Auburn University to bolster campus inclusion initiatives through Inclusive Excellence Grant programs

Nine grant recipients have accelerated inclusion efforts during 2021-22 academic year

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Auburn University’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity, or OID, has invested in several long-term diversity, equity and inclusion programs as part of its Inclusive Excellence Programming Grant.

This program supports Auburn’s efforts to establish an inclusive environment for all by providing the seed funding and support for new, innovative and impactful approaches that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility on Auburn’s campus. In addition, the awardees also will advance programs and initiatives that support elements of the Auburn University Strategic Plan, including an Elevated Auburn Experience and Operational Excellence.

The recipients of these grants will create impactful and engaging initiatives for the Auburn Family.

“By supporting a wide variety of projects across the university, we continue to build an environment where all members of the Auburn Family are able to thrive,” said Taffye Benson Clayton, associate provost and vice president for Inclusion and Diversity. “I continue to be impressed by the meaningful initiatives that our community develops and the collective commitment of our institution.”

One effort funded was the College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Intensive Program, or VIP. The award from the Inclusive Programming Grant was matched by Dean Calvin Johnson to support a one-week program on Auburn’s campus offering current college students small and large animal medicine experience, professional skill development and preparation for both the interview process and completion of program applications, while encouraging a diverse student and alumni population that will ultimately benefit both society and the overall veterinary profession.

VIP is focused on its goal of fostering diversity by engaging a participant pool that is reflective of the diverse population across the state of Alabama. During this weeklong program, students will gain experience in various areas including hands-on labs, rotations with local partners, including the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital and John Thomas Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital, discussions on diversity in veterinary medicine and preparation for applying to veterinary school.

The first annual summer Veterinary Intensive Program will occur July 11-15 on the Auburn campus. Meals and lodging will be provided for all participants for the duration of the program.

“We believe this program will widen the diversity of prospective veterinary students and increase access to the vast career paths available to them,” said Dr. Melinda Camus, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our college is grateful for the collaboration among our college leadership and DVM candidate Indya Woods toward this successful proposal.”

The other programs to receive funding through the Inclusive Excellence Programming Grant for 2021-22 include:

Black History Month Speaker Series: Vanessa Holden: The author of “Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community” will speak with students from multiple departments.

Diversity and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship: Marketing, promotion and other outreach activities to increase the ongoing participation of underrepresented populations in the Auburn University Tiger Cage Business Idea Competition and the New Venture Accelerator.

First-Generation Student Peer Mentor Program: In January, the College of Liberal Arts Student Services office kicked off peer mentoring and community support, partnering a currently enrolled sophomore, junior or a senior with a first-year freshman or transfer first-generation student.

OurSTEMstory: This campaign from the Department of Biological Sciences and Office of Inclusion and Diversity raised awareness about the contributions of historically underrepresented groups in STEM through a seminar series.

Exhibit of The Harrison School of Pharmacy's Diversity: Teams of faculty, staff, students and others created visual submissions focusing on themes of culture, people, unity, traditions, connections, childhood, comfort and joy.

Care of Marginalized Patient Populations: The School of Nursing hosted a panel earlier this month for senior nursing students to engage with healthcare professionals in nursing and non-nursing fields who specialize in the care of marginalized patient populations.

APAEP Community Conversations: Build the World You Want: Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project will increase campus visibility of their arts and educational programming inside Alabama state prisons by hosting events throughout the year.

Forum: Inclusivity at the Office, on the Jobsite, in the Field: Hosted by Career Services in the College of Liberal Arts, this session discussed how companies can create a welcoming culture that allows different experiences and perspectives to be heard.

OID will continue to advance diversity and inclusion efforts at Auburn through the Inclusive Excellence Grant Program and ongoing projects. For those with new or existing programs that would be a good fit for the Inclusive Excellence Grant Program and strengthen the campus community’s commitment to diversity, the 2022-23 funding cycles will be released this summer.

Next academic year, Student Involvement in the Division of Student Affairs also will introduce a process to support registered student organization initiatives that enhance diversity through the organization fund request process.

To learn more about the program, please visit the Inclusive Excellence Programming Grant webpage. For more information on Auburn’s commitment, initiatives and progress toward building a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus, visit the Office of Inclusion and Diversity.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.