The mission of the Office of Diversity Initiative and Faculty Development is to enhance and elevate diversity, and to cultivate faculty success and well-being through professionally sustaining programs.


The vision of this office is to:

  • enhance faculty recruitment of historically minoritized and underrepresented scholars;
  • strengthen the retention of faculty demonstrating high levels of professional accomplishment;
  • support faculty through a mentoring program with special attention given to an onboarding program or early mentoring program for assistant professors;
  • cultivate a high rate of successful tenure and promotion decisions;
  • foster a positive work climate and a responsiveness to work/life concerns; and
  • develop programs and practices that increase awareness of diversity concerns that create a common discourse community in the College.


Click here to download the 2022-2023 preview of programming.

Faculty Mentoring Program

The College of Education’s Faculty Mentoring Program is a formal college-wide program that brings together junior and senior level faculty from across our six departments. Incoming assistant professors and clinical assistant professors are matched with two mentors at the advanced assistant, associate, or full professor levels. The goal is to match faculty with one colleague from their home department as well as one mentor outside their home department to offer multiple points of support and varied perspectives. New associate or full professors are matched with one mentor at rank or higher. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to connect throughout the academic year and are provided with resources (see Dialogue Sparkers below) to build generative, meaningful, and sustaining relationships.

If you are a College of Education assistant professor or clinical assistant professor and you would like to participate in this program, please contact Kelly Guyotte.

COE Mentoring Program Dialogue Sparker Archives

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advocates

Each faculty search committee in the College of Education is required to have a DEI Advocate. Currently, DEI Advocates are individuals who are active members of either the College of Education DEI Committee, the College of Education Faculty Retention and Recruitment Committee, or the ESPRMC Diversity Council. In the future, we hope to expand this opportunity to others in the College. The primary responsibility of the DEI Advocate is to actively monitor each stage of the search process to ensure an equitable and inclusive search is taking place.

Social Justice and Equity Methodological Speaker Series (Virtual)

In collaboration with the Educational Research Program, the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Faculty Development sponsors multiple talks throughout the academic year that promote social justice and equity-related issues taken up through and with research methodology. This virtual speaker series elevates the work of early- and mid-career faculty who center some aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in their methodological work.

2022-2023 Speakers

  • TBA

2021-2022 Speakers

  • Dr. Casey Wong, Postdoctoral Scholar, UCLA, good kid, m.a.a.d research: Culturally Sustaining Research and Decentering the White Gaze with Kendrick Lamar, Thursday, October 14th from 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT
  • Dr. Mario I. Suárez, Assistant Professor, Utah State University, The Trans Workers in Schools Survey Project: Challenges and Contributions, Thursday, November 11th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm CT
  • Dr. Stephanie R. Toliver, Endarkened Storywork, or The Act of Critical (Re)membering in Qualitative Research

2020-2021 Speakers

  • Dr. Stephanie P. Jones, Rooted in Dialogue: Using Sister Circles in Qualitative Research
  • Dr. Sophia Rodriquez, Avowing and Healing in Qualitative Research: Revisiting the Confessional Interview in Research with Undocumented Youth and Reflections on Ethnographic Fieldwork

IDEA Small Grants Program

Formerly the DEI Small Grants Program, this program supports the development and innovation related to curriculum, pedagogy, or programming that responsibly elevates issues related to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and/or accessibility (IDEA). College of Education (COE) faculty, staff, and graduate students are encouraged and invited to submit proposals that:

  • Support the curricular development of new courses or updating existing courses that center contemporary issues related to IDEA in education; or
  • Support the pedagogical development of faculty or graduate students who teach courses that center or explore issues of IDEA in education; or
  • Support IDEA-related programs within the COE with reach toward students, staff, faculty, and/or the public.

Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year will be due in March 2023.

2022-2023 Small Grant Awardees

  • Dr. Shena Sanchez, Faculty, ESPRMC. Project Title: “Supporting Students from Historically Marginalized Backgrounds During COVID-19.”
  • Dr. Jingping Sun, Faculty, ELPTS. Project Title: “Presenting the Most Powerful Pathways through which School Leaders Help Minority Majority Students Succeed Academically: A Leadership Framework for Equity.”
  • Dr. Erica Lee, Faculty, SPEMA. Project Title: “Ensuring Inclusivity through Diversity Awareness: A Book Study Approach.”
  • Jordan Watkins (PhD Student, ELPTS), Diana Quito (PhD Student, ESPRMC), Honorine Ntoh Yuh (PhD Student, ELPTS), and Dr. Carlton McHargh (Dean’s Office). Project Title: “Drive-In Education Conference 2022.”
  • Allyson Pitzel, PhD Student, SPEMA. Project Title: “Break Free Book Club: Dismantling the Criminalization of Black Girls.”
  • Natalia Molska, PhD Student, Kinesiology. Project Title: “DEI and Social and Emotional Learning in Physical Education: Professional Development.”

Grant Support

In collaboration with the Office of Research and Service, the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Faculty Development offers grant support and grant-related professional development opportunities throughout the academic year. The COE Grant Writing Workshops and Lunch and Learn Series are designed to build grant-writing skills and support faculty efforts in developing and submitting high quality proposals to a funding agency or foundation.

COE Grant Writing Fellows Program

The Grant Writing Fellows Program is a competitive fellowship program that was initiated to support external grant seeking of those working toward tenure and promotion. The goal of this program is to enhance and extend the culture of grant writing support and success, helping faculty members at the 3rd and 4th year on the tenure track with grant-getting aspirations to achieve their goals.

Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are due in February 2023.

2022-2023 Grant Writing Fellows

  • Dr. Elroy Aguiar, Kinesiology
  • Dr. Emily Lund, Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling
  • Dr. Jee Suh, Curriculum & Instruction
  • Dr. Lee Winchester, Kinesiology

Whole Person Faculty Development 2022-2023: “Rhythms of Academic Life” Virtual Workshop Series

Led by Academic Coach, Karen Gonzalez Rice, this programming is designed to support faculty, staff, and graduate students as whole people by:

  • Bringing them together to share experiences and realize they are not alone
  • Building resilience through attention to the power of rest, satisfaction, and fun
  • Connecting them to their values and how they fully live their values in their work
  • Making space for a full range of human emotions and ways of being
  • Practicing self-trust, boundary-setting, and advocacy for themselves and others

2022-2023 Virtual Workshop Topics and Dates:


  • September 20, 2022 from 10:00 – 11:30: Satisfaction & Sustainability in the New Semester. How to begin the fall semester by making space for fulfillment, intentionally focusing on our priorities, and sustaining ourselves through rhythms of academic life.
  • October 13, 2022 from 11:30 – 1:00: Compassion for Your Inner Critic. Let’s invite our inner critics into the light and practice compassionately thanking them, setting them aside, and moving into our full power.
  • November 11, 2022 from 10:00 – 11:30: Cultivating Rest in a Busy Time. Learn strategies for centering rest when it feels most needed but seems least possible.


  • February: Building Networks of Support in Academia. We can normalize asking for and receiving help by creating a welcoming and supportive community of our mentors, friends, and advocates.
  • March: Playful Academia: Reconnecting with Fun in Your Academic Work. How to rediscover our joy in our work by bringing humor, laughter, and fun into research, teaching, and service.
  • April: Dreaming Big and Getting What You Want This Summer. Jump into planning the summer with reflections on the year, what we really need right now, and the dreams we want to pursue.