Rutgers GSE CMSI

CMSI is Awarded $250,000 to Support ELEVATE Early Career Program

Philadelphia, Pa., June 21, 2018The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) announced today that it has been awarded $250,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support its early career faculty development program, ELEVATE (Enriching, Learning, Enhancing Visibility & Training Educators).

ELEVATE is a three-day program that brings together junior faculty from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to further equip them with support, training, and an opportunity to create a close-knit network of peers. The program features sessions related to research, grant writing, teaching, and earning tenure and promotion. Each session is curated to directly address the needs and preparation gaps that prematurely impede high-quality faculty at MSIs.

"This program provides essential resources on navigating the professoriate and enables faculty at Minority Serving Institutions to be the best scholars and mentors to the students at their respective institutions," said Marybeth Gasman, the Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

With sessions tailored to support MSI student success such as mentoring, advising, teaching, and advocating for the needs and learning process of students, ELEVATE provides a space for faculty members to discuss and identify their teaching styles, better understand their roles within colleges and universities, and expand their ability to conduct research.

“ELEVATE has, for many years, equipped MSI faculty members with professional development that seeks to empower them to become strong researchers, caring and effective mentors, and change makers on their campuses, all while connecting participants to other faculty of color and faculty mentors” said Paola “Lola” Esmieu, Associate Director for Programs. “Thus, ELEVATE urges collegial collaboration and encourages the development of peer networks to support faculty retention.”

ELEVATE is free of any registration fees to participants, covers all meals and materials.

“The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations is proud to support the growth and progress of the ELEVATE program as a vital and distinctive program for quality future faculty. We are aware of the challenges that often deter faculty of color from reaching their full potential,” shares Dr. Nancy J. Cable, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ President. “Being aware of these challenges has prompted us to support this distinctive program.”

The ELEVATE 2018 program will take place June 27-June 29, 2018. Learn more about this year’s cohort here.

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, Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’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. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. For further information about CMSI, 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

Thursday, June 21, 2018
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