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Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education

In partnership with the Rackham Graduate School, each graduate program is asked to identify at least one faculty member who has shown a commitment to diversity issues and agrees to serve as a part of the Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education. The Faculty Allies for Diversity is a group of faculty members who work within their programs in collaboration with Rackham's diversity initiatives on recruitment, admissions, climate, retention, and completion issues. Thus, the Faculty Allies play important leadership roles in their programs and, as a collective, move forward our broader university mission around promoting diversity and excellence.

A primary goal is for Faculty Allies to work collaboratively with their department leadership and other colleagues to identify the diversity issues most relevant in their programs and to plan action steps to address them. Another related goal is for Faculty Allies to serve as one of the "go to" persons on diversity issues in graduate education in their programs, including serving as a resource to their program’s graduate students. That said, while the Ally is an important point-person within her/his department, it is not the intent that the Ally should be solely responsible for “doing all of the diversity” within her/his program. The responsibility for enhancing diversity should be held by all program and university members. But, Allies play critical roles as support and coordinating forces – for instance, they can raise awareness, as well as help lead planning and connecting of diversity activities in their programs.

As the diversity issues and concerns in programs may vary, so do the activities best suited to address them in each Ally’s program. While there is no one set of specific standing responsibilities for all Allies, examples of Ally roles and activities include:

  • Leading and coordinating Diversity Committees in their programs, often made up of faculty, students, and staff
  • Working as a direct support to students, serving as a formal or informal advisor around academic, professional, and/or personal issues in a safe, confidential context
  • Collaborating with student organizations to gather information about program community members’ experiences and concerns
  • Working directly with program leadership to raise awareness, share concerns, and advise around diversity issues
  • Collaborating with various program members—program leadership, faculty, students, staff, and/or alumni—to develop diversity-related activities and innovations related to recruitment, admissions, creating a high quality, inclusive climate, and retention and completion
  • Participating in educational/professional workshops related to effective diversity practices (in recruitment, admissions, teaching and mentoring, etc.); sharing information learned and encouraging participation among faculty colleagues and other program community members
  • Working (often in collaboration with colleagues) to develop a Diversity Grant proposal to support new ideas for enhancing diversity

Furthermore, Rackham offers opportunities to all of the Faculty Allies to help support their respective work, including:

  • Invitations to special meetings and events on campus related to diversity issues, including sharing of useful and effective practices
  • Faculty Allies communication on current and topical issues
  • Invitation to attend Rackham Program Review meetings for their programs
  • Opportunity to apply for the Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant for up to $12,000 per year on behalf of their graduate program

Rackham deans and staff work collaboratively with Allies to keep them informed of diversity-related research, resources, and activities in Rackham and around campus; and we continue to draw on them for good ideas and advice that can be shared across programs. Finally, while much of Allies’ efforts/activities occur within their program communities, another goal is that Faculty Allies will function as a leadership group and learning community, connecting with and drawing on one another for information, ideas and strategies, and support. The names and affiliations of the Faculty Allies for Diversity are listed below.

To learn more about the Faculty Allies program, including becoming an Ally or nominating an Ally for your program, please contact

Directory of Faculty Allies
Program Name Email
Aerospace EngineeringTimothy
American CultureCharlotte Karem
Anthropology and HistoryAlaina
Applied & Interdisciplinary MathematicsRobert
Applied & Interdisciplinary MathematicsKaren
Applied PhysicsRoy
Arabic StudiesGary
Art and CultureFranc
Asian Languages and CulturesWilliam
Astronomy and AstrophysicsKeren
Biological ChemistryKaushik
Biological ChemistryNils
Business and EconomicsCarolyn
Business AdministrationCarolyn
Business, Ross School ofBradley
Cancer BiologySofia
Cell and Developmental BiologyMara
Chemical BiologyAnna
Chemical EngineeringLola
Civil and Environmental EngineeringDimitrios
Classical Art and ArchaeologySusan
Classical Art and ArchaeologySara
Classical StudiesSusan
Classical StudiesSara
Climate and Space Sciences and EngineeringAllison
Clinical ResearchVicki
Combined Program in Education and PsychologyRona
Combined Program in Education and PsychologyStephanie
Communication StudiesAswin
Comparative LiteratureRuth
Computer Science and EngineeringQuentin
Computer Science and EngineeringWestely
Creative WritingVan
Dentistry Master's ProgramsTodd
Design ScienceMatt
Earth and Environmental SciencesNaomi
Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyJohn
Educational StudiesCarla O'
Electrical and Computer EngineeringMark
Electrical and Computer EngineeringHerbert
English Language and LiteratureMelanie R.
English & EducationMelanie R.
Environment and Sustainability, School ofIvette
Environmental EngineeringAvery
Environmental Health SciencesOlivier
EpidemiologyMarie O'
Genetic Counseling ProgramMonica
Germanic Languages and LiteraturesKerstin
Greek and Roman HistoryIan
Health and Health Care ResearchCaroline
Health Behavior and Health EducationAmy
Health Infrastructures and Learning SystemsCheryl
Health Management and PolicyJersey
Health Services Organization & PolicyDaniel
Higher EducationPatricia
History of ArtJennifer
Human GeneticsDavid
Industrial and Operations EngineeringMariel
Information, School ofElizabeth
Integrative DesignFranc
Integrative Systems and DesignBogdan
Kinesiology, School ofKetra
LSA Dean's OfficePaula
Macromolecular Science and EngineeringGeeta
Materials Science and EngineeringGeeta
Mechanical EngineeringEllen
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)Juanita
Microbiology and ImmunologyAkira
Molecular and Integrative PhysiologyJimo
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental BiologyAnuj
Music, Theatre and Dance, School ofGabriela
Naval Architecture and Marine EngineeringPingsha
Near Eastern StudiesGary
Nuclear Engineering and Radiological SciencesSara
Nursing, School ofPatricia
Nursing, School ofRushika
Nutritional SciencesYoung Ah
Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesShahzad
Pharmaceutical SciencesAnna
Pharmacy/Medicinal ChemistryHeather
Political ScienceTed
Program in Biomedical SciencesScott
Public Policy, Ford School ofNatasha
Romance Languages and LiteraturesTeresa
Screen Arts and CulturesConlin
Slavic Languages and LiteraturesSofya
Social Work and Social ScienceRogerio
Urban and Regional PlanningRichard
Urban and Regional PlanningJune
Women’s StudiesCharlotte Karem

Last updated: July 19, 2018 - 1:41pm