ODOS / Resources / Strategic Initiative Grant (SIG) Program / 2013-14 Awards

2013-14 Awards

Strategic Initiative Grants

International Night January 23, 2014

Submitted by: Juan Acevedo, Illini Union
Co-sponsors: International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)

International Night will feature International Student registered student organizations that will disseminate information about their organization and culture through a fair and entertainment event. The goal is two-fold, (1) to empower student organizations that represent international communities and diversity, and international students by allowing them to help plan the "International Fair," (2) to allow the U of I student population to learn about the diversity and uniqueness of the University of Illinois, and world at large through live performances and activities. The event strives to attract 600-700 attendees.

Intercultural Horizons Internship

Submitted by: David Chih, Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations (OIIR)
Co-sponsors: Asian American Cultural Center, Diversity Education, ISSS, University YMCA

Approximately 15 domestic and 15 International Students will commit to meet once a week for a year-long cultural competency class, group projects, presentations, and poster displays for the public. Students will participate in service learning projects in surrounding local, State, and in the second year, international communities. Students will explore their own identities and deepen ties to Urbana-Champaign, extend their influence to community organizations in Chicago, and better understand social justice issues.

Jazz Playformance

Submitted by: Ashley Davis, OIIR
Co-sponsors: Bruce Nesbitt African American Center & School of Music

The students will experience, discover and explore the creation of music and theatre. They will learn the history of jazz, develop composing/writing skills, performance technique, and stage comfort. Upon successful completion of the course, the students will understand the collaborative process of the musicality of jazz-text composition and performance. In addition, the students will learn how to navigate musical composition software.

Multi-Racial & Multi-Ethnic Students Initiative

Submitted by: Kenny Importante, OIIR
Co-sponsors: Asian American Cultural Center, Native American House, La Casa Cultural Latina, Social Justice & Leadership Education

The initiative will consist of five prominent speakers, an ice cream social, and monthly roundtable discussions. The speakers are experts in their fields and have conducted extensive research, published and/or presented on topics related to multi-racial or multi-ethnic students in higher education. The speakers will be Gian Carlos Esposito, Actor; Louie Gong, President of MAVIN Foundation, Mixed Heritage Center; Laura Kina, faculty member in American Studies, Global Asian Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University; Becky Martinez, Social Justice Training Institute faculty member; and Ken Tanabe, Adjunct faculty at Parsons the New School for Design.


Submitted by: Rory James, Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center
Co-sponsors: Diversity Education & Social Justice, Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

MENgageMENT is an African American and Latino male student retention program. Students participate in peer-mentoring, mentoring of local high school students and faculty/staff mentoring. All MENgageMENT participants are required to identify a mentor and mentee and build an ongoing relationship with these individuals. Participants will attend workshops, a retreat, and will be recognized through the “Ebony Excellence Awards.” The program uses a “train the trainer” model to ensure ongoing development and leadership opportunities. Participants from the first two cohorts have improved their grade point average and academic behaviors (e.g., meet with faculty more often, turn in assignments on time, study more, etc.).

Latina/o Resilience: A META Component on Mental Health Wellness and Awareness for the Retention and Success of Latina/o Students

Submitted by: Victoria Kann, OIIR
Co-sponsors: La Casa Cultural Latina, Department of Latina/o Studies, Counseling Center

This is a new component to the META Latino/a retention program which will focus on mental health. In conjunction with this component a one credit Latina/o Special Topics (390) class will be coordinated. Mental health wellness and awareness within a collective cultural context as an integral component to retention and graduation will be addressed. This component will include workshops and trainings by the Counseling Center to train students to be outreach representatives. Additional workshops include encountering past trauma through narrative performance; a performance and debriefing. Other activities will include informational workshops for registered student organizations and Greek organizations affiliated with La Casa; development of a one hour course that will train students as META facilitators; and development of an assessment instrument to track individual interventions for La Casa.

Strategies for Enhancing the Outreach and Transition of Student Veterans

Submitted by: Tracy Kleparski, Campus Recreation
Co-sponsors: Veterans Student Support Services, Tenant Union, Disability Resources & Educational Services, Counseling Center, University Housing, Career Center, Women’s Resources Center

This project includes a monthly speaker program that brings together representatives from student affairs units and veteran students. Veteran students will learn how specific units can help them to be successful at UIUC and participating units will learn from veterans what their specific needs are. Participating student affairs units will craft veteran-specific informational materials. Additionally, unit representatives will learn how to become a veteran “ally” and a point of contact for incoming student veterans.

Verdell-Frazier Awards

Campus Body Image Initiative

Submitted by: Rachel Storm, Women’s Resources Center
Co-sponsors: Fraternity & Sorority Affairs, University Housing, Counseling Center, McKinley Health Center

The Campus Body Image Initiative is a collaborative effort to engage students in on-going dialogue and consciousness-raising about the cultural issues that result in pervasive body image struggles among women. The initiative consists of two six week body image action discussion and support groups (one per semester) and national guest speakers. Ragen Chastain of Dances with Fat and Sonya Renee Taylor, a poet, activist and transformational leader will be the guest speakers. Paraprofessionals from the McKinley Health Center will assist with promotion, attend events, and participate in the discussion/support group series.

SisterHood Project

Submitted by: Ashley Davis, OIIR
Co-sponsors: Counseling Center, Black Chorus, Department of African American Studies

The SisterHood Project will consist of roundtables, presentations, and other sharing sessions that address the media portrayal of African American women and its effect on African American female students on campus. Students will engage in critical perspective taking, self-reflections, discussions, presentations, and assignments. The project hopes that by empowering African American female students with knowledge it will increase their self-esteem and they will be enabled to deal with any negative images they may face.