What is a Diversity Scholar?
Diversity scholars are graduate students who specialize in and advocate for the awareness, knowledge, and skills associated with diversity and inclusion in the Graduate School and greater community. A diversity scholar’s goal is to create dialogue, provide advocacy, and implement change for a more diverse and inclusive experience for all graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators. This involvement can take place in many forms and can be specific to a particular curriculum or department, or it can be more global.
Diversity scholars exhibit the following strengths and knowledge in their work:
- Multicultural Competencies
- Advocacy Competencies
- Identity Development Models
- Communication Competencies
- Conflict Resolution Skills
How do I become a Diversity Scholar?
Diversity Scholars are chosen based upon their competency in diversity and inclusion, knowledge about cultural differences, and belief in the Virginia Tech “Principles of Community.” A nomination is required and is evaluated by a committee based upon several factors seen in congruence with the Inclusive Excellence model adopted by the University Strategic Plan.
To demonstrate competency in diversity and inclusion, applicants are encouraged to take GRAD 5984: Diversity and Inclusion for A Global Society or to demonstrate knowledge based on past experience (e.g., work with diversity and/or inclusion) or course work (e.g., counselor education, sociology). Otherwise, students can be nominated by a faculty member or community member. An interview is required for finalists.
How much time will I have to commit as a Diversity Scholar?
The commitment takes place in the spring semester. There will be bi-monthly or monthly group meetings and training sessions, which will be scheduled with group input. The year’s involvement will conclude with a final presentation of projects in late April or May. Each meeting will last approximately one hour.
Will I be compensated for the time I commit to being a Diversity Scholar?
Each diversity scholar will receive a one-time stipend of $300 for full participation in the program. Additionally, if a student presents his/her project at a conference, the ORDI will assist with the conference fees and/or travel, with approval. In addition, students will earn completion certificates at the end of the term.