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UNMC Faculty Diversity Fund announces award recipients

Image with caption: Gary Yee, PharmD

Gary Yee, PharmD

Six UNMC faculty members recently have been awarded funding from the UNMC Faculty Diversity Fund.

"Diversity is a key element of the UNMC community and its values, and we embrace the richness of diversity to promote unity within this community," said Gary Yee, PharmD, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. "The Faculty Diversity Fund represents a tangible commitment to achieving these goals and is targeted toward the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty."

Dr. Yee said the goal of the funds is to hire or retain diverse faculty at UNMC. The funding is for faculty development and research; it cannot be used to support salaries, compensate for revenue losses or replace other funding.

This year's recipients are:

  • Liliana Bronner, assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • Mark Darby, instructor, College of Nursing
  • Shirley Delair, MD, associate professor, College of Medicine
  • Suhasini Kotcherlakota, PhD, assistant professor, College of Nursing
  • Abraham Mengist, PhD, assistant professor, College of Public Health
  • Kendra Ratnapradipa, PhD, assistant professor, College of Public Health

Eligibility is limited to the recruitment of potential new faculty and/or retention of current faculty members. Criteria for eligibility include both of the following:

  • Applicant/nominee contributes diverse cultural experiences, background or special talents that lead to a richer and more diverse campus environment that can be evaluated on an individual basis; and
  • Applicant/nominee must demonstrate a track record of commitment to the service of underserved communities and/or patients.

Dr. Yee said college or departmental funds that are released as a result of the receipt of a diversity award are expected to be re-invested in the faculty member's research or other scholarly activity as a means of advancing his/her professional development.

Examples include, but are not limited to, start-up funds, release time to permit professional development, or to match state or national educational debt reduction awards. For clinical faculty, funds may be invested in clinical projects (e.g., community outreach initiatives) but not to replace base salary.

Diversity funds may be awarded for up to $50,000 per year for up to two years. Funding for a second year will be contingent on submission of an annual progress report, which is reviewed by the Diversity Fund committee that includes faculty from each college.

Applications will be emailed to faculty members by their respective colleges. Applications will be reviewed twice per year and awarded in January and July. The deadline for applications is Oct. 15 and April 15 of each year. Completed applications should be submitted to Dr. Yee.

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