcast is made possible through the generous sponsorship from many UNC partners including the Gillings School of Global Public Health; the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute; Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; Office of Special Programs, School of Medicine; Student Wellness; School of Social Work; School of Education; Student Affairs, and from Wake Forest University’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.

Both events are free, but registration is required. The webcast will be archived through the Gillings School of Global Public Health NHERW website for those unable to attend or stream the event live. For more information, registration and speaker bios; please visit the webcast webpage at go.unc.edu/nherw.


Related Links:

Project Uplift Reunion Celebrates 45 Years

Project Uplift CounselorsIn 1969 a group of students came together to create a unique and necessary program to enhance the diversity the student population at UNC-Chapel Hill. The program was Project Uplift. Now 45 years later, the two-night, three-day program has become a unifying factor for many Tar Heels even before they began their studies at Carolina. In recognition of 45 years of excellence, and the difference it made in their lives, all Project Uplift alumni are invited to celebrate their unity and attend the PU 45 anniversary celebration.

Among UNC-Chapel Hill’s incredibly diverse student population, there is one experience that united many Tar Heels before they even began their studies: Project Uplift.  The recruitment program run by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is now in its forty-fifth year, and Project Uplift alumni are invited to attend the anniversary celebration on May 2-3, 2014.

“Thirteen years ago I attended a program that changed my life,” says Ada Wilson Suitt, Director of Inclusive Student Excellence at UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA). “Project Uplift has played an incredible role in my educational, professional, personal, and social development, and my story is not unique.”

The program invites rising high school seniors from diverse backgrounds to live on campus for two days, where they have the opportunity to visit classes and meet with students and instructors. “Through the leadership of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Project Uplift has provided guidance and support for thousands of students,” Wilson goes on.  “I am honored to continue this legacy and honor the great work of pioneers who laid the foundation for this transformative experience.”

Attendees are exposed to the social and intellectual life of the University, as well as the many ways in which they can become leaders at Carolina.  For PU alumna Angel Washington ’16, the question of how to give back was easily answered—she became a PU counselor and is now the on-campus coordinator elect.  “Project Uplift is the reason I have a Carolina story,” she says.  “As a high school student I saw how much of a family PU staff was, and the effect they had on me was unbelievable. I knew I wanted to be standing on the other side.  PU 45 will be a time of celebrating 45 years of changing the lives of thousands of students.”

Various Carolina student groups and organizations will present a cultural show on Friday, May 2, with a ceremony and brunch the following day.  Dr. Archie Ervin ’99 (PhD) will deliver a keynote speech, and attendees will have the opportunity to network with fellow alumni, as well as share and discuss their Project Uplift experiences. Visit the celebration web page here to view the full schedule of events.

In addition to being coordinated by DMA, Project Uplift is also made possible by organizations like the Black Student Movement, Carolina Indian Circle, and the Carolina Hispanic Association. University departments such as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, University Career Services, the Learning Center, Campus Health Services, and Student Affairs offices are also major contributors to the success of this program.  Go to the Diversity and Multicultural student site to learn more.

Related Links

DERC Appoints New Fellows

The Diversity Education and Research Center (DERC) is a hub for sharing and creating knowledge related to diversity research and inclusion in education and hiring. It is one of the keystones of diversity education led by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) at UNC-Chapel Hill, and its ranks include a wide range of professionals—including faculty and undergraduate fellows—committed to promoting diversity at UNC. The DERC launched in 2013.

The DERC Faculty Fellows and Undergraduate Research Fellows programs are a way to provide faculty and students with an opportunity to consult with DMA and to combine research and leadership development with diversity advocacy. Two faculty fellows and three undergraduate fellows have joined the programs and are working on outreach and research projects.

During their term, each faculty fellow works with DMA on a specific diversity initiative, while conducting their own research. Enrique W. Neblett Jr., Ph.D. and Cara McComish, Ph.D. were both named DERC faculty fellows recently and join current faculty fellow Brian Hogan.

DERC Faculty Fellow Enrique Neblett

Dr. Enrique Neblett Jr.

Dr. Neblett is an assistant professor of psychology and lab director of the African American Youth Wellness Laboratory at UNC. He studies the effects of racism-related stress on the health of African American and ethnic minority youth, and has been recognized by the Department of Psychology on several occasions for excellence in teaching and mentoring. He sees becoming a DERC fellow as an important way for him to expand his awareness of diversity and become better suited for leadership.

“My vision is to become a departmental and university leader in regard to maximizing diversity and inclusion,” Dr. Neblett says. “As a DERC fellow, I hope to grow the leadership and administrative skills that will be necessary to lead those departmental and university efforts, and cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation for what it means to make a commitment to diversity and inclusion at the institutional level.”

DERC Faculty Fellow Dr. Cara McComish

Dr. Cara McComish

Dr. McComish is an assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences in UNC’s School of Allied Health Sciences. She attended the University of Maine and Oklahoma State University, and later obtained her Ph.D. in speech and hearing sciences from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has worked as a speech pathologist and researcher in the field of communication disorders, and is currently part of a team reviewing developmental and autism screening practices in North Carolina.

All three faculty fellows will be developing a faculty learning community or FLC that will focus on diversity and an aspect of the faculty experience. FLCs, which are offered through the Center for Faculty Excellence, may be formal or informal meetings where participants engage in learning through instruction, dialogue, or a combination of the two. The goals of an FLC may range from providing a safe space for faculty to discuss difficult topics, to providing an environment to brainstorm and develop solutions.

The undergraduate research fellows hone their diversity administration and leadership skills under the guidance of professional mentors. Ajene Robinson-Burris and Joseph Lucido are both scholars with the Cultural Competence Leadership Institute (CCLI) and will be studying the role of similar cross-cultural outreach programs in the development of leadership and cultural competency. India Nicole Jenkins will be conducting an analysis of diversity data within and across universities.

Robinson-Burris is a sophomore majoring in global studies and philosophy, with a minor in classical humanities. As an RA and multicultural advisor, she strives to remain aware of diversity and inclusion issues in order to support her residential community. “I hope to gain further insight into the societal role of the university in relation to diversity,” she says. “What does society expect from a university student? What does society expect universities today to be teaching students about diversity?”

Lucido is a business administration major, also minoring in philosophy, politics, and economics. He was inspired to reach out cross-culturally by his work with CCLI, and by a summer study abroad experience in Southeast Asia. “As I learned this summer, one can never truly be finished learning about a culture,” he says. “Cultural competency can always be increased, strengthened, and broadened. Inclusion and diversity are integral to innovation.”

Jenkins is a psychology major with a minor in philosophy, politics, and economics. She is a member of the Campus Y, and asserts that “inclusion issues often fail to reach majority populations, and this is a major problem because it drives a larger gap between students of different demographics.” With her psychology background as a jumping-off point, she plans to immerse herself in research on minority students and the roles race, identity, and diversity play in their lives.

Visit diversity.unc.edu/fellows to learn about the Faculty Fellows Program. Visit diversity.unc.edu/urf to learn more about the Undergraduate Fellows Program.

Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is an office in the division of Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement that provides university-wide leadership in creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment that empowers the development of engaged and culturally competent global citizens. DMA also serves as an institutional and educational resource to support the University’s mission by leading efforts to conceptualize, assess, and cultivate diversity and inclusion.

Related Links

Save the Date: Fall 2014 Diversity THINKposium

UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, The Center for Faculty Excellence, and the College of Arts and Sciences have announced the theme and date for the 2014 Faculty and Staff Diversity THINKposium. This annual program invites all those involved in advancing the University’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to register and attend a day-long conversation and capacity building initiative addressing “Implicit Bias”.

This year’s program will take place August 13 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and will include discussions on the stereotype threat implications of implicit bias in the classroom and effects of implicit bias in the hiring process.

Who Should Attend?

Faculty, especially those who have roles related to advancing diversity within their departments; administrators and those serving on diversity committees, task forces or positions related to access, support and retention for students, faculty and staff; researchers who are study workforce and inclusion related research/policy. The session is free and lunch will be provided for all registrants.