After we successfully recruit BIPOC faculty, how do we ensure that they feel a sense of belonging, critical to their professional success and mental health? A roundtable of Government and Politics (GVPT) BIPOC faculty will reflect on the department’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for fostering belonging. Members of the roundtable will be able to speak to departmental efforts to integrate the perspectives of BIPOC faculty into GVPT’s central governance structure, and the downstream effects this decision has had on departmental culture. Panelists will discuss our recent success in incorporating spaces for our faculty and guest speakers to feature their identity-related research, signaling the centrality of this work to key debates in the discipline.
Marcus Johnson, Assistant Professor, Government & Politics
We know that it can be difficult to quantify those multifactored feelings of belonging, let alone measure positive or negative changes. At AGNR we are developing an inventory of actions that would function as the foundation of how we “move the needle on diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect in the college. We will preview the inventory items, solicit feedback and discussion. We will utilize live polling of our draft inventory items, followed by discussion of the results and further ideas.
Amanda Shaffer, Diversity Officer, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Postdoctoral Associates at the University of Maryland are appointed as professional track faculty. These scholars work in all areas of the university and a wide variety of programs and divisions. At times, they work at agencies and research centers across the region. A typical postdoc position lasts 2-4 years and they are often connected to a particular individual (PI), lab, or faculty mentor, which creates a challenge to their sense of belonging. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is tasked with creating community, but efforts to create a stronger sense of belonging must also include the departments and divisions where postdoctoral scholars work. During this session, we'll invite participants to discuss what the challenges are, what some best practices may be, and strategize ways to increase their sense of belonging.
Blessing Enekwe, Program Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, The Graduate School Linda Macri, Director of Academic and Professional Development, The Graduate School
The Office of the Surgeon General (2022) created a model that identified key components of healthy workplaces including protection from harm, connection and community, opportunity for growth, mattering at work, and work-life harmony. Fostering belonging in the workplace is necessary for the connection and communication component of the model (Office of the Surgeon General, 2022). This roundtable discussion will provide an opportunity to talk with UMD faculty and staff ombuds about mechanisms to promote belonging at UMD. Case examples reflecting faculty and staff concerns related to belonging will be shared to engage roundtable participants in discussion. Discussion questions will focus on: (1) the importance of belonging, (2) challenges that disrupt belonging in the workplace, and (3) how to enhance belonging on campus. The faculty and staff ombuds will conclude the roundtable discussion with a summary of ideas for promoting belonging in the workplace.
Reference U.S. Surgeon General. Workplace mental health & well-being - current priorities of the Office of the Surgeon General. Current Priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General. 2022. Accessed August 8, 2023. https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongen...
Presenters: Karen M. O’Brien, Mashanda Mosley, Nazish M. Salahuddin, & Karoline Trovato University of Maryland Faculty and Staff Ombuds Office