NC Native Nation Leaders Attend Higher Education Forum

On October 23, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt signed a resolution with tribal leaders from the eight North Carolina Native Nations resolving to continue and strengthen the University’s commitment to research, education and service with those Native Nations. The signing marked the culmination of the first annual Forum on the Role of Higher Education in NC Native Nation Building; the event was hosted by the UNC American Indian Center in partnership with The Friday Center.

2012-2014 Diversity Plan Report Now Available

2012-2014 Diversity Plan Report image.The latest version of the Diversity Plan Report produced by UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is available in PDF format. This is the fifth report describing Carolina’s state of diversity and builds on the annual diversity reports submitted by academic and administrative units in 2013 and 2014, and institutional data provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. The report gives a snapshot of the current state of diversity, examples of units’ efforts to improve diversity based on the University’s five diversity goals, and recommendations to improve diversity at UNC.

Since the implementation of the five diversity goals, units and schools across campus continue to increase their efforts regarding diversity and inclusion. The report provides examples of campus-wide efforts, progress, achievements, and institutional challenges in advancing the diversity goals. The final section of the report gives recommendations that should mitigate the difficulties and challenges units faced in advancing diversity and inclusion at UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is a unit in the Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement and serves as the diversity arm of the University. DMA is led by Associate Vice Chancellor & Chief Diversity Officer Taffye Benson Clayton and has the responsibility of providing university-wide leadership in building and sustaining an inclusive campus community that values and respects all members of the university community and beyond.

Male Call: UNC Hosts Middle School Males from Diverse Backgrounds

A new pipeline program for underrepresented middle school males has the makings of what promises to be a very popular event. Tar Heel Preview Day, hosted by the Carolina Millennial Scholars Program (CMSP)—an initiative of UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA)–invited over 150 students from diverse backgrounds for a visit to the Carolina campus. The event provided an experience that was both educational and exciting. Attendees from Durham, Wake and Orange counties learned what they need to do in their middle school and high school years to prepare for higher education and got tips on the college application process. During their visit, the students interacted with members of the  CMSP Scholars, faculty, staff, and members of DMA’s Minority Student Recruitment Committee. Each CMSP scholar led a group of participants throughout their day and acted as mentors to the younger students.

Tar Heel Preview Day participants take a tour of campus

Tar Heel Preview Day participants take a tour of campus

Activities across campus took students on a photo scavenger hunt with School of Journalism and Mass Communication professor Jock Lauterer, had them recording music in Mark Katz’s Beat Making Lab, taking vital signs with members of the School of Nursing, and creating samples of their own DNA with School of Medicine students from the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD).

“This group is one of the best groups I have ever had,” said Edhriz Siraliev-Perez, an IMSD Fellow and PhD candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program who led students in one of the lab sessions. “Most of the students were very attentive, engaged, and what I like the most, they asked lots of questions.”

After the hands-on academic sessions, they went on to the Blue Zone where they met Ramses, ate lunch, had a question and answer session with current students and Undergraduate Admissions, and saw several Carolina student groups perform.

Mr. James Carter, a coach in the Githens Middle School Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program, said that 90 percent or more of his students that were exposed to this opportunity would be first generation college students. “What was important,” he said, “was that they were exposed to the connection between middle school and being a professional.” In the Beat Making Lab session he attended with his students he said that the experience bridged the importance of mathematics, technology, time management and the skills necessary for professional success.

Faruq Cisse and Eden Sanchez from the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy attended the School of Medicine session. They were both proud of the samples they got to take home in rubber-capped test tubes. “It was exciting to me,” said Faruq, “and amazing to see our DNA.”

“There is something about looking into the eyes of someone younger than you and realizing that you are making a difference in their lives,” said UNC junior Jay Peterkin, an intern with the DMA student admin team. “I wanted to inspire as many of them as I could to pursue a higher education and Tar Heel Preview Day gave me that chance.”

The purpose of Tar Heel Preview Day is to introduce students to college life, inspire their desire to attend college, and give them the necessary information to plan for life after high school. Co-sponsors of the event included the Carolina Parents Council Grant Program and UNC Athletics. Campus partners in the program included Academic Advising, the Institute of Arts and Humanities Beats Lab Project, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the School of Medicine IMSD program, the School of Nursing, UNC Visitors Center, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

For more information about Tar Heel Preview Day, visit and to learn about other diversity initiatives at UNC, visit

Related Links:

Educators Discuss their Work and Life as Women in Science

In the past decade, the percentages of women attaining degrees in engineering and computer sciences have remained stagnant even as these fields have continued to drive the highest demands in the workforce. To address the gender disparity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields, UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, in partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center, facilitated a panel discussion, Creating an Inclusive Climate for Female Faculty in the Sciences on September 23 focusing on the challenges  and promising practices that may impact the recruitment and retention of female scientists and graduate students at Carolina.

In her opening statement to the more than 60 attendees of the seminar, Chancellor Carol Folt addressed the need for Carolina to be leading the effort for increasing the number of women and minorities in science. “We’re an institution where more than half of our undergraduates are women,” said Folt, who stayed throughout the seminar to answer questions and dialogue with attendees.  Folt—an internationally recognized environment scientist and award-winning educator—went on to stress the need for better childcare in the workplace, especially for those in research careers. She stressed the importance of making it possible for both parents to pursue both a family life and work life.

WIS_PanelistsModerator Silvia Tomášková, professor in Women’s and Gender Studies and Anthropology, posed and facilitated audience-prompted questions for panel members (pictured left to right) Valerie Ashby, PhD, professor and department chair, Chemistry; Pamela Johnson Rowsey, PhD, RN associate professor and coordinator of student diversity and recruitment, School of NursingClara Lee, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Research – Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UNC Department of Surgery; and Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Tomášková’s questions addressed concerns for women within the panelists’ disciplines; models of success in recruitment, retention, and promotion; and sources and impetus for change. The seminar provided a space for audience members, who included men and women faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students and post-doctoral scholars to dialogue on issues including navigating promotion and tenure, balancing work and career, and managing sexism and gender-based bias in the workplace.

Associate Vice Chancellor & Chief Diversity Officer Taffye Benson Clayton provided closing remarks. She emphasized the importance of having candid conversations that allow for open dialogue and sharing. Clayton also highlighted the importance of having women scientist, including Chancellor Folt, share their stories of challenges and success.  Clayton urged attendees to “make connections” with colleagues across campus and to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the talented women faculty in science on the panel and across the institution.

“Working in an institution as large as UNC, can sometimes be isolating. We need to take time during these special events to connect with people who can support us in our work life,” said Clayton.

Organized through the Diversity Education & Research Center, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs hosts the Annual Diversity in Higher Education Series that focuses on diversity across any or all of these three areas: Education, Access, and Research. To learn more about future diversity education seminars, please visit

Related Links

UNC Chief Diversity Officer Recognized as a Leader in Diversity in the Triangle

Associate Vice Chancellor and CDO Taffye Benson Clayton was one of 13 individuals and 10 organizations that were honored during the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) Leaders in Diversity Awards luncheon and ceremony on Thursday, September 11.  The awards recognized those who demonstrated advocacy for underrepresented groups, had a commitment to inclusion, and infused diversity within their business practices, including multicultural marketing methods. This was the second annual Leaders in Diversity Awards program and took place at the Cotton Room in Durham.

Taffye Benson Clayton and fellow award winner Dr. Joanne Woodard, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity at NC State

Taffye Benson Clayton and fellow award winner Dr. Joanne Woodard, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity at NC State

Together with PNC, TBJ seeks to recognize the accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals and non-profits with the awards as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry of our community.. At the ceremony, TBJ publisher Bryan Hamilton said that, “our community would benefit from taking note of the progress being made in diversity and…we could all learn from some of the extraordinary work being done through these local champions.”

Clayton, who came to UNC-CH in 2012, is a UNC alumna and serves as the associate vice chancellor for UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and chief diversity officer in the division of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement. In this role, she has the responsibility of advising senior leadership in the University and working with administrators, faculty, staff and students across campus to strengthen Carolina’s long-standing commitment to a diverse, inclusive campus community. Prior to arriving to Carolina, Clayton had served as East Carolina University’s associate provost for equity, diversity and community relations and chief diversity officer.

“I accepted this award,” said Clayton, “not just for myself, but for everyone who works hard to make The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a more diverse and inclusive campus. My team at UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the campus units and community partners we work with contribute countless hours toward this effort.” Clayton cites the work of affinity centers, students, diversity groups in schools and units, and DMA’s advisory partners as having helped make UNC worthy of being recognized.

Jim Hansen, regional president of PNC, which sponsored the event, stressed that companies are more successful when they fully engage all employees. “Valuing diversity and inclusion helps to create stronger organizations, making us better employers and more responsive corporate citizens,” he said.

Clayton, a native of Fayetteville, NC, earned her bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill; master’s degree from American University; and doctorate in educational leadership from East Carolina University. She also completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute of Higher Education.

Award-Winning Author Junot Díaz to Deliver HHM Keynote

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Junot Díaz

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz, who won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for his acclaimed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao will be the keynote speaker for UNC’s Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) celebrations. Díaz, who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, was also the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The lecture will take place at Memorial Hall on October 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the event are $3 with a valid OneCard and $8 for the general public, available through the Memorial Hall Box Office. The event will include a book reading, a Q&A session, and commentary. There will be a book signing at the Campus Y after the event.

This keynote event is hosted by the Carolina Union Activities Board in partnership with the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, the Campus Y, and the Program in Latina/o Studies.

A full calendar of HHM events can be found on the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative website at

Related Links