'Imaginative' proposals receive diversity course development grants

The office of the senior vice president and provost, Faculty Senate and Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) identified the first seven grant recipients in the university's Diversity Course Development Initiative.

The initiative, part of a broader effort to strengthen the U.S. diversity curriculum requirement, supports faculty who wish to create new courses or make significant modifications to courses that currently meet the requirement.

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert said that reimagining the diversity curriculum has long been a goal of both students and faculty.

"Iowa State students have been telling us they want a deeper understanding of contemporary issues related to diversity and inclusion," Wickert said. "The faculty responded to this challenge with excellent and imaginative proposals that offer new perspectives in areas such as racial and gender justice, leadership strategies, fashion and the media."

Wickert also noted that the initiative addresses goal four of Iowa State's strategic plan, as the university community works together to cultivate an experience "where faculty, staff, students and visitors are safe and feel welcomed, supported, included and valued."

Faculty proposals selected for funding are:

  • Larissa Begley, African and African American studies
    New course: The Revolution Will not be Televised – Resistance from Slavery to Hip-Hop and Black Lives Matter
  • Michael Goebel, women's and gender studies
    Modified course: Gender Justice
  • Amber Manning-Ouellette, leadership studies
    Modified course: Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society
  • Loreto Prieto, psychology
    New course: Psychology of Sexual Orientation
  • Marcia Purdy, School of Education
    Modified course: Intergroup Dialogues
  • Kelly Reddy-Best, apparel, events and hospitality management
    New course: Queer Fashion
  • Brenda Witherspoon, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
    New course: Identity, Diversity and the Media

Grant recipients share $50,000 in funding. They also will receive initial and followup consultation for instructional design planning, and faculty development opportunities through ongoing CELT programs, including the Inclusive Classroom initiative. The goal is to offer each course for the first time in either fall 2017 or spring 2018.

Selection process

Proposals submitted this winter through an RFP process were reviewed by a committee of students, faculty and staff who ranked each proposal according to a rubric designed to assess the desired learning outcomes.

The committee chairs were Sara Marcketti, associate director of CELT and professor of apparel, events and hospitality management; and Mark Looney, senior lecturer in world languages and cultures, and chair of the Faculty Senate's equity, diversity and inclusion committee. Other members were Liz Mendez-Shannon, office of diversity and inclusion; Gordie Miller, Faculty Senate curriculum committee; Brad Skaar, Faculty Senate academic affairs council; and students Emily Tosoni, political science; Natalie Weathers, communication studies; and Laura Wiederholt, biology.


Related story

Initiative intended to enhance diversity curriculum, Nov. 3, 2016