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Belonging, Learning, and Exploring New Directions (BLEND) is a Reflective Practice Teaching Circle that operates under umbrella of both the Center for Teaching Excellence and Frederick Douglass Institute for Intercultural Research.

Blend Project meetingPart of BLEND’s involvement on campus includes holding workshops throughout the semester on a variation of topics. Upcoming BLEND workshops include:

Fall 2015 Semester


Meet your Mentor at the Oak Grove
Complements of APSCUF and BLEND (For 2015–16 BLEND protégés only)

October 28

Unpacking IUP Culture: Your Questions Answered
Stabley 210,  2:00–3:30 p.m.

To be successful, faculty need to learn how to interpret and respond to the explicit as well as hidden culture of a university. Senior faculty with expertise in the area of teaching, research, and service will respond to first and second year faculty’s questions about IUP culture. The benefits of using simple tools like Qualtrics to gain anonymous mid-semester feedback and inform course design will be discussed. 

November 11

Cultivating and Strengthening Co-mentoring Relationships with Faculty and Graduate Assistants to Enhance Research Productivity. 
HUB Delaware Room, 11:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Carol Mullen, PhD Dr. Carol A. Mullen

A light lunch and t-shirt will be provided. Only 60 people can be accommodated for this featured talk, and RSVPs are needed.

Mullen, a full tenured professor of educational leadership at Virginia Tech, will provide IUP faculty and administrators with an opportunity to identify ways in which they can: (1) develop and sustain departmental and nondepartmental faculty-peer mentoring relationships; (2) establish mutually beneficial co-mentoring relationships with graduate assistants to enhance research productivity; and (3) engage graduate assistants and students in self-regulated learning towards goals and (inter)dependence.

Spring 2016 Semester


Meet your Mentor at the Oak Grove
Complements of APSCUF and BLEND (For 2015–16 BLEND protégés only)


Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance
Date, Time and Room TBA

Learning how to balance competing needs and desires is always a challenge, especially for busy working professionals. This session will provide first- and second-year faculty with access to some tried and tested time-management strategies. 


Communicating Effectively with your Departmental Chair
Date, Time and Room TBA

Faculty who communicate effectively with their chairs can learn how to obtain resources needed for their teaching and research, determine whether they are making satisfactory progress towards tenure and promotion, and negotiate various aspects of faculty life which included instructional load, advising load, and service opportunities. Past chairs who facilitate this session will describe how first and second year faculty can initiate and manage these conversations. 

Contact Person: Crystal Machado, BLEND chair,

BLEND’s Mission

BLEND seeks to provide a personal and professional safe and supportive environment where women and faculty of color can receive guidance, support, and constructive feedback that honors their differences and builds on their strengths. This group is open to all, regardless of race and ethnicity.

BLEND Mentors

BLEND is currently seeking experienced, exceptional colleagues from across the university who are willing to mentor newly hired women faculty and faculty of color. We are looking for people with solid institutional knowledge and who are able to:

  • Offer guidance and direction to protégés regarding professional issues
  • Direct protégés to institutional resources, experts, and source materials
  • Encourage and acknowledge protégés’ ideas and work
  • Challenge the protégé to expand their abilities
  • Provide timely, clear, and comprehensive feedback to protégés’ questions
  • Respect, value and promote protégés’ contributions to the IUP community

Mentors will work with one protégé during the academic year.

If you or someone you know would make a good BLEND mentor, please e-mail BLEND chair Crystal Machado ( with the name and e-mail address of the person you have in mind. Self-nominations are welcome.

  • Frederick Douglass Institute
  • Stright Hall, Room 108
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-3299
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.