Navigating diversity, equity, and inclusion : a journey to academic scholarship




Gutierrez, Denise, M.S. in Health Behavior and Health Education

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Introduction: The purpose of this study is to explore and identify contemporary approaches to interacting and engaging students with a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) lens among academic scholars. The research question that guided this study was: “What is the journey to develop competence in diversity, equity, and inclusion that fosters equitable teaching and interactions with college students?” Methods: Narrative analysis was conducted with The Hero’s Journey theoretical framework to showcase five participant stories and their journey towards equitable teaching.
Results: The Hero’s Journey was applied and adapted to five individual stories. Each theme presented is defined and operationalized and showcases the individual under that theme. The results are presented in five-themed journeys in narrative form. Conclusion: Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with five faculty members at tier 1, research-intensive higher education institutions in the southern United States, this study has implications for higher education best practice and future research. These learnings include the importance of a growth mindset, the cyclical nature of multiple journeys and multiple returns, and the importance and significance of mentorship.


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