Rutgers GSE CMSI

The Center for Minority Serving Institutions Hosts Fifth Annual ELEVATE Program

Philadelphia, Pa., May 29, 2019—This week, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) will be hosting its fifth annual early career faculty training program, ELEVATE (Enriching Learning, Enhancing Visibility & Training Educators) in Philadelphia, PA. The three-day program, offered free of charge to selected fellows, will include a series of interactive sessions on how to best maneuver the challenges associated with being tenure-track faculty at a Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

Facilitated by CMSI, senior faculty mentors, and former ELEVATE Fellows, with years of experiential knowledge working at or with MSIs, ELEVATE will present its largest cohort to date, 24 Fellows, with a valuable opportunity to network with experts in the field. Speakers will discuss topics that include publishing and pedagogical techniques, effective mentoring practices, op-ed writing, work-life balance, achieving tenure, and grant writing. Each session is curated to directly address the distinct needs and preparation gaps that can prematurely impede early career faculty at MSIs from advancing their careers.

“ELEVATE is one of those cherished gifts that keep on giving. Being selected to be a part of the inaugural cohort in and of itself was a confidence booster. I was able to readily apply what I learned in the pursuit of my professional goals (i.e. grant writing) and other professional development opportunities. In addition, I acquired a professional extended family that is always just a phone call or a keystroke away,” shared Erica R. Russell, ELEVATE 2015 Fellow and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Norfolk State University.
ELEVATE intends to support community building through ongoing learning, training, and networking of early career MSI faculty by offering a platform for collaboration that prompts participants to forge meaningful partnerships. In an attempt to foster a community of MSI scholars, the program will also provide participants with the tools necessary to support faculty at their home institutions.

“The road to tenure can be isolating; it does not have to be. The program provided a level of affirmation for success and a set of concrete strategies to take my project to the next level, which for me had immediate effects on my productivity. In a word, the program truly elevated mentorship and support, but unconditionally, for those who choose to center their scholarship within Minority Serving Institutions,” said Tyler Argüello, 2018 ELEVATE Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento.

ELEVATE is offered free of any registration fees to participants and covers all meals, materials, and lodging to minimize the financial burden of participating. ELEVATE is part of a partnership with CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange and funded by both the Kresge Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

“It has been remarkable seeing this program transform over the years. Seeing former recipients who once benefited from the program return and take the lead in facilitating the content has been both profound and refreshing,” says Paola “Lola” Esmieu, Associate Director for Programs at CMSI. “With a network of nearly 100 Fellows, we are on track to achieving what we set out to do—develop a community of MSI scholars with the tools necessary to be successful in academia, and we are so excited to see this community continue to grow.”

About The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. The Center’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about the Center, please visit

About The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations: 
Organized in 1952 under a living trust established by Mr. Arthur Vining Davis, The Foundations bear witness to Mr. Davis' successful corporate leadership acumen and his visionary, entrepreneurial spirit in philanthropy. Since inception, the Foundations have provided philanthropy to American higher education, medicine and health care, interfaith leadership, and to public educational media for children and for historical and scientific documentaries with national distribution. Under the Foundations’ 2017-2022 strategic plan, the AVDF Board of Trustees will consider proposals aligned with two new additional philanthropic priorities: environmental engagement, stewardship and solutions; and palliative and end of life care. For more information, please visit

About the Council on International Educational Exchange
CIEE, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, transforms lives and builds bridges by promoting the exchange of ideas and experiences. To help people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world, CIEE sponsors a wide variety of opportunities for cultural exchange, including work exchange programs, teach abroad programs, and a worldwide portfolio of study abroad and internship programs for college and high school students. Visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
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