Grants awarded for diversity and inclusion projects

Staff, faculty and students throughout the WUSTL community will be touched by the projects chosen to receive this year’s Diversity and Inclusion Grants.

For 2013-2014, nearly $112,000 was awarded to 10 projects, ranging from anti-bias workshops for campus police to an internship program to promote diversity in museum professions.

Allison Taylor, manager of education at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, was awarded $5,000 for the museum internship grant.

“We want to give diverse students an opportunity to gain access to and experience in the museum profession by exploring and participating in multiple departments within the museum,” Taylor said.

“The goal is to increase awareness about and interest in the various professions open to students in the museum field and to cultivate lifelong participation in and appreciation of cultural institutions.”

Don Strom, chief of University Police, received $1,520 to hold workshops on “fair and impartial policing” in partnership with Protective Services at the School of Medicine.

In December, 45 members of the University Police and 27 people from Protective Services participated in a six-hour program on the issue of bias, especially subconscious bias.

“Even well-intentioned people have biases,” Strom said. “The workshop acknowledged that fact and then taught skills to prevent biases from influencing decision making and behavior.”

The curriculum for the program is based on the research of Lorie Fridell, PhD, associate professor at the University of South Florida and a national expert on racially biased policing. With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and assistance from national experts on law enforcement and the social psychology of bias, Fridell has produced the science-based “fair and impartial policing” curriculums for patrol officers and first-line supervisors.

Two members of the University Police also participated in a train-the-trainer program so they can instruct incoming employees.

“I would argue that we all could benefit from this training, not just police,” Strom said.

The Diversity and Inclusion Grants program rewards initiatives that strengthen and promote diversity on campus, including differences in gender, race, ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, philosophy, disability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Funding for the selected projects is one-time only, and awards are for up to $30,000. The Office of the Provost funds the program, which is in its fifth year. So far, nearly $850,000 in grant money has been awarded to 48 projects.

The project team leaders of the rest of the 2013-14 diversity grant-winning proposals, amounts awarded, and project titles are:

• Stan Braude, PhD, senior lecturer in biology, in Arts & Sciences, faculty associate in William Greenleaf Eliot Residential College and faculty adviser in the Village, and Annamaria Pileggi, professor of the practice in drama, also in Arts & Sciences; $13,942 for “Theatre for Social Change Workshop for Staff and Faculty.”

• Robin Hattori, assistant director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service; $6,500 for “Project DIVE: Diversity & Inclusion, Valuing Engagement Workshop.”

• Melissa Hopkins, assistant vice chancellor and assistant dean of facilities at the School of Medicine; $20,000 for “Lactation Education, Outreach and Facilitation.”

• Jennie Marchal, associate director of employer relations in the Career Center; $6,500 for “WU Summer Associates Program.”

• William G. Powderly, MD, director of the Institute for Public Health, J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine; $30,000 for “Diversity Summer Research Program in Public Health.”

• Alicia Schnell, project coordinator, vice chancellor for students; $6,650 for “First-Year Reading Program Staff Discussions.”

• Molly Tovar, PhD, director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies, and David Patterson, assistant professor of social work, both at the Brown School; $6,650 for “Two-Spirits — Interdisciplinary LGBT Workshop for Faculty, Staff and Students.”

• Heather Woofter, associate professor of architecture and chair of graduate architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts; $15,000 for “Women in Architecture and Design Symposium.”

Read more about Diversity and Inclusion Grants here.