William Paterson accepting applications for fellowship to diversify faculty in higher ed

Unique predoctoral program strives to support career development of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds

William Paterson University, recognized as one of the most ethnically diverse regional universities in the northern U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, is now accepting applications for its unique predoctoral fellowship program aimed at supporting career development of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.

An online information session about the program will take place via Zoom on Jan. 18, following a free webinar with keynote address by Sarita E. Brown, co-founder and president of Excelencia in Education.

The webinar, “Serving Latino Student Success: Higher Education’s Opportunity,” speaks to the importance of being informed on the needs and strengths of first-generation Latino college students and how to support those students’ success. It will run from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

A recognized leader and advocate for equity in higher education, Brown began her career at the University of Texas at Austin, where she built a national model for increasing the number of students of color in graduate education and in the academy. She then served in leadership roles with higher education associations, American University and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute. She was appointed executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

William Paterson University launched its predoctoral fellowship program in 2021 to advance diversity in higher education by supporting advanced-standing doctoral or terminal degree candidates from diverse backgrounds as they launch academic careers and complete their dissertations or degree requirements.

Doctoral candidates from across the nation are eligible to apply for a fellowship of up to two years, which would begin at William Paterson in August 2023, in the fields of chemistry, special education and teacher education.

“It has been a joy to witness the professional and personal development of our inaugural cohort of fellows: highly qualified and motivated scholars who are committed to our mission as a teaching institution that serves diverse students,” William Paterson University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joshua Powers stated. “These emerging faculty members play a critical role in higher education: advancing faculty diversity; bringing their unique and much-needed perspectives to the 21st century academy; and serving as role models in whom our students can see themselves.”

“The great thing about William Paterson University’s predoctoral teaching fellowship is that it provides the sort of career preparation that most graduate programs don’t offer their doctoral candidates. Fellows learn how a department functions, how to develop their teaching skills and how to navigate university processes as an employee, all with targeted supports and a cohort of peers to assist them,” Associate Provost of Academic Initiatives Kara Rabbitt, who serves as coordinator of the fellowship program, said. “This program sets fellows up for successful academic careers by supporting them as they learn how to balance teaching, research and service, and how to do it well.”

The information session will be moderated by Rabbitt and interim Associate Dean of the College of Education David Fuentes.