Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (IDEI) and the ADVANCE program at Georgia Tech have announced the 2020 - 2021 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Fellows program. Three members of the Scheller College of Business community have been chosen out of 150 applicants: Dr. Tiffany Johnson, assistant professor of organizational behavior; Joshua Burr, MBA student; and Hannah Sherrill, undergraduate student.
The goal of the D&I Fellows program is to create and sustain a community within Georgia Tech that is dedicated to advancing a culture of inclusivity and providing an environment where people are empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion. The program is open to faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and graduate or undergraduate students.
Becoming a Fellow
A candidate is required to submit an application identifying a gap in a diversity or inclusivity issue and offer a thoughtful approach to increasing understanding, acceptance, and change through a project, research initiative, or other solution. The candidate must explain why their action will benefit campus constituents and then begin to accomplish their goal in the year of their residency.
“This program is a bottom-up initiative, tapping into the creativity and diversity of thought among our campus community to crowdsource ideas that create long-term culture change. We are excited about the caliber of Fellows chosen this year and know that they will make a big difference in the Tech community,” said Beril Toktay, professor of operations management and former ADVANCE professor. Toktay also co-wrote the proposal that led to the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program by the Institute.
What Does it Mean to Be a Fellow?
What does it mean to be a Fellow? It means wanting to make a difference in the Tech community by strengthening diversity and inclusivity through action. It also means having a willingness to give time to complete a project, solve a problem, or implement research to bring about change. Responsibilities include going to meetings with other Fellows while attending school, continuing to work, teach, or conduct other research.
A Past Scheller Fellow’s Success Story
In 2019, Kiera Patterson, a 2019 Fellow and Double Jacket with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering (’15) and an MBA from Scheller College (‘20), helped to create the ABLE Alliance, a student organization whose mission is to improve on-campus inclusion for disabilities through access and resource sharing, social and community support, and professional and career development.
“As an undergrad, it was hard to find a community of people with disabilities. Coming back to Tech for business school, I wanted to create a platform for students with disabilities to meet and connect about their shared experiences while advocating for disability awareness on campus. The Diversity and Inclusion Fellows program allowed me to find a group of people who had the same goal and from there we created the ABLE Alliance."
The organization is overseen by seven leaders made up of both faculty and students and Patterson serves as the professional chair. Participating in events does not require one to have a disability, only a desire to improve disability inclusion across the campus.
This week, learn about each of the three Diversity and Inclusion Fellows through their profiles which include details about their backgrounds, projects, goals, and more.
Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program