Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship


Faculty of Color Uniting for Success (FOCUS) Summer 2018 Institute funded by a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS).

This project, initiated by Southwestern University, Millsaps College, and Hendrix College, addresses challenges faced by faculty of color in their path to success in the academy. This national issue manifests itself in particular ways at liberal arts colleges, where faculty of color are far less likely to have colleagues of color in their department or area. And because the increasing enrollment of students of color at these institutions has not been matched by increased numbers of faculty of color, these faculty members often have out-sized responsibilities for mentoring students and service.  The summer program is focused on scholarship, networking, self-care, professional advancement, navigating service demands, and the challenges that faculty of color encounter within the academy. After the summer institute, participants will engage in peer mentoring across the academic year. The program also seeks to educate our institutions about creating more inclusive policies and campuses.

Summer 2018 Program | June 10-15, Southwestern University

Resources for Faculty and Administrators

Additional Information

Dates: In Year 1 of the project, the 2018 summer institute will run June 10-15 on the campus of Southwestern University.  In Year 2, the institute will be held at Hendrix College in Arkansas. In Year 3, it will move to Millsaps College in Mississippi.

Funding: Participants’ supplies and most meals will be paid for by the ACS FOCUS grant. Faculty traveling from other institutions will also be provided with travel funding and on-campus housing.

Who can participate?: The project encourages applications from faculty of color across the range of positions: pre-tenure, tenured faculty, and faculty in administrative roles, with priority given to early-career scholars.  Administrative faculty of color will include institutional leaders such as deans, as well as faculty scholars who are currently serving in administrative capacities such as full-time positions managing centers or programs. We define “faculty of color” broadly and inclusively. While standard categories of race and ethnicity may be essential for benchmarking on a national scale, our place-based project will open the program to all eligible participants who self-identify as underrepresented faculty of color or who are among the international faculty who lack peers sharing their national or cultural heritage.

FOCUS Steering Committee & Program Directors

In the fall of 2017, faculty and staff from three ACS institutions applied for the first FOCUS grant.  They outlined a 3-year plan for developing an institute that would rotate among the campuses of this group.  

FOCUS Steering Committee

  • Alicia Moore, Associate Professor of Education, Southwestern University
  • Brenda Sendejo, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Latin American and Border Studies Program, Southwestern University
  • Julie Sievers, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Southwestern University
  • Larkin Tom, Senior Director of Foundation Relations, Southwestern University
  • Louwanda Evans, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Millsaps College
  • Anita DeRouen, Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing and Teaching, Millsaps College
  • Dionne Jackson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Professor of Education, Hendrix College
  • Felipe Pruneda Senties, Interim Director of Hendrix Writing Center, Hendrix College


FOCUS Program Directors

Year One Program Director, Dr. Alicia Moore: Dr. Moore is Associate Professor and Cargill Endowed Professor in the Department of Education at Southwestern University.  Her scholarly areas of focus include culturally responsive teaching, differentiated instruction for diverse populations, and African American life, history, and education. In addition, Dr. Moore brings her professional experience of being a tenured woman of color at a predominantly white, Southern institution and her years of experience organizing and facilitating workshops.    

Year Two Program Directors, Dr. Dionne Jackson and Dr. Felipe Pruneda Senties: Dr. Jackson is Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Education at Hendrix College.  Her scholarly expertise includes science education and recruiting and preparing STEM teachers.  In her work as CDO at Hendrix, she has attended the Cornell University Faculty Institute for Diversity Train the Trainer workshop and has worked closely with faculty of color at Hendrix to explore their needs and interests. She is a principal or co-investigator for Hendrix’s Mellon-funded diversity and inclusion initiative as well as a Noyce STEM teacher education initiative.  Dr. Felipe Pruneda Senties teaches academic writing and film studies at Hendrix College, where he also directs the Writing Center. He recently contributed the article ‘Writing from the mouth of shadows: Creativity as ethics in the screenwriting of Jean-Claude Carrière’ to the collection Ethics in Screenwriting: New Perspectives (2016), edited by Steven Maras. He also brings his own experience as a faculty man of color at Hendrix.

Year Three Program Director, Dr. Anita DeRouen:  Dr. DeRouen is an Assistant Professor of English at Millsaps and Director of Writing and Teaching.  Her scholarly expertise includes representations of race, gender, and sexuality in television, the teaching of writing, as well as curriculum and program development at liberal arts colleges. At Millsaps, she directs the writing program and faculty development programs, and she also brings her own experience as a faculty woman of color at Millsaps.