A genuine investment in diversity in today’s academic landscape requires a sustained focus on recruiting underrepresented faculty scholars.

As part of InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, Virginia Tech’s commitment to this investment is reflected in the Future Faculty Diversity Program.

Launched in 2010 with support from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Virginia Tech’s Future Faculty Diversity Program (FFDP) is a rigorous three-day event for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars interested in academic careers. Participants are chosen from a national pool of candidates who apply directly to the program and are matched with an interested department.

The Office for Inclusion and Diversity (OID) currently serves as the administrative base for the program, which draws a diverse group of participants in terms of gender, race, and geographic region. Specifically, FFDP assists departments with identifying and recruiting talent from historically underrepresented domestic minority populations, such as African Americans, Hispanics/Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.

The program provides participants with an invaluable opportunity for professional development, as well as an ability to have candid discussions with department heads, deans, and early career faculty members about life in academe. As part of the experience, a Virginia Tech department hosts participants to tour research facilities, meet with current faculty to gain a greater awareness of research and teaching opportunities, discuss their career prospects and academic work, and present a research talk.

For the past two years, almost 200 candidates have applied for the program.  About 30 candidates have been selected to participate each of the past two years.

Faculty fellows
Nine new faculty fellows include (upper row, left to right) John Aggrey, Chris Brown, Adrian Figg, (middle row, left to right) Austin Gray, Portia Johnson, Trey Lewis, (lower row, left to right) Lauren Reid, TeKisha Rice, Cana Utchiaqiyaq

This fall, these nine new faculty fellows will be joining Virginia Tech:

  • John Aggrey, Louisiana State University – joins the science, technology, and society department as a post-doctoral fellow.
  • Chris Brown, North Carolina State University – joins the computer science department.
  • Adrian Figg, Northwestern University – joins the chemistry department.
  • Austin Gray, University of North Carolina-Greensboro – joins the biology department.
  • Portia Johnson, University of Georgia – joins the  apparel, housing, and resource management.
  • Trey Lewis, University of Tennessee – joins the management department.
  • Lauren Reid, University of South Carolina – joins the population health sciences department as a post-doctoral fellow.
  • TeKisha Rice, University of Illinois – joins the human development and family sciences department.
  • Cana Utchiaqiyaq, Utah State University – joins the English department.

Colleagues at Virginia Tech are encouraged to invite potential future faculty scholars to apply. Applications are open and will be accepted through August 15..  

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