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WIU Arts and Sciences Seek Members of Underrepresented Groups for Visiting Scholars Grant Program

January 19, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois UniversityÂ’s commitment to attracting, recruiting and retaining an excellent faculty representative of a diverse and global society is demonstrated in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) competitive Visiting Scholars Grant Program.

The objective of the pilot program initiated in Fall 2005 is to help establish professional relationships with future college educators from underrepresented groups while they are still in graduate school, according to CAS Dean Inessa Levi.

“Most of us complete our doctoral studies in research universities, yet most faculty jobs are in comprehensive universities, four-year and community colleges,” Levi said. “Our program will allow these future faculty members to experience life in a comprehensive university and develop professional connections, which will hopefully increase and flourish wherever the visiting scholars will find their academic home.”

All academic departments in the college can apply for the Visiting Scholars Grant, which is co-funded by the CAS, WesternÂ’s Affirmative Action Office and the department receiving the grant.

“The Affirmative Action Office is pleased to partner with the College of Arts and Sciences on the initiative because it represents the kind of active recruitment that has shown to be most effective in diversifying faculty,” said Cathy Couza, director of Affirmative Action.

WesternÂ’s department of psychology is the first department in the CAS to receive the Visiting Scholar Award.

“In psychology and other fields, it can be difficult to hire professors from underrepresented groups,” said Virginia Diehl, chair of Western’s psychology department. “This program will help Western meet its goal of having a diverse faculty.”

The first visiting scholar, Danielle Brown, is from the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Louisville. As part of her Jan. 22-25 visit, Brown will present "Attention and Television: The Role of Individual Differences in the Everyday Skills of Children” at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 in Wagoner Hall 054. The presentation is open free to the public.

BrownÂ’s visit will also include a luncheon with WesternÂ’s psychology graduate students and meetings with University President Al Goldfarb, Provost Joe Rallo and other University officials.

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