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Mini-Grants Encourage Diversity and Inclusion at UTHSC


The Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center announced the recipients of seven mini-grants to fund creative projects that strengthen the university’s diversity and inclusion goals.

The new Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grant Program is designed to encourage faculty, staff, and students to be involved in fostering and sustaining a diverse and inclusive campus.

RJ Autry proposed a speaker on the social determinants of health. (Photo by Peter Barta/St. Jude).

The grants, which range from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the project needs, operate on an annual cycle, with the funds to be distributed at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, 2019. Grantees will have one year to complete their project.

Grant recipients and their projects are:

  • RJ Autry, president of the Graduate Student Executive Council in the College of Graduate Health Sciences: A speaker and workshop on the social determinants of health for the 2019 Biomedical Symposium.
  • Timothy Barton, MS, CIH, director of Research Safety Affairs in the Office of Research: A project to promote safety on campus by recognizing diversity within the research community.
  • Austin Dalgo, MD, assistant professor in the College of Medicine: A series of lunchtime workshops to introduce faculty and residents to the reality and dynamics of unconscious bias, and to teach skills for preventing it from producing disparities.
  • Tamika Douglas, a graduate student in Health Informatics and Information Management in the College of Health
    Tamika Douglas will lead a project to raise awareness of increasing maternal death and infant mortality in the African-American community. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

    Professions: A project that will leverage networks to bring awareness to the increasing rate of maternal death and infant mortality in the African-American community in the United States.

  • Dayna Myers, MDH, assistant professor and director of Admissions, Administration, and Advising in the College of Dentistry: A recruitment project that will organize a series of webinars for pre-professional advisers and students from historically black colleges and universities in the Mid-South to make participants aware of the requirements necessary to be competitive candidates for programs at UTHSC.
  • Radha Patel, medical student, Class of 2021: A project to create the South Asian Medical Science Alliance (SAMoSA) student organization. This organization will bring together students from all colleges at UTHSC to unite people of South Asian descent and allies on campus to build community, celebrate South Asian heritage, and support one another in becoming competent and compassionate health care providers.
  • Linda Pifer, PhD, professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and Kathy Kenwright, EdD, chair of Medical Laboratory Sciences: A conference at UTHSC for local high school counselors and science teachers to stimulate recruitment of minority students to the clinical laboratory sciences.

Proposals for the mini-grants were evaluated on expected effectiveness in addressing one or more of four target areas, including improving the university’s work environment; improving the university’s academic environment; recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, students, and trainees; and cultural competence. Each college and vice chancellor area supported the creation of the fund for the mini-grants.

The Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grants serve as seed grants to enhance or build initiatives. Other evaluation criteria included the extent to which the proposer’s college, department, or unit has substantial ownership of and commitment to the initiative. Also considered was the extent to which the diversity initiative shows development toward a sustained and continuing effort, and promotes partnerships among faculty, staff, and students to address the targeted area.

The grant review committee will review applications for the next grant cycle in Spring 2020.

Here is the link to more information: https://uthsc.edu/oed/diversity-inclusion-mini-grants.php.