April 17: ADVANCE workshop

Identifying critical issues and best practices for mentoring diverse faculty


10:14 a.m., March 9, 2015--The University of Delaware ADVANCE Institute will host a half-day workshop, “Identifying Critical Issues and Best Practices for Mentoring Diverse Faculty,” from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 17, in the Perkins Student Center Gallery.

Led by Cris Clifford Cullinan, a national consultant in equity and inclusion, the workshop will focus on the critical issues inherent in the effective mentoring of diverse faculty and provide a forum to identify and discuss best practices for recognizing, preventing and/or dealing with challenges to equity and inclusion. 

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“Attracting and retaining the best qualified faculty are key elements in the success of 21st-century STEM research and teaching,” says Cullinan. “Yet studies continue to find that the mentoring received by some of these faculty — particularly women and faculty of color — is inadequate, and often inequitable.” 

Questions to be explored include:

  • What issues are key to understanding the research on implicit bias and stereotype threat?
  • How does the institutionalization of privilege work to undermine the retention of diverse faculty?
  • What strategies and practices can act to counter these dynamics?

Relevant case studies will be used to explore both the dynamics involved and the best practices to address challenges to effective mentoring.

Space is limited, so those who plan to attend as asked to RSVP by email to Emily Bonistall Postel to reserve a seat. 

About Cris Cullinan

Cris Clifford Cullinan holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and a doctorate from the University of Oregon in educational policy and management, with a focus in higher education. 

She is co-chair of the National Advisory Council for the annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and founder of ALiVE: Actual Leadership in Vital Equity. She has been a teacher, curriculum designer and organizational consultant since 1972. 

Her work for federal, state and local government and educational institutions, as well as for companies in the private sector, has taken her to more than 35 states as well as other countries and given her the opportunity to lead seminars and teach classes for faculty, administrators, students and other professionals at many colleges and universities.

For the past 25 years, Cullinan has focused her academic and professional work on helping institutions, agencies and other organizations build culturally competent leadership and develop and implement strategies to recognize and remove barriers to equity stemming from the institutionalization of privilege. 


Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), UD ADVANCE is aimed at diversifying and strengthening UD’s faculty. Specifically, UD ADVANCE seeks to support and advance the careers of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and social and behavioral science (SBS) fields. 

The objectives of UD ADVANCE are to:

  • Improve departmental microclimates for women faculty, especially women of color;
  • Educate, mentor and support women STEM/SBS faculty, especially women post-tenure and women of color;
  • Increase the transparency of policies, procedures and practices that affect faculty careers and enhance institutional data gathering, analysis and presentation; and
  • Coordinate actions and discussions of diversity across the campus.

Article by Diane Kukich

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