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SBU Receives Funding from SUNY PRODiG Initiative to Increase Faculty Diversity

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Enhancing its promotion of diversity, Stony Brook University will receive over $957,000 in funding from SUNY over a three-year period to support six faculty members as part of the SUNY’s new PRODiG Faculty Diversity Initiative — Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Growth.

Featured campusThe PRODiG initiative is designed to increase faculty diversity at SUNY colleges and universities to be more in line with its student diversity. As of Fall 2018, 27.2% of SUNY students are historically underrepresented minorities, up from 26.5% in 2017, and 15.4% in 2007.

“SUNY’s invaluable investment helps us to carry out our mission to promote inclusive excellence throughout our University,” said Michael A. Bernstein, Interim President of Stony Brook University. “We are thrilled to support exceptional Stony Brook faculty who will enrich our campus community with their scholarship, creativity, mentorship, and service.”

PRODIG is designed to renew the faculty, support student success, and promote excellence through diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Through this initiative, SUNY has committed to a decade-long effort to facilitate the hiring of 1,000 faculty who are historically underrepresented minorities and/or women in STEM disciplines.

“The PRODiG initiative is New York’s commitment toward investing necessary resources in increasing the structural diversity within our faculty,” said Dr. Jarvis Watson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer. “This initiative has not only provided a pathway for us to recruit and hire diverse faculty, it has served as a catalyst for academic leaders from all campus locations (East, West, Southampton, Eastern Long Island and Manhattan) to work collaboratively and intentionally to create an inclusive and equitable learning environment.”

The initial round of PRODIG funding to be received by Stony Brook will support the salaries of six faculty. They are Natasha Vitek, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution; Amy Marschilok, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry; Ijeoma Opara, Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare; Sara Hamideh, Assistant Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences; Yifan Sun, Institute for AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation; Carrie McDonough, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering.

PRODiG-suported faculty have been invited to attend the PRODiG Cohort Institute on December 3, which is the first event of the 2019 SUNY Diversity Conference in Albany. The 2019 Cohort of PRODiG-supported faculty will convene for a full day of workshops and a welcome reception with SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, many SUNY presidents, and members of the Board of Trustees.

More About PRODiG

The goal of this system-wide initiative — a comprehensive approach not yet attempted at this scale in higher education — is to support SUNY campuses in their efforts to recruit and retain up to 1,000 early-to-mid-career professors from underrepresented groups by 2030. It also will focus on building an educational pipeline that identifies talented students in high school and develops academic career opportunities, with the view that among today’s high school students are the PRODiG faculty of tomorrow.

Visit the PRODiG website.

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