NCID marks 10 years of supporting early career diversity scholars


Ten years after it was started to promote and support the work of diversity scholars across the globe and on campus, the National Center for Institutional Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program can point to a clear influence in higher education.

In all, 19 former fellows are now in faculty and other academic roles across the country and are making significant impacts through their scholarship and public engagement.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the fellowship, in which scholars receive one year of protected research time, professional development support, and are paired with a University of Michigan faculty mentor.

Early career scholars benefit from the support structures that the NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship provides. Mentors guide postdoctoral fellows as they navigate academia and support them to establish a scholarly agenda as independent scholars.

The program’s alumni include:

• Victoria Reyes, a 2016-17 fellow and current assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, who studies the relationship between culture and global inequality.

She has published articles in high-impact journals in her discipline, along with her forthcoming book “Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Violence, and Empire in Subic Bay, Philippines,” to be published by Stanford University Press.

• Ruby Mendenhall, a 2009-10 fellow, recently was promoted to assistant dean for diversity and democratization of health innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She also is an associate professor of sociology, African American studies, urban and regional planning, gender and women’s studies, and social work, and is an affiliate of the university’s Institute for Genomic Biology and the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Her research examines how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects black mothers’ mental and physical health.

• William Calvo-Quirós, an assistant professor of American culture at U-M, is a Chicana/o studies scholar whose scholarship shows the significance of faith and religiosity in the survival of communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is finishing his book on the migration of faith in the United States, and teaches LSA classes on monster theory and car cultures.

“My experience as a postdoctoral fellow at the NCID reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher, a researcher and a scholar. It exemplified how universities can become centers for social change, and that a different, more human-centered society, can exist,” Calvo-Quirós says.

The NCID postdoctoral fellowship is one of few postdoctoral programs in the United States specifically designed to support early career diversity scholars — that is, scholars who have furthered understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression, and inequality, as those issues occur and affect individuals, groups, communities, institutions, and societies.

“The NCID is proud to have been able to play a role in supporting new generations of scholars whose work increases understanding of critical social issues and phenomena related to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Tabbye Chavous, NCID director and professor of education and psychology.

“They are conducting innovative scholarship that addresses societal challenges we’re currently facing in the U.S., and that are also relevant to other societal contexts.

“Further, these scholars’ presence at U-M and at institutions across the nation contributes perspectives and viewpoints that enrichen their campuses’ intellectual and social climates. As such, our investment in this program and these outstanding scholars can positively impact U-M, academia and the nation as a whole.”

2018-19 NCID Postdoctoral Fellows:

Faithe Day

Photo of Faithe Day
Faithe Day

Photo of Joo Young Lee

Joo Young Lee

Photo fo L. Trenton S. Marsh

L. Trenton S. Marsh

Photo fo Cristina Jo Pérez

Cristina Jo Pérez

Photo fo Dominique Thomas

Dominique Thomas

Day’s work focuses on the critical analysis of user generated content on social media sites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, in order to draw conclusions about the performance and reception of race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. in online and offline spaces.

Joo Young Lee

Her project, “Transnational Representations of Black Koreans in American and Korean Cultures,” traces the cultural history of black Koreans as portrayed in literary, photographic, filmic, televisual, musical and performative platforms since 1947. Her repository of underexplored archival materials, composed of legal documents, government correspondence and cultural products from the United States and South Korea, reveals changing notions of Americanness, blackness, and Koreanness, problematizing racial categories and the boundaries of a single nation in a global age.

L. Trenton S. Marsh

Marsh engages with the Combined Program in Education and Psychology and the Wolverine Pathways program at U-M, which provides yearlong, project-based learning experiences that will empower students in grades 7-12 grade from southeast Michigan to excel in school, college and future careers. He recently earned his Ph.D. at New York University’s Steinhardt School in the Department of Teaching and Learning concentrating in urban education.

Cristina Jo Pérez

Pérez’s work is done with the intention of creating spaces of contact, opportunities where community members might connect across the material and ideological boundaries that construct difference and create distance. To that end, her research seeks to highlight the work of power in and through the border industrial complex. Likewise, her pedagogy, mentoring and programming make space for thinking about belonging, violent exclusion, and feminist and queer, of-color forms of resistance.

Dominique Thomas

His research interests are in racial climate, specifically the experiences of African-American college students. His methodological expertise is in quantitative methods, specifically using survey methodology and conducting advanced statistical analyses to answer research questions. He also has experience in qualitative methods such as conducting focus groups and interviews.


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