The Institute for the Study of Undergraduate Researchers of Color (ISURC) is poised to serve as a national organization established to promote greater access and participation of underserved student populations of color in community engaged undergraduate research programs and experiences. One of its most important mandates will be to promote the development of knowledge, scholarship, and practices focused on supporting and mentoring students of color who participate in undergraduate research programs toward academic and professional success.
This will be achieved through engaging and collaborating with community experts and groups, who will guide student research endeavors and the products to be generated through faculty directed undergraduate research projects.
A second mandate of the Institute will be to prioritize establishing culturally inclusive campus environments and/or sanctuary spaces in which minoritized students of color, who often feel alienated on predominantly white college and university campuses (PWIs), feel more welcome. Understanding how to better create Culturally Inclusive Sanctuary Spaces (CISS) increases the university’s ability to enable all students to be better integrated and to feel valued as they develop a sense of belonging conducive to academic success.
Through the work of the Institute, knowledge and scholarship focused specifically on minoritized and underserved student populations and communities will be broadened and recentered to promote the expansion of access, equity, and diversity within universities and colleges through community engaged undergraduate research, and mentoring programs and practices. The Institute will also pursue scholarship and praxis focused on the importance of culturally relevant and inclusive practices in mentoring and undergraduate programming, curriculums, and activities to develop training programs for community members, faculty, staff, and graduate students.
The Institute will work to achieve these goals through concentrating its efforts in key areas:
These goals will be achieved with attention to balancing STEM and humanities undergraduate research programs, activities, curriculums, and initiatives wherever possible to provide students with the broadest range of possibilities, opportunities, and participation in mentoring relationships and research projects and initiatives.
The Institute will work to promote community-engaged undergraduate research by partnering with the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, the Center for Service and Learning, the School of Education, the Institute for Engaged Learning, and the professional schools around IUPIUI’s campus wherever appropriate.
The Institute for the Study of Undergraduate Researchers of Color will be affiliated with the Center for Africana Studies and Culture but will function as an independent entity. As such, the Institute will have its own executive director, associate director, assistant coordinator, administrative support staff, budget, programming, curriculums, initiatives, and advisory board.
The Director of the Center for Africana Studies and Culture will serve on this board. The Executive Director of the Institute will report to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts.
Additionally, Institute initiatives will be coordinated with the Africana Studies Program and the Center for Africana Studies and Culture, allowing for enriching synergies and collaborations.
Dr. Ronda Henry Anthony will serve as Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Undergraduate Researchers of Color. She will also maintain her role as Executive and Founding Director of the Olaniyan Scholars Program. Dr. Patricia Jordan Turley will serve as Associate Director of the Institute and the Olaniyan Scholars Program.
Contact Rhonda Henry, Executive Director of the Institute.