First IDI Cohort

The following are the abstracts of successfully funded IDI grant projects, written by GW community members, that were implemented during the Spring 2013 semester. Projects are listed in alphabetical order by title.

Project Titles:

  • Developing GW's Capacity to Employ Individuals with Disabilities
  • Graduate Education Student Perceptions Regarding Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom Environment
  • GW Supports Vets
  • GW Symposium race media and the 2012 presidential election
  • Health Policy for a Diverse Nation Case Studies
  • Mentoring Workshop for Female Economists
  • Out at Work
  • Promoting Diversity in STEM Disciplines
  • Using Theater to Promote Multicultural Education Dialogue and Teaching Strategies for Faculty at the School of Medicine

Developing GW's Capacity to Employ Individuals with Disabilities

This project will conduct a needs assessment of GW managers and employees to determine their knowledge and experience related to working with individuals with disabilities. This information will be used to develop employment-related resources for GW personnel that will better equip them to advance inclusion in the GW community. The project will build on and enhance our on-going activities related to inclusion (see descriptions of CITY and Project Search below) to expand GW’s capacity to provide employment preparation and ultimately employment for individuals with disabilities (see Project Description). Employers are often reluctant to hire workers with disabilities, but once working with well-prepared employees, employers are likely to realize the beneficial results.

Graduate Education Student Perceptions Regarding Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom Environment

Two GSEHD faculty members with unique positionalities will study graduate student perceptions about diversity and inclusion (D&I) utilizing qualitative methodology. Through interviews of 18 non-white or non-heterosexual doctoral students, the faculty will explore student definitions of D&I, student perceptions of D&I in classroom material and student participation in classroom discussions where topics of D&I may occur.  Based on this study, a document detailing strategies for enhancing D&I in the classroom will be created and disseminated through GSEHD and university-wide presentations.

GW Supports Vets

Members of the applicant team have worked with student veterans and service members and have teaching and training experience. Mr. Ruybal, Coordinator of the Office of Veteran Services, is an 11 year Army veteran who has worked in higher education in residential life and veteran services offices. Dr. Sonn founded GW's Office of Veteran Services four years ago, is a visiting professor in GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development, has presented at national conferences on student veteran engagement and academic support, and serves as an Assistant Vice President in the Division of Student Affairs. Dr. Arwari has a doctorate in and has taught Spanish literature at the university level and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education  Administration  at GW.

GW Symposium race media and the 2012 presidential election

We are organizing a symposium on the role of race in elections with a particular focus on the 2012 presidential campaign as part of a larger research grant we have received from OSI’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement. This public symposium focuses on how racial appeals are used in elections, how journalists can and should respond to the use of racial appeals and how race influences individual thinking and choices in elections. The symposium represents an important public teaching moment around issues of diversity and inclusion in American politics. This event will bring a set of diverse speakers to campus for a sustained conversation about the role of race in politics, best practices for journalists in covering campaigns involving race, and greater understanding of how the changing demographics of the country will influence politics in the future. The audience for the symposium will be GW students/faculty/staff, invited members of the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as members of the general public. To further leverage this event for our students and create a more meaningful and ongoing experience for them, we propose two opportunities for deeper student engagement projects around the symposium.

Health Policy for a Diverse Nation Case Studies

This project will enhance two existing courses by incorporating cases studies into them which focus on health policy issues of diverse communities.  In an age of comprehensive health reform and increasing population diversity, there is a great need to train future health professional leaders to understand that there are unique health policy concerns for America’s various communities.  The project will be located at George Washington University and the audience will include approximately 150 undergraduate and graduate students.

Mentoring Workshop for Female Economists

The GW Research Program on Forecasting was recently awarded a grant from the Joan Haworth Mentoring Fund to partially support a workshop to be hosted here at GW in April of 2013.  The award requires cost-­‐sharing from the university, which is why we are applying for an IDI grant.  The purpose is to bring a prominent female senior economist to campus for a three-­‐day mentoring workshop which will be broadly advertised and open to the entire GW community.

Out at Work

Event Goals:
  1. To help, better prepare and educate current LGBT students for entering the workforce as self-­identified LGBT people (We may add a second component to the event where the panelists talk about being out when applying for graduate school)
  2. To provide GW LGBT students with the opportunity to network with GW alumni in the LGBT community who can serve as role models
Event location:
GW Alumni House – 1918 F Street NW Washington, DC 20052
Event Audience:
  1. GW Alumni from the LGBT community
  2. All GW Seniors and GW LGBT Students (including non-­seniors)
Diversity and Inclusion relevance:
Educating students on how to self-­identify or self-­express ones sexual orientation is giving the people a better understanding of diversity and its role as a critical success factor. Having this understanding, one gains a key competency towards being a better leader.

Promoting Diversity in STEM Disciplines

The U.S. has a shortage of people trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas, according to a February 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology [PCAST12].   A qualified and diverse workforce is necessary to address critical policy and national security issues.  It is well known that STEM fields lack diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender [Gri10, Bia12].  Our interdisciplinary group of STEM faculty, staff and graduate students proposes to provide under-represented undergraduate STEM majors in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics with STEM-specific professional development integrated into a multi-day event in April featuring Prof. Calvin Howell from Duke University.

Using Theater to Promote Multicultural Education Dialogue and Teaching Strategies for Faculty at the School of Medicine

We will use a collaboration between medicine and theater to develop a faculty development program that promotes discussion, self-reflection, and action (development of new curriculum) around diversity and multiculturalism education for all teaching faculty (n= 100) in the school of medicine.  Faculty will be required to attend one session by the Dean.  Outcome measures include 1) qualitative analysis of faculty’s action plans both during the event and several months afterwards, 2) quantitative and qualitative monitoring the amount of student reflection, dialogue and action in projects initiated by faculty after the event and 3) monitoring student’s attitudes to diversity longitudinally on the graduation questionnaire.