Howdy, and welcome to the February edition of the Office for Diversity Newsletter! This month, we feature the outstanding scholarship of Dr. ArCasia James-Gallaway, ACES Fellow and Assistant Professor of Teaching, Learning and Culture. Learn more about the College of Dentistry’s Bridge to Dentistry, a comprehensive pipeline program for the recruitment, training, and retention of underrepresented minoritized students in dentistry. Read about the campus climate surveys, and how you can show your support by sharing #YourVoiceTAMU. Finally, discover opportunities for professional development and events related to diversity and inclusion efforts in our February and March Calendars. 

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Office for Diversity’s efforts to advance our goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Texas A&M. Please continue to follow COVID-19 Guidance by physically distancing and wearing a face covering as we await the vaccine roll out.
ACE Awards graphic
The ACE Awards recognize the appreciation of our diversity, which involves an exploration of individual differences in a safe, positive, welcoming and nurturing, academic environment. The ACE Awards center on the three overarching goals of the Diversity Plan: Accountability, Climate, and Equity, which are infused throughout the award categories and are considered criteria for nomination.

The ACE Awards acknowledge and honor students, faculty, and staff in recognition of their demonstrated commitment to the Texas A&M core value of RESPECT by promoting respectful treatment of others, affirming and encouraging individuals to take pride in their social and cultural identities, and including all in their definition of the “Aggie Family.” The ACE Awards are sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, the Office for Diversity, the Department of Multicultural Services, the Disability Resources, the Women’s Resource Center, Aggie Allies, the LGBTQ+ Pride Center, Health Promotion, and the Student Government Association Diversity Commission.

For more information about nominations, please visit 2021 ACE Awards.
Dr. ArCasia James-Gallaway
Dr. ArCasia James-Gallaway is an ACES Fellow and Assistant Professor of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University. We spoke to Dr. James-Gallaway about the Black History Month 2021 theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. Her scholarship addresses the history of African American education and seeks to bridge past and present perspectives on African American struggles for educational justice. Dr. James-Gallaway is a first-generation college graduate and third-generation Waco public schools' alumna.

What is the inspiration for your research?
From a very young age, I was amazed by Black people's unrelenting fight for...
Your Voice graphic
What is it like to learn and work at Texas A&M? Your answers to the 2021 Your Voice Matters survey will provide a great service to Texas A&M. Your valuable feedback will be crucial in developing programs and strategic plans for our institution. The survey is running through March 7, 2021. You can participate, by clicking this link: https://yourvoice.tamu.edu. Thank you!

Past campus climate survey results have been used to increase cross-cultural activities and programming to educate faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students about differences; help individuals understand the value of diversity; foster respectful intercommunication and dialogue; and encourage higher and deeper levels of interaction.

The Texas A&M University System approved eight action items in response to key findings in the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDEI)’s report, which is available here in its entirety. The Board of Regents approved funding for the action items totaling nearly $25 million in four years. Included in the approved recommendations is the expansion of the ACES (Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship) Fellows faculty-pipeline program by nine faculty members per year for four years. More details are provided here.
Seed Grant Program logo
The Office for Diversity’s (OFD) Diversity Matters Seed Grant Program supports research projects designed to make a positive impact on Texas A&M University’s Diversity Plan goals of accountability, campus climate, and equity.

In 2020, we received a total of 26 highly competitive proposals from across the university. We were able to award funds for 10 of them. The chosen projects represent students, faculty, and staff from the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Medicine, the School of Public Health, and Mays Business School.

The Diversity Matters Seed Grant Program was created by Dr. Jyotsna Vaid in 2015. Thank you to all of our committee members for their support and assistance with the 2020-2022 Diversity Matters Seed Grant Program!
Dr. Patricia Simons, Director of Student Development for the College of Dentistry and Dr. Lavern Holyfield, Assistant Dean for Diversity & Faculty Development presented on their College’s Bridge to Dentistry program during the January meeting of the Diversity Operations Committee. The objective of this comprehensive pipeline program, which is sponsored by the College’s Center of Excellence (COE), is to recruit, train, and retain underrepresented minoritized students.

The program has successfully offered enrichment activities such as the Project Dental Awareness, which sponsors elementary school visits and field trips to the College of Dentistry, and the Summer Pre-Dental Enrichment initiatives, which offers high school and collegiate level courses to prepare students for dental school. The COE also works to improve student academic performance by providing information resources, student training and faculty development opportunities, and by promoting faculty and student research. The College of Dentistry received the 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine for its Bridge to Dentistry pipeline program. For more information on this outstanding program, visit their website

The Diversity Operations Committee (DOC) is a university-wide committee that serves as an advisory body to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity.
Through March 1 - ACE Awards nominations open
Through March 7 - 2021, Your Voice Matters Campus Climate surveys open
March 1 - 31 - Gender Equality Month
March 1 - 31 - Women’s History Month
March 1 - 31 - Brain Injury Awareness Month
March 5 - 6 - Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Diversity Hackathon
March 8 - International Women’s Day
March 11 - 13 - 33rd Annual MSC Student Conference on Latinx Affairs: Del Pasado al Futuro: Reframing our Masterpiece
March 19 - Spring Break
March 21 - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 28 - April 3 - LGBTQ+ Awareness Week

Send April events to Crystal Carter by March 2nd for consideration in the March newsletter.
Dr. Sara Abedi. | Image: Courtesy of Sara Abedi
Texas A&M has issued COVID-19 guidance to enhance the safety of those returning to campus. Free testing is available for all students, faculty, and staff who have symptoms or have been in close contact with known or suspected cases. The tests provided through this program are mouth swab tests that do not require assistance. More information can be found at the Student Health Services website.
Texas A&M University
Office for Diversity
Jack K. Williams Administration Building
1360 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-1360
Phone: (979) 458-2905