Elon Diversity and Inclusion Grants

Elon faculty from many departments and programs have received grants to bring more diversity into their teaching methods or materials. The examples below suggest the different ways they have done so.


Human Service Studies

Vanessa-Drew Branch, Carmen Monico, and Phil Miller

They will implement and assess student podcast assignments in first-year (111) and senior-level (481) Human Service Studies service-learning courses. The assignment will highlight a community agency’s work to reduce a social problem with a marginalized group while also providing students an opportunity to reflect on and share their experiences working within the community. The podcast content will be assessed and compared to evaluate growth over four years in student understanding and competence in working with vulnerable groups within human service settings. Specifically, the project will examine whether and how the assignment increases students’ understanding of the experience of oppression and privilege, expands their knowledge of social justice activities occurring in the local community, and promotes self-appraisal of one’s own biases.


Rich Blackmon and Sirena Hargrove-Leak

They will build on a previous DIG project that implemented evidence-based teaching and learning strategies in Elon’s engineering program and investigated possible changes in the new four-year degree program to enhance student learning, particularly around diversity and inclusion. In Stage II, they will more thoroughly analyze the data for evidence of possible correlations, contradictions, and distributions in students’ attitudes and beliefs. The results of this complete Matlab analysis will lead to the exploration and generation of targeted strategies to address attitudes and beliefs about diversity and inclusion unique to Elon Engineering students.

Department of History & the CREDE

Charles Irons and Brandon Bell

Charles Irons, professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Geography, and Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education Brandon Bell will gather information about the current curricular and co-curricular offerings that consider whiteness, race, equity and inclusion to better ascertain the scope and depth in which the institution seeks to engage these concepts in various ways. They plan to first map out the constellations of course, activities, dialogues and experiences related to concepts of whiteness, race, equity and inclusion to develop a more comprehensive picture of the mechanisms in which Elon University engages concepts of History and Memory. The project will create a new resource for faculty, staff, and students seeking to engage concepts of history and memory, race, equity, inclusion and identity and offer new and promising practice for exploring and teaching these subjects effectively.


Sana Haq, Staci Saltz, and Nicole Triche

They will create a resource to guide students on how to make their videos accessible to a variety of audiences. They will publish electronic and paper copies for easy distribution and share with faculty colleagues suggestions for implementing the guide in classes. This guide will be relevant to all majors within the Department of Communications and help infuse accessibility standards throughout the undergraduate and graduate levels to align with industry standards. Implementing these guidelines into the curriculum will teach students a deeper understanding of diverse audiences and the steps needed to ensure their work can reach them. This resource will concentrate on video projects but they hope that it will grow over time to include other forms of multimedia.

Mathematics & Statistics

Aaron Trocki, Mark Weaver, Laura Taylor, Kirstie Doehler, & Ryne VanKrevelen

A team of Math & Statistics faculty members will explore evidence-based pedagogies to meet the learning needs of diverse students in Statistics in Application (STS 212). They will create a curricular resource to guide the implementation of selected evidence-based pedagogies, including heterogeneously mixed groups for in-class and out of class statistical tasks and projects. The team will implement those pedagogies in the fall and spring and gather data to analyze and document effectiveness in order to refine and then share the curricular resource.



Brooks Depro and Katy Rouse

They plan to use their grant to expand efforts of diversity themes in the Love School of Business (LSB) and economics department by focusing attention on better understanding the entry of both women and minority entrepreneurs in the consulting industry. They will develop an empirical research assignment that asks each student team to code and deliver a final project using Tableau software to visualize their dataset. Each team member will also prepare a one-page memorandum discussing their findings related to entrepreneurial diversity in the consulting field, relative to a comparison industry. This project will address a key LSB goal of providing students with more knowledge and understanding of diversity-related issues in the business environment.


Margaret Chapman, Paula Patch, and Jennifer Eidum

They will: inquire about ways racism, ableism, sexism and classism may implicitly or explicitly be present in the structure (curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and hiring practices); identify ways to rectify any of these areas, and implement some of the ways identified; assess the outcomes of the inquiry and subsequent intervention; and develop and publish for future College Writing Program administrators and faculty a procedure for future investigations of the structure of the program.


Richard Blackmon and Sirena Hargrove-Leak

They will collect demographic information in the Engineering program in order to identify disparities in Elon’s engineering program as compared to both Elon as a whole and national averages. Knowing these comparisons will then inform the team as they investigate what could be changed in the new four-year degree program to enhance student learning. They plan to investigate potential areas of improvement that include, but are not limited to, the language used in materials shared with students, classroom activities, student-teacher relationships, and student-student relationships in courses and the major. The project will include data collection, data analysis, and exploration and implementation of solutions that could address problems revealed by the data.

English Literature

Prudence Layne, Scott Proudfit, Kevin Bourque, & Erin Pearson

The working group will research best pedagogical and inclusion practices in literary studies, creating a working bibliography and resource database (with sample assignments, rubrics and video instruction) for faculty teaching literature courses at the introductory, intermediate, advanced and capstone levels, with accompanying student learning outcomes. These resources will help faculty who teach literature across a variety of formats ensuring that their courses incorporate materials, pedagogies and experiences related to diverse populations.

Finance & Economics

Kate Upton, Adam Aiken, Margarita Kaprielyan, Tonmoy Islam, & Brandon Sheridan

They plan to identify the factors that decrease the overall participation of women in both majors. They plan to study the choice of major by administering surveys within principles classes and conducing focus group interviews with business students. The results would provide valuable insight into the perceptions of finance and economics among female students and why they may not choose these fields as their major. Through this grant, the recipients also plan to make recommendations on possible curriculum, pedagogy, and advising changes that would encourage more diversity within the majors.


Mathematics & Statistics       

Aaron Trocki, Jan Mays, Karen Yokley, & Jim Beuerle

Researching evidence-based pedagogies to meet the learning needs of diverse learners in Calculus I courses. Their project will include research on how and which sociomathematical norms to establish in order to structure a supportive environment for a semester-long course with a high expectation for meaningful mathematical discourse. After completing this research, the team will develop and share a teaching and learning resource with the aim of increasing participation of all learners in Calculus I courses.

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Erin Hone and Marna Winter

Providing more opportunities for streamlined cultural relevance experiences across all education methods courses, in an effort to help students see diversity work in practice within their consecutive practicum experiences.The project goal is for all teacher candidates to be able to recognize the many assets their students bring into their classroom, including the personal, cultural, and community knowledge of students.

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Doug Kass, Max Negin, Nichole Triche, & Youseff Osman

Working on a project to update course materials to reflect the multitude of diverse voices in our contemporary entertainment media environment. The project will include the creation of a master list of films and television programs as well as material for lectures and classroom activities that will allow faculty in Cinema and TV (and other interested faculty) to present, assign, and analyze a more diverse range of films and television to create a more global, and more inclusive classroom environment.

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World Languages & Cultures         

April Post and Pablo Celis-Castillo

Plan to develop the learning outcomes and write a new curriculum for a foundational course in the Spanish minor and major, SPN 222: Contemporary Conversations.The grant will allow them to diversify the pedagogical approach and expand its educational core to include linguistics skills such as writing, reading, and listening, and will do so by introducing coming of age narratives from a diverse range of authors.

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Casey DiRienzo, Jennifer Platania

Integrated cross-country macroeconomic data sets into their MSM 567 course, which teaches the fundamentals of analytics for the new M.S. in Management graduate program.

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Public Health Studies, CREDE

Stephanie Baker White, Randy Williams

Developed a cross-disciplinary racial equity course to provide students with a critical framework for analyzing systems of racial inequity and creating strategies to effectively support diversity and inclusion on and off campus.

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2015-2016 (Stage Two Grants)


Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Ann Cahill, Nim Batchelor, and two students 

Investigated the gender gap in Philosophy department course enrollment through surveys, data mining, and focus groups. For their Stage Two DIP project, they used findings from that research to develop recommendations and implement a plan for making changes to the department regarding enrollment. Additionally, they planned to evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of the plan as it is implemented.

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Mark Enfield and Erin Hone

Built on their stage one Diversity Infusion Project (2012-2013) which focused on encouraging teacher candidates to recognize the diversity within their classrooms. In Stage Two of our DIP, they focused on encouraging teacher candidates to implement culturally relevant pedagogy consistently within their instruction. Teacher candidates were asked to use their students’ “funds of knowledge” to make their classrooms more inclusive and the content more relevant to their unique learners.

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Mathematics & Statistics                                               

Laura Taylor and Kirsten Doehler

Built on their previous Diversity Infusion Project (2013-2014) in which they integrated diversity-related data into group projects in our STS 212/MTH 220: Statistics in Application courses. Their Stage Two project had students analyzing FDA data on individuals who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This data set lends itself to a variety of analysis methods covered in the course and helped students better understand a portion of the population that could be different from themselves, perhaps leading to overturning students’ preconceived notions about SNAP recipients.