SRD: 2016-2017 Awards

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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

SRD: 2016-2017 Awards


GRANT AWARDS for 2016-2017


The Committee for Community and Diversity is Pleased to Announce the 2016 – 2017 Recipients of the Vice President's Grant for Student Research in Diversity.

This grant award provides support for outstanding student research projects related to diversity in research, teaching, learning, or community building.  Diversity, in the context of this award, is broadly defined and includes the exploration of multiple perspectives involving culture, language, gender, sexual orientation, age, race-ethnicity, health status, and disabilities, among others.

The SRD Grant Subcommittee of the CCD was extremely impressed with the important questions and relevant topics proposed as well as the high-quality and innovation demonstrated in the proposals submitted.  Spanning a broad spectrum of diversity, the proposals truly attest to the varied and meaningful scholarship on the part of students at Teachers College. Ultimately, three proposals were selected as this year’s SRD Grant recipients, each receiving an award for $3,000.

Many thanks to the SRD Grant Selection Committee: 

 Dr. Jay Heubert, Yvonne Destin, Isaac Freeman, Jolene Lane, Samantha Lu, Janice Robinson, Dr. Srikala Naraian, and Chelsey Saunders.  Thank you also to Danisha C. Baro, Graduate Assistant in the Vice President’s Office for Diversity and Community Affairs, for her administration of the details of the grants.


Grant award recipients


I.    Amelia Herbert, Ph.D. Student, Program in Anthropology and Education

Proposal Title: Changing Subjects in the Transition from Urban Schools to Selective Universities

Faculty Sponsor: Hervé Varenne, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Coordinator of Programs in Anthropology, Chair, International and Transcultural Studies

Proposal Description:

            Recent global waves of student protest over issues ranging from fees to curricular reform have reinvigorated discussions of access and inclusion in higher education (Fairbanks 2015). Organizing under social media banners like #BlackonCampus (US), #Whyismycurriculumwhite (Britain), #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall (South Africa), student activists are demanding the transformation of both the university as a space and the types of knowledge it produces.  In the United States and South Africa, both of which have experienced demographic shifts in postsecondary student populations against a historical backdrop of racialized and socioeconomic exclusion, growing movements are pushing questions of university access beyond mere admission to belonging (Mampilly 2015).  Some of the key voices in these efforts are those of students from backgrounds that have historically been racially or socioeconomically marginalized in the context of elite, selective universities.  These students cross geographic and symbolic borders from homes in urban enclaves to arrive on college campuses, sometimes in the same city.  This research asks: what are the ways in which the transition from urban secondary schools to selective universities transforms the political subjectivities of working class youth from racially marginalized backgrounds? This question emerges from nine months of pilot study with university students in the US and South Africa and relates to broader concerns of how educational attainment affects the ways people see and situate themselves in relation to power, privilege, and authority, especially in contexts of marked disparity in access to resources. The study will be conducted with participants in Cape Town, South Africa at a Langa township and two selective, historically white universities; and in the New York City area at a selective, predominantly white institution and a high school in Newark, New Jersey. Participant observation and semi-structured interviews will be the core methods of data collection, but survey and focus group methods will also be incorporated. Anthropological investigation of the cultural dimensions of university life and of the quotidian experiences of students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy are scant.  Anthropology of education has the potential to contribute unique insights to questions of university access and inclusion because its methods entail a struggle to make sense of the experience of participants, rather than simply accept cultural assumptions of normative outcomes (Shumar and Mir 2011:452).


II.   Jennifer Kim, Ph.D. Student, Program in Social-Organizational Psychology

Proposal Title: Perceptions of Racial Microaggressions in the Workplace

Faculty Sponsor: Caryn Block, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Education, Organization and Leadership

Proposal Description:

            Workplace discrimination has become subtler over the past several years. These subtle forms of discrimination can be examined through the lens of microaggressions. Microaggressions in the workplace have only recently been examined for African Americans. However, research has not yet examined microaggressions directed toward Asians in the workplace. The present study, therefore, seeks to examine microaggressions in the workplace directed toward Asians. Specifically, this study will examine whether there are differences in perceptions of the severity of microaggressions and the impact of the microaggressions on the target between White and Asian participants.


III.       Regina Kim, Ph.D. Student, Program in Social-Organizational Psychology

Proposal Title: Nonnative Accent and Conflict Management: The Effects of Stigma Consciousness on Regulatory Focus, Conflict Behaviors, and Outcomes

Faculty Sponsor:  Loriann Roberson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Education, Organization and Leadership

Proposal Description:

As the workplace in the United States becomes increasingly global, organizations are employing more persons whose native language is not English.  It is important to understand the impact of nonnative accents during interpersonal interactions because accents are as salient as ethnicity, age, gender, and skin color and are a potential source of discrimination and misunderstanding in organizations.  As conflicts are inevitable and pervasive in organizational life, the proposed research explores the experiences of nonnative speakers when they interact with native speakers in conflict situations.  The study examines the effect of nonnative speakers’ stigma consciousness on their regulatory focus (preventive versus promotive), conflict behaviors and outcomes. Moreover, it explores self-efficacy and perceptions of goal interdependence (cooperative versus competitive) as potential moderators that affect the relationship between stigma consciousness and regulatory focus.  The current study contributes to the field of workforce diversity and conflict management by examining the relationships among accent stigma consciousness, regulatory focus, conflict behaviors, and conflict outcomes at work.  The results of this research will also have important implications for managers and practitioners who work with nonnative speakers in organizational settings.