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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:

Spring 2014 Semester

February 24
The Politics of Higher Education: Navigating the Academic Terrain
Stabley 210, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Facilitators: Shijuan (Laurel) Liu (Foreign Languages), Maureen McHugh (Psychology), Theresa McDevitt (Library), Melissa Swauger (Sociology)

March 26
Networking Like a Pro
Stabley 210, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Facilitators: Crystal Machado, Jin Su, and presenters of previous sessions who are coming back to answer your questions.

April 17
“Your Year Two” Workshop for Mentors and their Protégés
Stabley 210, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Facilitators: Shirley Johnson, Veronica Watson and other BLEND mentors.

Fall 2013 Semester

September 30
Mentoring Workshop for Protégés

Stabley 210, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Veronica Watson and Crystal Machado

October 15
IUP Culture Unpacked: A Panel of Junior and Senior Faculty Tell All

Stouffer 138, 3:30–4:45 p.m.
Facilitators: Shirley Johnson, Crystal Machado

November 20 
Balancing Teaching, Research, and Service

Stabley 210, 3:30–4:45 p.m.
Facilitators: Veronica Watson, Jin Su, Melanie Hilderbrandt

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 Dr. 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.