Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Advancing Women and the Underrepresented in the Academy

A National Symposium

Fall 2015


1. Plenary Panel
2. Presentations

From the Executive Director

When viewed through the lens of the past few decades, a quick glance at the enrollment statistics in today’s institutions of higher learning can provide a surge of optimism and hope. Women and the underrepresented are applying to college, graduating, and entering the workforce at record rates. The face of today’s student body increasingly appears to be a microcosm of American society. But an analysis of the demographics of the leaders on today’s campuses points to a series of startling disparities. Women and minorities pursue fewer advanced degrees, occupy a smaller percentage of tenured positions, and, on average, earn lower salaries than their white male counterparts. The hard sciences are represented by a woefully small number of women, and the struggle to level the playing field for minorities in the academy is moving, as one scholar notes, “at glacial speed.” Historically underrepresented students are occupying a greater number of seats in today’s college and university classrooms, but they are finding that the leaders – the role models – who stand at the front of these classrooms do not adequately represent them.

Why does the modern academy lag behind other professions in its advancement of women and minorities? Why is there an absence of these populations in faculty applicant pools, and why is the “glass ceiling” of leadership still so difficult to penetrate? How are colleges and universities to respond to this alarming situation, and how are they to foster observable indicators of improvement? What changes need to be made at the grassroots level of curriculum design to promote more lasting interest in professional academic careers among underrepresented populations? What changes need to be implemented at the administrative level to achieve more representational hiring and promotion practices?

In November 2007 faculty members and other representatives of Faculty Resource Network institutions addressed these questions and issues during a national symposium on “Advancing Women and the Underrepresented in the Academy ,” hosted by the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. This symposium offered an opportunity for faculty members and administrators to consider the implications of this critically important topic.

In this fifth issue of our online NETWORK: A Journal of Faculty Development, we present excerpts from a number of the presentations that were delivered during that symposium.

Debra M. Szybinski
Executive Director, Faculty Resource Network

Plenary Panel

Consequential Impact of the Civil Rights Movement: Implications for Advancing Social Justice in the 21st Century

Introductory Remarks
Debra Szybinski, Faculty Resource Network, and Beverly Wade Hogan, Tougaloo College.

Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons,
University of Florida

Joyce A. Ladner,
SNCC Legacy Project

Charles E. Cobb, Jr.,
Duke University


Advancing Social Justice From Classroom to Community
Excerpts from a presentation by Kai Burkins, Johnson C. Smith University, and Dezette C. Johnson, Johnson C. Smith University.

African Traditional Thought and the Civil Rights Circle: Multi-Cultural Connections for Moving Justice from Classroom to Community
Excerpts from a presentation by Ruth Lucier, Bennett College.

BOLD in Detroit: A Campus-Community Partnership
Excerpts from a presentation by Brenda Bryant, Marygrove College, Jesse Cox, Marygrove College, Karen Dimanche Davis, Marygrove College, Jann Hoge, Marygrove College, Julie Laforet, Marygrove College.

Bringing the Classroom to the Community Through Service Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Noemi Esther Morriberon, Fairfield University.

Collaborative Global Citizenship Initiatives Through Salzburg Global Seminar
Excerpts from a presentation by Gwendolyn M. Bookman, Bennett College for Women.

Connecting Civil Rights to the Universe
Excerpts from a presentation by Elizabeth R. OuYang, New York University and Columbia University.

Curriculum Design for Equity and Excellence
Excerpts from a presentation by Lisa Hibbard, Spelman College, Renee Leonard, Spelman College, and Aditi Pai, Spelman College.

Engaging College Faculty and Students in the Realities of Bullying and Sexual Assault at a Major Metropolitan University
Excerpts from a presentation by James Peter Lawler, Pace University, and John C. Molluzzo, Pace University.

Improve Learning Through Activities Outside of the Classroom
Excerpts from a presentation by Jill O’Sullivan, Farmingdale State College.

Lights, Camera, Justice! Reimagining Social Justice Through Screenwriting
Excerpts from a presentation by Alexandra Vega, University of Sacred Heart, Puerto Rico.

Promoting Social Justice Through Service Learning
Excerpts from a presentation by Orla Smyth LoPiccolo, Farmingdale State College, SUNY.

The Role of the Citizen Journalist as a Guardian of Social Justice
Excerpts from a presentation by Murdell Walker McFarlin, Clark Atlanta University.

Social Justice: A National Imperative
Excerpts from a presentation by Beverly L. Kahn, Farmingdale State College.

Social Justice Through Community Outreach: The STEM Diversity Roundtable and Summit
Excerpts from a presentation by Veronica Henry, Farmingdale State College.

A Training Ground for Women of Color in STEM: Spelman College Tackles the STEM Pipeline as a Social Justice Issue
Excerpts from a presentation by Mentewab Ayalew, Spelman College, Dolores V. Bradley, Spelman College, Kimberly M. Jackson, Spelman College, Yewande Olubummo, Spelman College, Jakita O. Thomas, Spelman College, and Joycelyn Wilson, Spelman College.

Universities’ Compliance with Title IX OCR Directives: Do the New Sexual Harassment/Sexual Offense Policies Advance Social Justice?
Excerpts from a presentation by Audrey Wolfson Latourette, Stockton University.

Using Technology in Teaching Social Justice in the Social Sciences
Excerpts from a presentation by Nicola Davis Bivens, Johnson C. Smith University, Anita Bledsoe-Gardner, Johnson C. Smith University, and Deborah Brown Quick, Johnson C. Smith University.

Voices of the Next Generation: Preparing Teacher Candidates to Become Advocates for Social Justice
Excerpts from a presentation by Rita Mitchell, Huston-Tillotson University.

W.E.B. Du Bois Faculty Student Research Experience: A Social Justice Initiative at Farmingdale State College
Excerpts from a presentation by Lynn B. Elfe, Farmingdale State College, and Angela Jones, Farmingdale State College.