Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement (MCSLE) will offer a Diversity Research Presentation Series this summer featuring IUP students and faculty.

In addition, MSCLE also will host a program on the Blairsville Underground Railroad project.

The series is a collaboration of MCSLE and other academic department at IUP, who are doing research or work that relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion work on campus.

The Summer Diversity Research programs, all offered through Zoom, are free and open to all.

Research Presentation Series programming this summer includes:

“The Miseducation of Hip-Hop: Exploring Influence, Violence, Nuance, and Racial Bias within the Perceptions of Rap Music”

June 2, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Presented by Jeremy McCool, IUP doctoral candidate in the Department of Communications Media

  • This program is a presentation of McCool's dissertation in progress, a quasi-experimental study and research investigating how racial bias may impact how audiences perceive hip-hop and politically driven rap lyrics.

“COVID's Impact on the LGBTQ Community”

June 16, 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Presented by Jennifer Demchak, a student in IUP's Safety Sciences master's program and professor at Mansfield University

  • Demchak will discuss how the LGBTQ community has faced difficulties in receiving healthcare access and overcoming negative attitudes from healthcare providers, and how these and other challenges to the LGBTQ community have caused even more stress amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This program also will explore solutions to improve future pandemic planning.

“Culturally Responsive Mentorship: Black Graduate Student and Faculty Perceptions, A Case Study Approach”

July 6, 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Presented by Veta Talton, IUP doctoral candidate in Administration and Leadership Studies (Professional Studies in Education)

  • Talton's dissertation research is a qualitative case study that investigates Black graduate students and faculty perceptions about culturally responsive mentoring and its perceived impact on the success of Black graduate students. Her research study also examines Black graduate students and faculty perceptions about institutional responses to the mentoring needs of Black graduate students who attend a rural, predominantly White, institution. The session will also discuss study findings and explore themes identified for future research.

“The Role of Diversity and Inclusion in the Field of Safety Sciences”

August 4, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Presented by a faculty panel including Department of Safety Sciences associate professors Laura Helmrich-Rhodes, Luz Marin, and Wanda Minnick; and Annah Hill, assistant chairperson of the Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services

  • The panel will discuss multidisciplinary perspectives on inclusion and diversity in the safety sciences and will explore the benefits of physical accommodations, mental health awareness, and diverse communication in a safe and healthful workplace. Panelists also will share related topics in which research activity is occurring.

The MSCLE summer calendar also includes a program on July 14 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., “Exploring the Underground Railroad in Blairsville,” a Zoom program presented by project staff and volunteers. This program is a panel discussion about how the Underground Railroad impacted Indiana County.