New Grants Empower Campus Community to Lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Projects

Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at UT Austin is a critical campus priority. In an effort to better support this type of meaningful transformation on campus, the Provost’s Office awarded 52 new grants to campus members in a new initiative – Actions that promote Community Transformation (ACT).

Launched this fall, ACT aims to support and enable members of our campus community to carry out projects that promote DEI. ACT recipients receive seed grants — ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 — to support projects within their local communities at the university.

“When you are part of a vibrant intellectual community like the one here at UT Austin, there is no doubt that extraordinary ideas exist. That was even more evident to us as we reviewed applications for the ACT. Members of our campus community have unique and creative solutions for building more inclusive environments on campus. Through ACT, we hope to provide a catalyst for these DEI ideas, bringing them to life and providing positive change for our community” said Edmund T. Gordon, vice provost for diversity.

Areas of interest for the project include:

  • Graduate education
  • Undergraduate education
  • Departmental climate
  • Faculty hiring practices
  • Staff and faculty promotion and retention practices
  • Faculty development
  • Mentoring practices
  • Student recruitment practices

“Another exciting part of this initiative is bringing members of our community from all areas of campus together to work towards realizing a vision for our university to which we are all committed,” said Lydia Contreras, provost’s faculty leadership fellow.

The grants represent more than $225,000 to fund projects supported by units across campus, including: the Graduate School,  Financial and Administrative Services, Vice President for Research, the Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Education, College of Fine Arts, College of Liberal Arts, College of Natural Sciences, Dell Medical School, LBJ School of Public Affairs, McCombs School of Business, Moody College of Communication, and School of Nursing.

This group will hold joint meetings to mutually support the development of these projects throughout the year and is already working together to exchange ideas to maximize their impact.

A full list of recipients can be found below and at the following link.

Biomedical Engineering
Improving Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Graduate Student Recruitment and Resources in Biomedical Engineering
Team members: Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, Mia K. Markey, Lacy White

Cockrell School of Engineering
Critical Conversations in the Cockrell School of Engineering
Team members: Alyson Bodner, Amy Beebe, Gillian Hagaman, Suzanne Barber

Cockrell School of Engineering
Equal Opportunity in Engineering FIG House Cup Competition
Team members: Shelby Todd, Shawntal Brown, Johnny Hill, and Enrique Dominguez along with our FIG mentors and tutors

Cockrell School of Engineering
Identifying barriers to participation in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in engineering community
Team members: Raissa Ferron, Diana Marculescu, Mia Markey, Maša Prodanović, Adrianne Rosales, Preston Wilson

Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Through Natural Integration of  Technical Modules Highlighting the Role of Race in Engineered Infrastructure
Team members: Raissa Ferron , Patricia Clayton, Enrique Dominguez, Maura Borrego

Engineering Student Services
Assessing Probation and Dismissal Strategies for Underrepresented Students in Engineering
Team member: Mckinlaye Harkavy

Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program
Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Living Learning Community (LLC) Retention for Underrepresented Males in Engineering (EOE LLC Retention for Underrepresented Males in Engineering)
Team members: Enrique Dominguez, Shawntal Brown, Shelby Todd, Johnny Hill, Tony Nguyen, LLC Tutor(s)


College of Education
Cultural Center Symposium: Toward a Center for Black Women
Team members: M. Yvonne Taylor, Tiffany N. Hughes

College of Education
Daring Dialogue
Team members: Alexis Bigelow, Jimmy McLean, Monica Pineda

Office of the Dean
Diversifying Student Population by Implementing Accessibility and University Design for Learning Principles
Team members: Anita Swanson, Jigna Patel, Jordyn Jensen

Texas Center for Disability Studies
College of Education, Office of the Dean
Combatting Academic Ableism and Shifting Cultures: Disabled Students as Peer Mentors
Team members: Dr. Nick Winges-Yanez,  Dr. Alison Kafer

Department of Art and Art History
Antiracist Methods for Afro-Latin American & Afro-Latinx Art History
Team members: George Flaherty, Adele Nelson, Eddie Chambers

Department of Art and Art History
Connecting Communities Through Art Curriculum, Conversation, and Change
Team members: Christina Bain, Donalyn Heise, Briley Rasmussen, Dawn Stienecker

Department of Art and Art History
ACT: AAH First-Year Core Diversity and Curriculum Decolonization Seed Grant
Team members: Beili Liu, Megan Hildebrant

African and African Diaspora Studies
John Lewis Warfield: A Pioneering Force of the Austin School of Black Studies
Team member: Niyi Afolabi

Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
Feminist Mentoring Project

Team members: Christen Smith, Sarah Nicholus, Grayson Hunt, Nancy Ewart, Pat Heisler

Department of English
Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in English 316
Team members: Phillip Barrish, Roger Reeves

College of Liberal Arts
Diversifying Syllabi in Undergraduate Coursework in COLA
Team members: Jayme Walenta, Molly Polk

College of Liberal Arts
Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) through Student-Generated Course Materials
Team member: Gautami Shah

College of Liberal Arts
The University of Texas Diversity and Inclusion Predoctoral Workshop in Social Science Methods
Team members: Terrence Chapman, Bethany Albertson, Allison Craig, Zach Elkins, Stephen Jessee, Mike Findley, Amy Liu, Raul Madrid, Eric McDaniel, Zeynep Somer-Topcu, Scott Wolford.

Department of Anthropology
Voices and Silences in our Curricula: An Assessment of the Department of Anthropology’s Syllabi
Team members: Jason Cons, Anthony di Fibre, Courtney Handman, Sofian Merabet, Liza Shapiro

Department of Classics
Paths to a More Inclusive Classics Ph.D
Team members: Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, Pramit Chaudhuri

Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Resistencia en Austin: MALS-RSA Undergraduate Seminar
Team members: Lilia Raquel Rosas, M.L. Mutrux (they/them/theirs)

Department of Philosophy
A More Inclusive Philosophy
Team member: Michelle Montague

IC2 Institute/Dept of Psychology
Seed Grant to Explore and Optimize DEI Measurement Approaches at The University of Texas at Austin: a Pilot Study Among Faculty and Staff
Team members: Art Markman, Matt Kammer-Kerwick, Bruce Kellison, Riffat Manasia, Kara Takasaki, Susan Sookram

Religious Studies Department
Assessing and Improving Departmental Climate to Sustainably Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Team members: Chad Seales, Aixin Dunn, Lucianne Nelson

Student Affairs 
COLA Student Success Survey
Team members: Scott Brown, Mia Carter

Molecular Biosciences
An Anti-Racist Tool Kit (ARTK) for STEM labs
Team members: Keiko Torii, Shelley Payne, Julie Perreau

Molecular Biosciences
Incorporating diversity and anti-racism perspectives into the biosciences graduate curriculum
Team member: Vishy Iyer

Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES)
Communicating through Art: Using photo elicitation as a novel approach to exploring identity and belongingness in STEM among undergraduates
Team members: Stuart Reichler, Shelly Engleman, Kara Rogers, Siobhan McCusker

Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Sciences (TIDES)
iLEaP – invite, Learn, Evaluate and Plan: Working towards antiracism in the College of Natural Sciences
Team members: Brandon Campitelli, Kristin Patterson

Undergraduate Education
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Building Great Teams
Team members: Kris Powledge Gaddy, Alyssa Ray, Paulina Reyes

Dell Medical School 
UT Equity Research Program (UT ERP): Fostering long-term training to advancing critical representation in brain research, A UT Institute for Neuroscience-Dell Medical School-Houston Tillotson Undergraduate Neuroscience Fellowship
Team members: Mbemba Jabbi, Laura Colgin, Nicholas Jackson

Department of Psychiatry
Building a more diverse and inclusive field of psychology
Team members: David Hecker, Lynn, Monnat, Madison Perry, Dominique Egger

LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes 
Cinetifico Latino Mentorship Program to Increase Diversity in STEM
Team members: Alejandra De Angulo Soriano, Luisa Gil Fandino

Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement
LBJ Graduate Fellows in Diversity and Civic Engagement Program (DCE Fellows)
Team member: Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Addressing the Role of Marketing in Stereotyping and Bias, an Undergraduate Course
Team member: Andrew Gershoff

MBA Admissions
Using Cultural Intelligence in MBA Recruiting and Admissions
Team members: Jaden Felix, Rodrigo Malta, Raji Srinivasan


Moody College of Communication
Action for Community Transformation Grant: Civic Saturday
Team members: Heather Vaughn, Bianca Solis, Cole Wilson

Moody Data and Research
The Moody Faculty DIJE Development Program Award
Team members: Anthony Fowlkes, Ya’Ke Smith

Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Faculty to Faculty: Amplifying campus voices to promote change
Team members: Shelly Rodriguez, Amanda Hager, Brad Love

School of Nursing
Cultural Safety for LGBTQIA + Populations: Validation of a Cultural Awareness Scale
Team members: Lynn Rew, Heather Becker

Simulation & Skills Center
Using Simulation to Educate Healthcare Providers on Racial Disparities
Team members: Nicole Manley, Chris Abbyad, Leigh Goldstein, Scott Hudson, Mayra Suarez


Sanger Learning Center
Anti-Racist Pedagogy for Peer Learning Support
Team members: Paige Schilt, Nisha Abraham


Steve Hicks School of Social Work
When Faculty See Me: Promoting Pedagogical Caring for Students with Marginalized Identities
Team members: Esther Calzada, Lainey Sevillano, Andrea Campetella, Montinique Monroe


Applied Research Laboratories
Building Diversity in an R&D Environment – Understanding STEM Talent at HBCUs and Making Meaningful Connections
Team members: Nicole Karas, Carly Knowles, Kimberly Sanders, Kathleen Kaderka


Texas Career Engagement 
Career Peer Mentoring Impact on Latinx and Black Student Retention
Team members: Brittany Leland, Troy Autin, Norma Guerra Gaier, Robert Vega

Diversifying Recruiting Outreach in ITS
Team members: Katelyn Christiansen, Kate Russell, Carol Lee

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
BQT: A Community Series
Team members: KB, Justice Madden, Ashley Coleman-Taylor, Christina Alexander.


Harry Ransom Center and Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Diversity Awards for Research Engagement (DARE) at the Harry Ransom Center
Team members: Gretchen Henderson, Jim Kuhn, Graciela Gomez

Texas Advanced Computing Center
Building respect through a gratitude and appreciation recognition program
Team member: Dawn Hunter


UT Libraries
Contextualization of Spaces in the Life Science Library
Team members: Lauren Harper, Wendy Martin, Hector Rodriguez, Hannah Champman Tripp, Brooke Womack