Diversity Research Grant

The Diversity Research Grant (formerly Diversity Fellows) calls upon the expertise of the Kennesaw State University community to produce a positive impact on campus diversity, equity, and inclusion. The grant’s goal is to support scholarly work and creative activities that intersect with the mission of the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence (DDIE) as well as further individual scholarship goals. Up to six grants will be awarded each year, and each recipient can apply for up to $8000 to use for their proposed project. See previous recipients and funded projects below.

The Division supports projects that will produce a clearly defined impact on campus diversity, equity, and inclusion. Potential outcomes include but are not limited to an actionable plan that can be implemented by the grant’s end; qualitative or quantitative research that deepens our understanding of specific groups at KSU and can be used to drive change; public programs that contribute to KSU’s cultural transformation; or other transformative or actionable outcomes. Applicants must make clear how the KSU community at large or target groups within will benefit from the work they do and take appropriate steps to achieve that expressed outcome. These projects should also intersect with the work of the six Presidential Commissions and/or contribute to the R2 Roadmap goals.

Funding Use

Applicants can apply for up to $8000 to support research activities, and recipients will have one fiscal year to use the funding. "Research activities" include but are not limited to scholarly materials (book, journals, subscriptions, and other resources), equipment, specialized services, conference travel, research travel, research assistants, and other resources necessary for completing the project. Applicants must provide a budget detailing these expenditures. Once budgets are approved, recipients will work with their departments and DDIE for reimbursement. All receipts for expenditures must be submitted by May 1 of the award cycle.


Tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as staff and instructors with defined research duties are eligible to apply. All applicants must have expressed approval from their chair or supervisor for this work. Applications lacking that approval will not be considered.

Application Submission

DDIE has completed review of applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. The application link will open again in spring 2023.

More Information


Questions about the grant or the application should be directed to the Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Sonia Toson (stoson@kennesaw.edu) or the Diversity Planning Analyst, Dr. Jennifer Hoyt (jhoyt4@kennesaw.edu)

Current Recipients

  • Project Description: On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white man killed 8 people, and 6 of the victims were Asian immigrant women. The murderer said, “I am going to kill all Asians!” Although horrifying and heartbreaking, the incident was not a surprise to Asian American community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asian Americans in Georgia and across the nation have faced and suffered from increased anti-Asian hate and violence. Sadly, this is not the first time that Asian American community faced racist scapegoating. Historically, Asian Americans have been an easy target of hate crimes amid public health crisis as well as wartime and economic crisis. At the core of such racist oppression is the deep-seated bias against Asian Americans as dangerous foreigners. Despite the long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States, however, Asian Americans and their experiences have been neglected in the educational and policy discussions on racism. This project aims to stop the silence and ultimately to put an end to the persistent anti-Asian racism and violence through a series of research-based workshops. The workshops will be developed and curated to raise awareness among KSU students, faculty, and staff regarding the history and the current issues of anti-Asian violence, Asian American civil rights activism, and the interracial solidarity and activism to fight against white supremacy and injustice. Doing so, the project will empower people at KSU to work together against anti-Asian racism and racism in general.

  • This project explores acculturation and mental health outcomes among students who identify as racial/ethnic minorities at KSU. The primary research questions are: 1. How is acculturation related to mental health among KSU students of color? 2. Does acculturation among KSU students of color change over time? 3.What acculturation strategies do KSU students of color use to navigate a PWI campus? The study includes two phases:  a longitudinal survey of incoming freshman students of color and focus groups in the Spring Semester with students who identify as ethnic/racial minorities at KSU to explore acculturative strategies in communication. The study will make recommendations based on findings regarding acculturative stress experienced by students and other findings.

  • Developing Resources to Help KSU Students Practice Academic Web Accessibility
    Project Description: KSU offers significant training and resources to teach faculty how to make their courses accessible. However, fewer resources are available for students, who also regularly write and upload media content in online course spaces. The goal for this Disability Strategies and Resources Fellowship project is to create a set of online resources that KSU instructors can share to help their students write and design accessibly in online courses. For the purposes of this project, “writing for accessibility” emphasizes student-oriented versions of the KSU “faculty four,” shorthanded as the “student three” to focus on alternative text, captioning/transcripts, and document formatting.

    This project’s goal is to make accessible writing a common practice in the KSU community for faculty and students alike so all course participants can actively contribute to building accessible online course spaces. This project also supports students’ professional development by teaching them how to write and design accessibly for a range of audiences, an important skill in any profession.

  • The project is about accessible maps for both Kennesaw campuses. The goal will be to create accessible maps that will help those who have visual or mobility handicaps. For visual handicaps, the project goal will be to create 3D printed maps of both campuses where the student can feel the map that will have buildings and elevation at the actual height. For those with mobility handicaps, the goal will be to create maps that include data such as handicapped parking, curb cuts, ramps, stairs, and elevators. 


  • While academia continues to grapple with issues of racial justice and equity, we see an admirable move to more intentional diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, but what is done to sustain faculty of color who are recruited through these initiatives? Strengthening the professoriate pipeline for Black women is not limited to recruitment but should also entail robust practices to support, mentor, and sponsor Black women once they find their academic homes.

    In 2018 Columbia University’s Provost commissioned an advisory council for the enhancement of faculty diversity. Of note was a recommendation that spoke to the promotion and tenure process: “Deans/department chairs should be conscious of any legacies of exclusion that exist within their schools/departments and monitor faculty progress with an eye toward equity; namely, schools/departments should ask if female and underrepresented minority are being adequately guided and supported through the tenure and promotion processes.”

    This program will focus on shepherding Black women through the promotion and tenure process, particularly in a Covid and post Covid context. Best practices regarding tenure and promotion portfolio preparation post COVD-19 and providing advocacy and support to Black women faculty will be addressed. It is critical that Black women are equipped with knowledge and understanding of how to navigate this terrain while engaging in practices that bolster their ability to advocate for self in the promotion and tenure process.