Building a Stronger Community Together

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New mini-grants announced

Dickinson announces two new mini-grants supporting initiatives that aim to strengthen a college community where every member can feel valued, supported and engaged. The Inclusive Pedagogy Grant funds faculty-led initiatives. The IDEAL Grant was designed to support work led by Dickinson staff.

Three $500 mini-grants may be awarded in each category (six total) during the rollout cycle, which launched last week. A second grant cycle will be announced during the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Why is this important?

Awarded by Dickinson’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the new grants make good common sense for a community that’s grown considerably more diverse in recent years and decades. That’s in part due to changing national demographics. It’s also a result of the college’s longstanding and continuing efforts to increase representation on campus and promote global learning.

The idea is to encourage faculty and staff to think through new strategies to address the needs of our dynamic community and empower them to directly contribute to a more welcoming and inclusive community for all students and staff.

Faculty: Helping students thrive

The Inclusive Pedagogy Grant provides a pathway for our Dickinson educators, who often serve as thought leaders in their fields, to reflect on current instructional strategies and plan and implement innovative approaches that create a learning environment where all students may thrive, says Tony Boston, vice president and chief diversity officer. “Funding may amplify work that is currently being done in departments around campus or provide the impetus for ideation and collaboration,” Boston adds.

Examples include a new faculty-led learning community on inclusive teaching in a particular discipline, a digitization project to enhance accessibility for neurodiverse learners and course material or activity revisions, so that more voices from marginalized groups are represented. Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects are encouraged. All with teaching appointments at Dickinson are welcome to apply.

Staff: Co-creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace

The IDEAL Grant focuses on projects led by forward-thinking staff who wish to enhance a sense of community, belonging, engagement and collaboration within Dickinson’s work environment. This goal is in alignment with the IDEAL principles (inclusion, diversity, equity, access and leadership) and with Dickinson’s Inclusivity Strategic Plan.

Examples could include staff workshops to improve communication across departments, a staff-led initiative for employee mentorships or a departmentwide workshop on unconscious bias. Again, collaborative projects are encouraged, and departmental-committee submissions are welcome.

Ready to make a difference?

Applications for the Inclusive Pedagogy Grant are due April 26. The deadline for the IDEAL Grant is May 1.

Applicants should submit a single-document abstract (max 100 words) and project description to PDFs are preferred. The project description must include a title, timeline, anticipated outcomes/impact, connections to Dickinson’s strategic or inclusivity strategic plan and a description of the use of funds.

And of course, these new grants are just two through which faculty and staff may join in the college’s work toward a richer and more inclusive learning and working environment. Upcoming opportunities for faculty and staff to get involved in this work include a microaggression workshop and faculty/staff affinity group.

It’s all critical work in this era of demographic change on campus and beyond, Boston notes. “As we experience these demographic changes, we are compelled—I believe—to be introspective and deeply consider what institutional changes might be needed to foster inclusion, belonging and equitable outcomes,” he says.



Published April 16, 2024