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Excite the Dream

By Keith Pierce

According to national statistics, nearly 60% of U.S. college students are women, and by 2050 minorities will exceed 50% of the U.S. population. While faculty diversity on college campuses has been a topic of nationwide discussion since the 1960s, when the civil rights movement made higher education equity a national priority, recruiting and retaining diverse faculty remains a challenge.

Old Dominion University plans to rise above the statistics with Excite the Dream ODU, a new program aimed at recruiting underrepresented scholars pursuing careers in academia.

"Excite the Dream ODU is a unique program offering scholars the opportunity to meet and learn from award-winning faculty," said Narketta Sparkman-Key, associate professor and academic affairs director for faculty diversity and retention. "It affords underrepresented scholars the opportunity to gain inspired insight into the profession."

Excite the Dream is designed to cultivate skills in teaching, research, grant writing and innovative use of technology. The one-day, all-expenses-paid experience includes workshops from award-winning ODU professors focused on these areas. Visiting scholars will also participate in a campus tour and even have opportunities to present their research agenda to deans, department chairs and potential hiring committee members.

"This program is unlike any other and really offers scholars the chance to explore what ODU has to offer," Sparkman-Key said. "It also provides the opportunity to become familiar with scholarly expectations from one of the best research-intensive universities on the East Coast."

The program will take place Feb. 9-10, 2020. Applications are due by Dec. 1 and must include CV, research statement, teaching philosophy and a cover letter that includes a statement of interest.

To apply or for more information visit https://www.odu.edu/acadaffairs/faculty-diversity/excite-the-dream.

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