One researcher’s work centers around racial disparities in education.

One is advancing “everyday peace” to thwart structural or cultural violence.

One is working in the area of disability studies.

Together they are the first participants in the NCID Scholars-in-Residence Program, a new initiative at the National Center for Institutional Diversity.

The program provides an opportunity for senior scholars to pursue their research and writing at the University of Michigan for one academic year. The invited scholars include those whose research explores topics around diversity, equity and inclusion.

As part of their residency, scholars participate in NCID community, scholarly and networking activities and are co-hosted by a U-M academic department related to their disciplinary background.

The 2019-20 scholars-in-residence, along with their home institutions and U-M host departments, are:

W. Carson Byrd, associate professor at the University of Louisville, hosted by the Department of Sociology. Byrd’s research centers on racial disparities in education, intergroup relations, and connections among race, science and knowledge production.

These areas of work intertwine under Byrd’s broader scholarly agenda of exploring how educational institutions — particularly colleges and universities — can operate simultaneously as mechanisms of social mobility and engines of inequality.

Urmitapa Dutta, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, hosted by the Department of Women’s Studies. Dutta uses critical qualitative methodologies to elucidate the concept of “everyday violence,” or forms of structural and cultural violence that become normalized by people and institutions and that result in social suffering.

Dutta engages in community-based research in India and the United States to advance a framework of “everyday peace,” to intervene around issues of coloniality, citizenship, gendered oppression and community building.

Stephanie Kerschbaum, associate professor at the University of Delaware, hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Psychology. Kerschbaum’s work is in the area of disability studies, particularly how higher education settings address issues of diversity and difference.

In a recent project, “Signs of Disability,” Kerschbaum emphasized the need to attend to the signs of disability all around us and collectively build new ways of noticing and engaging disability in our everyday lives.

The NCID Scholar-in-Residence Program builds upon another long-standing initiative, the NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship. While the Scholar-in-Residence Program is geared toward senior diversity scholars who bring their knowledge and expertise to campus, the NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship supports early-career scholars whose work also centers around diversity, equity and inclusion topics.

Postdoctoral fellows may pursue independent research, engage with academic units and mentors related to their disciplinary backgrounds, collaborate on center initiatives and participate in a range of community and professional development activities.

The 2019-20 NCID Postdoctoral Fellows, along with their fields or disciplines, are:

  • Meredith Hope, educational psychology.
  • Beza Merid, media, culture, and communication; joint fellow with the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
  • Cristina Jo Perez, women’s studies.
  • Dominique Thomas, community psychology.
  • Edgar Vivanco, political science; joint fellow with the Michigan Institute for Data Science.

“The NCID Scholars-in-Residence and Postdoctoral Fellowship programs are both a part of NCID’s mission of catalyzing and elevating innovative diversity scholarship,” said NCID Director Tabbye Chavous. “The programs are designed to facilitate intergenerational connection, intellectual exchange, mentoring and collaboration among senior scholars and early career scholars. The programs also support the professional advancement of diversity scholars themselves.

“As such, our visiting scholars and fellows programs — in conjunction with other opportunities such as grant funding, public writing and dissemination, honors and awards, and professional networks — are part of NCID’s broader change strategy, which is to establish and institutionalize support infrastructures for diversity scholarship and scholars. Doing so will serve to enhance DEI and the intellectual and cultural environments in our campus communities for years to come.”

The application for the 2020-21 NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship will open Sept. 30. The application for the 2020-21 NCID Scholar-in-Residence Program will open Oct. 15. The application deadline for both programs is Dec. 16, 2019.

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