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Welcome to the 2022 Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience! 

Our goal for the Institute is to help your campus team connect your project:

  • to a specific equity issue that will serve as a high-leverage opportunity for your progress.

  • to the strategic equity goals of your institution.

  • to similar work happening in other parts of your institution.

  • to the broader higher education equity ecosystem, including institutions with common geographic and/or project interests.

The 2022 Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience is hosted by the American Talent Initiative and the following leadership sites who shared responsibility for the planning and programming:
Claremont-McKenna College | George Mason University | Georgetown University | Ohio State University | Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg | Princeton University | Rutgers University, New Brunswick | University of Iowa | University of the Pacific | University of Pittsburgh | Xavier University of Louisiana

Browse and filter the 2022 Summer Institute schedule below. Register for the event using the green “Sign Up” or “Log In” buttons to indicate your attendance at in-person events and gain access to zoom links for plenaries and virtual sessions. After you register, you may return to this page to add/edit your personal schedule. Zoom links will be made available in Sched 10 minutes before the start of each session.

To Add and Remove Sessions from Your Schedule: First, be sure to login to your existing Sched account (or create a new one) with your institutional email address. Once logged in, you can make live updates to your personal Summer Institute schedule below. Click the circle next to a session’s name to add that session to your schedule—a check mark will appear indicating that this session has now been added to your schedule. Click the check mark again to remove the session from your schedule.

To Join a Zoom Session: Each virtual or streamed session description will include a button titled “Join Zoom Session”. This zoom link will show up 10 minutes before the start of the session. Clicking this button will automatically direct you into that session’s Zoom waiting room.
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Tuesday, June 14 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Creating Contexts of Belonging

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The topic of race, racism, and equity has become a highly salient, and intensely debated topic. More than any other topic, this issue has also become polarized, emotionally charged. With so much at stake, and with such little consensus, many of us are feeling a sense of paralysis about what to do, or even what to say. Fortunately, there are insights from social psychology that not only offer a meaningful understanding of how the various issues are connected, but also offer some recommendations for how to engage in meaningful discussion with students around these issues. This topic is contextualized in the theory of belonging, and empowers us to take clear and meaningful steps to unify our students and our communities.

At the University of Pittsburgh, the Office of the Provost has been intentionally building out well-informed initiatives in close collaboration with research experts at the Learning Research and Development Center and across the institution focused on fostering a greater sense of belonging in our students. With the scaling and expansion of these efforts, we have new mechanisms and processes in place to respond effectively for our students in all stages of the student life-cycle.


Kevin R. Binning

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Research Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh
avatar for Omid Fotuhi

Omid Fotuhi

Research Associate, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Omid Fotuhi is a Director of Learning and Innovation at WGU Labs and a Research Associate with the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Fotuhi’s work focuses on the psychology of performance and motivation in the domains of academics... Read More →

Julia Spears

Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, University of Pittsburgh

avatar for April Belback

April Belback

Director of Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring, University of Pittsburgh
April E. Belback is the Director of Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring at the University of Pittsburgh in the Office of the Provost. She leads and implements an institutional collaborative vision for advising, mentoring and student success best practices and professional development... Read More →

Tuesday June 14, 2022 12:30pm - 2:00pm EDT