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Diversity Fellows Project Summaries

Below are summaries of each project from the current fellowship cohort. 

Dr. Joya Carter Hicks
Disability Fellow

Dr. Hicks will utilize the Universal Design for Learning Lab (UDLL) is to assist Kennesaw State University (KSU) in fulfilling its commitment to provide equal access to curriculum and instruction for students with disabilities. Dr. Hicks would like to take a lead in operationalizing the primary mission of this model classroom, Facilitating Inclusive Education across campus.


Dr. Roxanne Donovan
Gender Fellow

Dr. Donovan’s proposal will provide a mentoring program for Faculty Women of Color (FWOC). Specifically, the project advances diversity at KSU through the engagement of up to 20 FWOC in four empirically-informed semester-long mentoring experiences (two per semester). The aims of the program, titled Women of Color Leadership and Advancement Program (LEAD for short), are to increase research productivity, connection, and well-being, all factors associated with career success, retention, and promotion of FWOC.


Dr. Daniel Farr
GLBTIQ Fellow

Dr. Farr proposes to develop training programs for new faculty/staff and admission counselors on topics of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression diversity, improving KSU’s score in the Campus Pride Index.


Dr. Kat Gray
GLBTIQ Fellow

Dr. Gray’s proposed project is a short longitudinal study of student rhetoric, particularly when those students are asked to engage with communities that may be unfamiliar to them. Dr. Gray proposes to create a sequence of classes (ENGL 1101/1102) that encourages collaboration with and considered thought towards others who have not shared similar experiences with the aim to transcend identity politics and move towards an understanding of intersectionality between our identities and our culture, as well as how our choice of identity in a given rhetorical situation can radically change our message and its reception.


Dr. Gail Markle
Gender Fellow

Dr. Markle will conduct a study using focus groups with women students from both campuses to develop a clear understanding of how women experience gender micro aggressions while at KSU. She will then use the findings from this study to develop a campus event which will increase awareness of gender micro aggressions with the goal of reducing their occurrence.


Dr. Darlene Rodriguez
Race and Ethnicity Fellow

Dr. Rodriguez proposes to use data and stakeholders to establish a Civic Engagement Academy (CEA) for increased immigrant orientation and integration to Georgia and the U.S. Her work helps foster a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment by highlighting the struggle of ethnic/racial minorities to achieve equality and showcasing the work of immigrant-serving nonprofits in producing client-centered systemic change to achieve immigrant upward mobility and equality in Georgia.


Dr. Heidi Scherer
Disability Fellow

Dr. Scherer’s proposal focuses on gaining a greater understanding of why persons with disabilities reported lower perceptions of campus climate. She proposes that quantitative and qualitative data is gathered from students, faculty, and staff at KSU with disabilities to identify potential barriers to success or inclusion that exist on campus. Utilizing this data, she will create a webinar to raise awareness of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide participants with knowledge and resources regarding best practices related to disability for course instruction and materials and organizing campus events.


Dr. Seneca Vaught
Race and Ethnicity Fellow

Dr. Vaught’s project seeks to explore “best practices” for improving the campus climate by “center-ing” anti-racism at Kennesaw State University. He seeks to develop a series of case studies based on oral interviews and host three public workshops with campus and community stakeholders that interpret local challenges using insights gleaned from the collected data.


Dr. Roneisha Worthy
Sustainability Fellow

Dr. Worthy proposes to utilize the ecoPartner Program to reduce the ecological footprint of the campus and surrounding communities. The ecoPartner Program is a leadership driven approach to effecting positive change by training individuals from diverse backgrounds. Implementing a values based engagement model, this program uses an inquiry based learning approach to equip faculty, staff and students with the necessary tools to become change agents in their colleges, departments, dormitories, and/or student/social organizations. The training program is comprised of sessions that increase awareness, knowledge and skill sets associated with environmental sustainability.


Dr. Pegah Zamani
Sustainability Fellow

Dr. Zamani focuses on the critical role of architectural advocacy in generating and disseminating energy-efficient sustainable strategies for social and built environments. Seeking to bridge the gap between design theory and practice, Pegah conducts cross-disciplinary research and pedagogy through on-campus and community-based projects.

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