Rutgers GSE CMSI

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions Hosts the Third Annual HSI Pathways to the Professoriate Cross Institutional Conference!

Contact: Brandy Jones
Telephone: 848-932-0788

New Brunswick, NJ (February 5, 2020)—This week, the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) will host the third annual Cross Institutional Conference for its HSI Pathways to the Professoriate program. The four-day conference will bring together 60 HSI Pathways Fellows from two cohorts of the program, program coordinators, and faculty mentors to discuss strategies for persisting through graduate school and the professoriate. 
The conference will take place from February 6, 2020, to February 9, 2020, at the DoubleTree Newark Airport Hotel in Newark, NJ. Throughout the duration of the conference, Fellows will showcase their research findings through paper presentations, performative sessions, and poster presentations. After the year-long research-intensive program, Fellows, who worked collaboratively with faculty mentors fine-tuning their original research, will present their work in front of those who supported them throughout the process and other faculty in their field.
“We look forward to learning more about the research projects Fellows in the program have worked on over the year,” shared Marybeth Gasman, the Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education. “Each year of this program, we are highly impressed by the presentations, which reveal the rigorous preparation process these Fellows go through but also shows the creativity and introspection each Fellow brings to the program. This conference will bring forth a collection of ideas, perspectives, and knowledge that will aid in shaping our Fellows as they embark on the path to the professoriate.”
One of the goals of the Cross Institutional Conference is to provide Fellows with insight on relevant practices and opportunities that they may come across in graduate school. This program, which aims to increase faculty diversity in the humanities, is intentional with ensuring there are diverse voices throughout the duration of the convening. One of the keynote speakers for this year’s conference is Nelson Maldonaldo, an Associate Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Comparative Literature Program at Rutgers University—New Brunswick. Nelson’s keynote address entitled, “Border Thinking as Method” will focus on exploring various forms of generative border thinking at the university as strategies and actions to decolonize knowledge, including the humanities and power. His discussion will prompt attendees to think critically about how colonialism has affected their understanding of power and of legitimate knowledge.
Wendy Belcher, an Associate Professor of African Literature at Princeton University will also deliver a keynote address. Belcher will discuss strategies for moving a conference paper to a published paper and will provide participants with guidance on how to persist through the academic journal process. Belcher is the author of Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success.
“This conference gives our Fellows the opportunity to meet their peers across partner institutions, connect with faculty in their field and provides them with tools to succeed throughout their academic journeys in graduate school,” said Brandy Jones, Acting Director for Programs and Communications at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. 
Supported by a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program is coordinated by CMSI in partnership with three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) — Florida International University; the University of Texas, El Paso; and California State University, Northridge — and five majority research institutions — New York University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; Northwestern University; and University of California, Davis. Each year, HSI undergraduate students are selected to take part in an intensive summer research program, while also receiving mentoring, and support for applying to and enrolling in graduate school throughout the academic year. Throughout the five-year program, CMSI is also conducting assessments as to how selected students are navigating the HSI Pathways program and, once admitted, their graduate programs. CMSI aims to uncover the challenges and impetuses along the pathway to the Ph.D.
We will be live tweeting this year’s conference, to follow along be sure to follow us on Twitter (@CenterforMSIs).

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) 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 Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
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