OIED Faculty Liaisons

Faculty Liaisons to the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity

The Faculty Liaisons serve as an important resource in OIED’s efforts to foster an inclusive and welcoming campus climate, enhance the university’s ability to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff, and support ongoing university efforts to increase the cultural competence of NC State students. Faculty Liaisons serve a renewable one-year term and have been instrumental in several exciting initiatives.

OIED Faculty Diversity Liaisons Program Description

2015-16 Faculty Liaisons

  • Robin Abrams, Head, School of Architecture
  • Joel Ducoste, Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.
  • Montserrat Fuentes, Professor of Statistics and Department Head.
  • Ann Ross, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
  • Mary Wyer, Associate Professor of Psychology and Women’s And Gender Studies.

Kudos to 2015-16 Faculty Liaison Mary Wyer. Her article titled “Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students’ Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Identity in a Diverse Introductory Science Class” was the third most read article overall in the Journal of Life Sciences Education (http://www.lifescied.org/reports/most-read)!  It was also the #1 most read paper out of all the articles in the special issue on broadening participation in the life sciences.  In just one month, there were 1,166 downloads of the article PDF (http://www.lifescied.org/articleusage?gca=cellbioed;15/3/ar47). A blurb about the article follows.

The September 2016 issue of Life Sciences Education is devoted to articles focused on promising approaches to broadening participation in the life sciences. In a paper by Schinske et al., students in different sections of a general biology course received equivalent homework assignments, but in some sections the assignments connected course content to the stories of counter-stereotypical scientists (ex. African American women). Students submitted essays at the beginning and end of the courses, as well as six-months after the courses, describing scientists and discussing the extent to which they found scientists personally relatable. Students completing the homework that featured scientists’ personal stories were more likely to shift toward counter-stereotypical descriptions of scientists and to find scientists relatable. These homework assignments, which are available from the corresponding author, are easy-to-implement assignments that help students see themselves in science and connect science content to issues of diversity. — Genetics, Oct 1, 2016 http://www.genetics.org/content/204/2/NP#sec-4 

2015-16 Faculty Liaison Annual Reports

2015-16 Annual Reports

Joel Ducoste

This year, I continued with the PROF program and tried to identified and mentor students outside the university as well as internal to the university. I visited two universities; one I returned to from last year (Howard) and a new one (University Maryland at Baltimore County). I am mentoring two students from Morehouse (one that is interested in electrical engineering and one interested in environmental engineering). The Environmental engineer will be working with me this summer on a 6 week research experience. In addition, I have given a seminar to a minority graduate student association (MEGSA) and externally to Durham tech. For some reason, I think the lectures that I’m giving at the different universities I visited so far are getting to other students at other universities that I have not visited. Students are emailing me for advice and mentorship. I am more convinced that the path forward is through caring, encouraging, and advising. If possible, I would like to visit two other new universities next fall (Xavier University and Prairie University). In addition, I hope to become the chair of the demographics and membership committee of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). As part of that society, I hope to develop programs to increase underrepresented groups in environmental engineering and science. While it is for a specific discipline, I hope to incorporate stuff from PROF and new ideas that may also be helpful to a broader set of disciplines.

Ann Ross

As the new Director of the Forensic Sciences Institute, one of my key activities is for retention of diverse faculty and engage diverse faculty from many disciplines. In addition, as the new Cluster Leader for the Chancellor’s Faculty of Excellence Hires I will be actively working to pursue diverse faculty for our two remaining forensic science positions.

At the national level I have been addressing gender and diversity inequality in forensic science. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is the premiere national and international multidisciplinary professional organization that provides leadership and advance scientific knowledge as it relates to the legal system.  Historically, the leadership positions in many of the disciplines of the forensic sciences have been led by men of European-American ancestry even though the composition of students and professionals over more than a decade have been women. In fact, the estimates are as high as 95% women. The Anthropology Section boasts to be one of the fastest growing sections in the Academy with over five hundred members, but the number of women of color can be counted in one hand. I would like to promote and support women and diversity in science by working with AAFS and their Young Forensic Scientist Forum (YFSF) to develop a symposium to mentor students and young professionals on how to maneuver the complexity of promotion/tenure and as professionals in the laboratory.  Abstracts are due August 1.  I was active at AAFS in discussing workshop proposal and received very positive feedback and encouragement. I also recruited several colleagues to present during this workshop including our very own Mary Wyer. In addition, I am submitting a proposal for half-day symposium at AAFS on Women in Science and how to succeed in forensic science. I have a track record of mentoring students and young professionals through YFSF and AAFS.

Mary Wyer

Dr. Mary Wyer has actively fostered diversity projects inside and outside of NC State. As an extension of two reading groups from last year (faculty and graduate students), Dr. Wyer organized the visit of Dr. Banu Subramaniam to NC State, sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to meetings with science faculty and graduate students who participated in the reading groups, Dr. Subramaniam gave a talk from her book, Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity, University of Illinois Press. She argues that scientific debates about the value of genetic variation are a backdrop to contemporary controversies surrounding the importance of diversity, with ramifications for how we train scientists about social inequalities. Ghost Stories has been awarded the 2016 Ludwik Fleck Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science, for the year’s outstanding study of science and technology from social science and humanities perspectives.

Dr. Wyer has also been exploring how course interventions can foster students’ interest in science at community colleges. This work has been presented nationally and will appear in print in a forthcoming special issue of Life Sciences Education.

  • Schinske, J., Perkins, H., Snyder, A., and Wyer, M. (2015, in press). Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students’ Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Identity in a Diverse Introductory Science Class. Life Sciences Education.

She and her colleagues also led a workshop on theories, content, and practices that can inform course innovations.:

  • Wyer, M., Schinkse, J., Perkins, H., & Snyder, A. (2015, Nov.). Science spotlights: Science identity, career interests, and educational innovation in a community college context. AAC&U Crossing Boundaries – Transforming STEM Education Conference, Seattle, WA

Dr. Wyer has been appointed Editor, APA Div 35 Book Series on the Psychology of Women. She plans to include those involved with diversity issues through the Faculty Liaison program in future book projects.

Montserrat Fuentes

Project Title: Work-life balance in academia

Issue: As family leave and benefit policies in academia continue to evolve, there is increased interest in examining their short- and long-term impacts on retention and employee turnover and their effectiveness in improving work-life balance. The purpose of this project is to identify and promote practices and policies that facilitate for faculty a better integration of work and life.

 What has been done: Some institutions have introduced practices, day care facilities, and policies that allow faculty integrating work and life or family responsibilities. A new policy adopted at NC State is a tenure clock extension policy due to family circumstances. The effectiveness of this policy in facilitating promotion and retention of faculty has not been evaluated.

 Impacts: This project facilitated a partnership with the Office of Equity and Diversity at NC State, and with the vice Provost for faculty affairs at NC State. I become a faculty liaison in the office of Equity and Diversity to promote this project and evaluate the effectiveness of the work life balance practices at NC State.

 Outcome of Project (societal impact/ measure of increased quality of life): Through this study new awareness regarding effectiveness of family life policies was obtained and that has helped to modify  current policies. While promoting new initiatives, a new policy for reassignment of duties due to family circumstances has been adopted in my home Department and that policy is being promoted at an institutional level.

A Sample of Faculty Liaison initiatives

2014-15 OIED Faculty Liaisons

2014-15 Year in Review

Workshop at the Haliwa-Saponi Multipurpose Center

Workshop at the Haliwa-Saponi Multipurpose Center

The Indigenous Collaborative on Education, Research, and Service (ICERS) at NC State, directed by Associate Professor Susan Faircloth (a member of the Coharie Tribe), a Faculty Liaison with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, sponsored its first official event on Thursday, November 13th. Dr. Faircloth and senior science education major, Jessica Anstead (a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe) sponsored a workshop at the Haliwa-Saponi multipurpose center. Ms. Anstead led the tribal youth as they made hand drums as a way of teaching how animal cells are formed. Many thanks to Jessica for developing this activity! This Collaborative is made possible by the support of the College of Education; the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education; and the Provost’s Office.

Recruiting table at 2014 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring

Recruiting table at 2014 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring


Faculty Liaison Jade Berry-James with Garry Morgan, Assistant Director for Diversity Programs recruiting faculty, postdocs, grad students and Building Future Faculty program participants at the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2014.


2013-14 OIED Faculty Liaisons



Images from the American Indian UNC System Faculty Forum



Images from the 12th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference — June 5-7, 2013

Social Equity Wolfpack Team


DSC_9892-TiDr. Tracy Ray and Dr. Jade Berry-James



2012-13 OIED Faculty Liaisons

OIED Thanks 2012-13 Faculty Liaisons for Their Partnership and Projects

NC State Branding Bar