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The College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University

ACI: Achievements in Climate and Inclusion Award

The object of the ACI award is to recognize those faculty members who regularly engage in service activities designed to encourage and facilitate a more inclusive and welcoming climate for all.  Faculty are eligible for recognition at the department level (up to 10 bursary awards of $750 each).  Furthermore, the College will also recognize 1 faculty members with bursary award of $4,000 each–$2,000 for the faculty member and $2,000 for their department; these awards will be selected from among departmental awardees to honor their superlative dedication to climate and inclusion.

Click here to see the award winners.

ACT: Advancing Climate Together Grant 

Target audience: Faculty, staff, and students
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Leroy G. Dorsey

The objective of the ACT grant (formerly IIDEA grant) is to invigorate our college life with programmatic and sustainable actions (as distinct from one-time events) that will measurably advance college and university goals involving the recruitment, retention, and/or graduation rate of students from underrepresented undergraduate or graduate populations, or to give financial support to efforts fostering faculty development as it engages issues of inclusion.

Africana Studies – Faculty Curriculum Workshop

Target audience: Faculty
Frequency: Annually
Contact: Violet Showers Johnson

This initiative is an opportunity for faculty members across campus, but in particular those in Africana Studies, to review their syllabi and discuss trends in the discipline and avenues for integration of diversity and emerging pedagogy into teaching and learning opportunities.

Africana Studies – Lecture Series

Target audience: Faculty, staff, students
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Violet Showers Johnson

There are a series of scholarly lectures that occur throughout the year which seek to bring light to issues regarding Africa and its Diaspora.

Brazos Valley Reads

Target audience: Faculty, staff, students, community
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Susan Egenolf

Brazos Valley Reads is a community effort organized by Texas A&M University’s Department of English with extensive support from various groups in the University and the community. Each year the BVR committee selects a featured work and author; the author visits the Brazos Valley in the spring, meets with students at A&M who have read the author’s work, creative writing faculty and students, and local high school students. The author also gives a public reading, accompanied by discussion and a book signing. Our readers range from teenagers to retirees with book clubs at the public libraries and independent book clubs as avid participants in the program. The featured works offer a diverse range of characters in complex life situations with the philosophy that works in which there are not easy or obvious positions to take, can be productive, an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our neighbors.

Bright Horizons (formally SitterCity)

Target audience: Faculty, staff, and graduate students
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Leroy G. Dorsey

Bright Horizons offers the most comprehensive online care base with proprietary matching technology for child and pet care. Whether you’re experiencing a breakdown in your normal child care, looking for an after-school sitter, have adult/elder care needs, or need someone to walk the dog — Bright Horizons Care Advantage™ is here for you.

Certification of Applicant Pool

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Violet Showers Johnson

The purpose of the program is to increase representation of minority and women scholars in the faculty pool by proactively and aggressively recruiting minority and women faculty. Department search committee contacts scholars (minority and women) to solicit nominations or applications. Applicant pools are required to have representation across variables including race and gender before an offer can be extended.

Code of Civility

Target audience: Faculty
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Joe Feagin

The Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University recognizes the following general principles about civility, ethics, and conduct as central to our mission as an academic and professional community. Our goal is to promote a positive, collegial atmosphere among all members of our departmental community, including faculty, staff, and students. To this end, it will be departmental policy and expected that everyone will be treated with mutual respect.

Collaborations with Community Colleges

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Leroy G. Dorsey

The College has developed relationships with community college systems in San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas-Ft. Worth. College recruiters make visits to each system and work with college advisers with the goal of enrolling more underrepresented students into Liberal Arts as a college of first choice.

Collaborative MOU with Prairie View A&M University

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Leroy G. Dorsey

The Texas A&M College of Liberal Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences at Prairie View A&M have entered into a formal collaboration, approved by the upper administrations of both universities, that includes having TAMU doctoral students teach classes and act as good-will ambassadors at PVAMU, which funds the teaching costs. The grad students are also expected to encourage PVAMU high-achieving undergrads to consider going to graduate school.

Common Ground Reading Initiative

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Steve Oberhelman

This initiative seeks to have first year students in the College of Liberal Arts to all read a common book, and then use that book for learning experiences throughout their first year of college. This is a diversity initiative since the book always has a diversity theme woven into the story that allows the student to consider how difference is perceived, and how they personally work with some of these issues of difference.

Departmental Indicators of Success

Frequency: Ongoing

As an indicator of success, diversity has been factored into merit allocation pools and reviews of department heads since 2003. The indicators of success on diversity document the departments’ permanent contributions in diversity (e.g. curricular offerings, permanent recruitment programs, climate and inclusion, etc). Each of the twelve departments under the college have come up with different kinds of initiatives to address the indicator of diversity, including recruiting and mentoring students from under-represented groups, increasing the percentage of minority and women faculty, and having speakers from underrepresented groups for their conferences, etc.

Difficult Dialogues

Target audience: Undergraduate students
Frequency: Ongoing (goal of one dialogue per semester)
Contact: Tasha Dubriwny

Our annual student conference provides a forum for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase, share, and engage in discussions about scholarship on communication and diversity. The conference has been held annually since 2012, and is now open to students from institutions of higher education across Texas.

Diversity Committees

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Leroy G. Dorsey

Within the College of Liberal Arts there are two types of diversity committees. The first is at the Dean’s level and the second is at the department level. The Dean’s diversity committee is made up of representatives from the departmental diversity committees. These committees exist to stimulate programs, share successful strategies, and brainstorm new initiatives. Some of the issues that the committee focuses on include:

  • What makes students uncomfortable in the classroom?
  • How can the committee help faculty?
  • How do students react when something happens in the classroom?

Diversity and Pedagogy Orientation

Target audience: Graduate students
Frequency: Annually
Contact: Tasha Dubriwny

Held at the beginning of the school year during the Department of Communication’s graduate student orientation week, this hour-long session covers issues related to diversity and inclusion in the classroom. Among other things, the session offers “best practices” to graduate students for handling difficult discussions in the classroom and ideas for incorporating material related to diversity into course syllabi.

Diversity Science Cluster

Target audience: Faculty
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Jyotsna Vaid

Consisting of a cluster of 9 faculty and several graduate students from different subfields of psychology with interests in pursuing research on diversity as it relates to a range of dimensions (ethnicity, race, age, language, gender). This initiative led to the department doing a search for an assistant professor in Fall 2014 and the search resulted in the hiring of Vani Mathur, whose research is on the social cultural neuroscience of pain.

Hispanic Studies – Lecture and Programs

Target audience: Faculty, staff, students
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Irene Moyna

There are a series of scholarly lectures that occur throughout the year which seek to bring light to issues that are important to the Hispanic community, both locally and internationally. Not only are these an opportunity for scholarship and information dissemination, but these sessions seek to motivate and inspire students and faculty at TAMU.

Regents’ Scholars Initiative (RSI)

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Steve Oberhelman

This is a learning community for the students who are selected as Regent’s Scholars in the College of Liberal Arts. Typically this includes about 20 students, many of whom are racially underrepresented at Texas A&M. The learning experience for students focuses on success in college and developing leadership skills. There is a weekly class associated with this learning community, which is one hour each week. This experience also includes an abroad experience during spring break, so that students will learn about the value of international experiences (since many of them have not had this opportunity).

Vision 2020 Fellowships

Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Violet Showers Johnson

The College created these graduate fellowships to augment Diversity (and Merit) fellowships.

White Violence, Black Resistance project

Target audience: Undergraduate students
Frequency: Ongoing
Contact: Amy Earhart

White Violence, Black Resistance (WV, BP) seeks to digitize a broad set of primary documents related to interactions of race and power. A collaborative project between Toniesha Taylor of Prairie View  A&M University and Amy Earhart of the TAMU College of Liberal Arts, White Violence and Black Resistance teaches students research, recovery and digitization skills while collecting materials related to race in Texas. The project is connected to interventions into current structures of production through the digitization and dissemination of materials about white violence and black resistance found buried in difficult to access rare book rooms, crumbling newspapers, analog and/or transcribed oral histories, and unknown journals. The ongoing projects present an activist model grounded in the classroom where undergraduate students are participants in canon expansion while learning valuable research and digital literacy skills.