At the University of Iowa, we continue to work with the administration to map and advance diversity, equity and inclusion across all disciplines. In addition to the task force on URM graduate efforts, which incorporated the mapping activity, we are participating in the UI Path Forward work group on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Collaboration. This group is designed to help in developing strategies that will enable the University to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body and also increase opportunities that advance student, faculty, and staff understanding of diversity.

In regards to programs that currently serve URGs, we are connecting with two URG advancement communities on campus. These efforts are in early stages and we are still exploring ways to connect more regularly and systematically with these two groups.  There are potentially other opportunities to connect with other URG groups on campus such as: Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group and/or the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) chapter on campus.

Sloan Center for Exemplary Mentoring

  • Two Graduate student Sloan Scholars have been involved with CIRTL programming (one has earned associate level and the other is in the process of earning the associate level over winter break)
  • We have coordinating to offer professional development workshops to the Sloan Scholars.  A workshop on applying for competitive external fellowships was presented in Fall 2017 and additional offerings are being planned for spring 2018.
  • We have inquired about whether the Sloan program would like to offer the faculty mentoring workshop in 2a below.
  • We would like to schedule a focus group with Sloan Scholars to provide information to the INCLUDES project professional development needs assessment but we are struggling with how to do this with limited resources.  We will set up a meeting with the Sloan director to discuss options and feasibility.

NSF NRT on Sustainable Water Development (SWD)

  • UI CIRTL coordinator and NMRN trainer Erin Barnes offered mentoring workshop (focused on “aligning expectations” and “addressing equity and inclusion”) to program faculty in December 2017. The SWD program is built upon experiential- and community service-based learning and has increased the ability of the SWD graduate program to attract a diverse student body. The demographics of the first group of incoming SWD students  demonstrate that the innovative program succeeded in attracting a broader, more diverse group of graduate students. Sixteen graduate students comprised the first-year class with eleven female (70%) and four underrepresented ethnic minority graduate students (25%).
  • Future plans? We are working with the SWD staff on recruitment of GEM fellows and other students for their second year cohort. Because SWD invites students who are interested in a variety of different career paths we plan to inquire of the career aspirations within the current program and utilize the questions that have not already been asked to learn about the professional development needs of the SWD program participants. There may be opportunities to connect with this group but we have not yet met with the directors to explore the logistics.

Prepared by Sarah Larsen and Tonya Peeples, January 2018