Multicultural Research Awards


2015 MRA Award Recipients  |  Application & Submission Materials   |    Terms and Conditions   |    Recipients Prior to 2015

IDEA Multicultural Research Awards

About the Award

The Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, IDEA, invites proposals for research that addresses issues related to its mission “to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.” 

Since it's inception in 1996, the MRA has awarded over 1.5 million dollars to more than 152 UMN faculty from at least 45 different disciplines working in equity and diversity research.

Award recipients are required to present their work as part of Diversity through the Disciplines Symposia sponsored throughout the academic year. Awardees are also encouraged to showcase their research at the Gallery of Excellence, a showcase of equity and diversity research preceding the annual equity and diversity breakfast.

Award Criteria

The following criteria is considered in evaluating proposals:

  • Proposals with a single Principal Investigator 
  • Collaborative proposals between senior and junior faculty or between faculty and graduate students
  •  Proposed research project that is:
    • Interdisciplinary, inter-collegiate, cross-cultural, and groundbreaking across disciplines, departments, colleges, or bridges the campus with local communities.
    • Innovative, transformational and engaged with or focused on diverse communities in the United States or the Global South. 

Special consideration is given to:

  • Projects on the Global South that are comparative in scope and illuminate the circumstances of people of color in the United States, including immigrants from communities of color, will be evaluated more favorably for the purpose of this award.
  • Junior faculty of color and faculty who teach in units where the proposed research will advance curricular diversity or are working on topics where research support traditionally has been difficult to obtain. 

Award Eligibility

Applications are invited from all University faculty members who hold tenured or tenure-track appointments and whose scholarly research will focus on issues related to diversity, equity, and advocacy.

Application and Submission Details

Applications Materials for 2016 Submission will be available soon.

Announcing Our 2015 MRA Award Recipients

Once again the review panel was faced with a difficult choice.  Once again we received a large number of impressive applications. Unfortunately there were a far greater number of proposals than we could fund. Congratulations to the following faculty- as our 2015 MRA award recipients: 

Assistant Professor Daheia Barr-Anderson, Kinesiology, CEHD, Twin Cities
A Mixed Methods Assessment of Family Influence on Weight-Related Behaviors among African-Americans

Professor Jigna Desai, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
Rethinking Asian American Displacement and Erasure in the U.S. South

Assistant Professor Zan Gao, School of Kinesiology, CEHD, Twin Cities
Promoting Health and Quality of Life through Smartphone Apps in Asian Immigrant Breast Cancer Survivors

Associate Professor Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Design, Housing, and Apparel / Interior Design, College of Design, Twin Cities
Toward appropriate transition environments for Native youth victims of trafficking

Assistant Professor Dan Knights, Computer Science and Engineering, CSE, Twin Cities
Immigrant Microbiome Project: Characterization of the obesogenic gut microbiome among Hmong immigrants

Associate Professor Hee Lee, School of Social Work, CEHD, Twin Cities
Asian American Immigrant Parents’ Health Literacy and its Link to Children’s Health and Mental Health Disparities

Associate Professor Keith Mayes, African American & African Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
For the Sake of Internal Security: Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and the Silencing of Black Power

Assistant Professor Olihe Okoro, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy, Duluth
Patient-satisfaction with Health Care: Experiences and perceptions of low-income African American women

Assistant Professor Jimmy Patino, Chicano & Latino Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
“A Time for Resistance”: Transnational Chicano Identity, Immigrant Rights, and Abolition Democracy in the Chicano Movement

Assistant Professor Hyejoon Rim, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, CLA, Twin-Cities
A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Corporate Social Responsibility: Public Perception of CSR in the United States, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates

Assistant Professor Jeanine Schroer, Philosophy, CLA, Duluth
The Stereotype Project

Assoc. Professor Catherine Squires, Communication Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
Hallie Q. Brown: A Life of Eloquent Citizenship

Assistant Professor Sheri Stronach, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, CLA, Twin Cities
Exploring Early Social Communication in Toddlers from Diverse Populations


Award Terms and Conditions

Award Period: The award period will be no longer than one calendar beginning June 1, 2015  and ending no later than May 31, 2016. If it is necessary to launch your research sooner than June 1, please obtain an approval from IDEA.

Award Funds: The amount of each award will vary, depending upon the nature of the research proposed and the number of meritorious applications received.
No single award will exceed $7,000.

Use of Funds: Award funds may be used to support partial summer salary, travel, research materials, research assistants, or other purposes directly related to the scholarly activity. Single semester or summer leaves, a sabbatical, or any other form of University-supported leave may not be held simultaneously with the Multicultural Research Award.

Request a Change: At any time the awardee may contact the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy to request permission to deviate from originally submitted work plan, budget or similar concern.

Unused Funds: Contact the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy if you find you will have any unused funds at the end of the award period: 

Renewing a Previous Award: Recipients may apply for an award renewal only once and it must be done for the year directly following the initial award (for example if you received an award in 2014 you may apply for a renewal only in 2015). To apply for a renewal, follow the same process as if it were a new application. All above terms and conditions apply.

Research Reporting and Sharing

Final Reporting: Principal investigators must submit a final report to the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy no later than August 31, 2016. As of this year, the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy will withhold $500 of total award until a final report has been submitted and approved (see below). Reports submitted after the deadline may result in the loss of this final award installment.  Reports may be submitted electronically via an email

The following information must be provided as part of the final report.

  • Summary of originally stated outcomes and goals,
  • Research conducted
  • Outcomes and goals met
  • Final budget that includes both originally stated amounts and final expenditures.

Final reports due no later than:
2015 awardees - August 2016
2014 awardees - August 2015

Sharing Your Research: Principal investigators are required to present the results of their research at “Diversity Through the Disciplines" symposium within two years (Spring 2015 or Spring 2016) of receiving award.  “Diversity Through the Disciplines" symposia will be scheduled at least twice each academic year. Failure to present at this symposium within 2 years of receiving award will disqualify awardee from receiving any future Multicultural Research Award.  Sabbatical and Leaves of Absence are not considered reasons for not presenting. Those who have extenuating circumstance or teach during presentation times will need to notify IDEA and make alternative arrangements to share their research such as participating in the Gallery of Excellence held as part of OED’s Annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast held in November.

Diversity Through the Disciplines participation no later than:
2014 awardees - Spring 2015 or Spring 2016
2013 awardees - Spring 2014 or Spring 2015

Application Review Committee: Finally, although it is not a requirement, recipients may be asked to support and “give back” to the Multicultural Research Awards by volunteering to be on the application review committee in the future.


2014 IDEA Multicultural Research Award Recipients

2014 marked a record year in the number of applicants applying for the award with a 35% increase in overall submissions and a 50% increase in submissions from coordinate campuses.

Abimbola Asojo, Associate Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC
Cultural Expressions In Design 

Oscar Baldelomar, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Division of Social Sciences, UMD
Immigrant Latino Families' Adaptation To Schools In Rural Contexts

Michael Ceballos, Assistant Professor, Biology, Division of Science and Math, UMM
Comparison Of Immune Factors In Tribal Cattle (Ganado Criollo) And Local (Minnesotan) Commercial Livestock Breeds

Sauman Chu, Associate Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC and
Hyunjoo Im, Assistant Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC
Examining The Impact Of Using A Bilingual Interactive Mobile App For Childhood Obesity Prevention Of Latino Americans

Oscar Garza, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Care and Health, CoP, TC
Missed Opportunities In Cancer Prevention: A Multicultural Perspective On HPV Vaccination Services

Priscilla Gibson, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, CEHD, TC
Educating Students For Competencies To Be Allies With Issues Of Oppression And Social Justice

Annie Hill, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, CLA, TC
Breaking Free: The Rhetoric Of Slavery And Redemption In Midwestern Anti-Trafficking Campaigns

Jennifer C Gomez Menjivar, Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages and Literature, CLA, UMD
Cybertopias: Global Markets, Technology and Mayan Women’s Identities in Guatemala

Jarrett Gupton, Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, CEHD, TC
 Homeless Youth In Higher Education: A Cultural Social Analysis

Tania Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Postsecondary Teaching & Learning, CEHD, TC
Service-Learning As A Racialized Pedagogy: Teaching About Race And Racism Through Community Engagemen

Kathryn Quick, Assistant Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, TC
Collaborating With American Indians To Re-Interpret And Strategize About Transportation Safety

Lin Xiu, Assistant Professor, Management Studies, Labovitz School of Business and Economics, UMD and
Hairong Feng, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, CLA, UMD
The Effects Of Gender Role Orientation And National Culture On Coping Strategies

William N. Salmon, Assistant Professor,  Writing Studies, CLA, UMD
Creole Attitudes and “Generation Y” Mayans in Belize

Tetyana Shippee, Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy & Management, SPH, TC
Racial/Ethnic Differences In Quality Of Life In Long-Term Care Settings

Roozbeh Shirazi, Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership and Policy Development, CEHD, TC
Different Rules, Different Rights? The Academic and Social Experiences of Iranian Graduate Students and Recent Graduates in the United States

Amanda Sullivan, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, CEHD, TC
When The Shield Becomes A Sword: Racial Bias In Special Education Identification



Historical list of faculty recipients prior to 2014:

Abimbola Asojo Tracie Collins Jarrett Gupton David Martinez Maria Sera
Cawo Abdi Shonda Craft Tasoulla Hadjiyanni Sarah-Jane Mathieu Paul Shaw
Linus Abraham Lesley Craig-Unkefer Ishtiyaque Haji Keith Mayes Tetyana Shippee
Rosita  Ernest Davenport Mary Hermes J.B. Mayo Roozbeh Shirazi
Ryan Allen Donald Day Annie Hill Ronald McCurdy Robert Silberman
Sheila Ards Priscilla Day Karen Ho Toni McNaron Catherine Solheim
John Arthur Amos Deinard Hyunjoo Im Dario Menanteau Michael Stebelton
Keletso Atkins Jigna Desai Zenzele Isoke Carol Miller Dara Strolovitch
Oscar Baldelomar Daniel Detzner Walter Jacobs III Edward Minnema Francis Shen
Heidi Barajas Jill Doerfler Leola Johnson Tania Mitchell Roxanne Struthers 
Kathleen Barlow Joycelyn Dorscher Tadd Johnson Lorena Munoz Amanda Sullivan
Manuel Barrera Susan Everson-Rose Rhonda Jones-Webb Bic Ngo Teresa Swartz
Kenneth Bartlett Kale Fajardo Angelica Lawson Ruby Nguyen Moin Syed
Joseph Bauerkemper David Feinberg Erika Lee Deniz Ones Carla Tabourne
Louis Bellamy Karen Feldt Hee Lee Yuichiro Onishi Bedassa Tadesse
James Bequette Hairong Feng Josephine Lee Corliss Outley Natasha Tinsley
Martha Bigelow Katherine Fennelly Richard Lee Clifford Panton Eden Torres
David Born Colette Gaiter Helga Leitner Lisa Park David Treuer
Elizabeth Boyle Keya Ganguly Carolyn Liebler Jimmy Patino Jeanne Tsai
Rose Brewer Carolyn Garcia Malinda Lindquist Julie Pelletier Carolyn Tubbs
Geraldine Brookins Oscar Garza Ruth Lindquist David Pellow Sherri Turner
Clint Carroll Solomon Gashaw Catherine Liu Jennifer Pierce William Turner
Bianet Castellanos Rebecca Gercken Enid Logan Gwendolyn Pough  Bhaskar Upadhyay
Michael Ceballos Priscilla Gibson Margaret Kamau Kathryn Quick Dennis Valdes
Ananya Chatterjea Njeri Githire David Karjanen Elizabeth Quintero Ross VeLure Roholt
Maria Cheng Michael Goh Young-Nam Kim Luis Ramos-Garcia Leah Walker McGuire
Vichet Chhuon Jennifer Gomez Menjivar Kendall King Angelita Reyes Elizabeth Wieling
Brenda Child Marti Hope Gonzales Katy Backes Kozhimannil Cheryl Robertson Gloria Williams
Linda Chlan Ramon Gonzales Rachmi Diyah Larasati Beatrice Robinson Kirt Wilson
Catherine Choy Katy Gray Brown Bernadette Longo Michael Rodriguez John Wright
Sauman Chu Tabitha Grier-Reed Lynn Lukkas Rebecca Ropers-Huilman Zha Xiong
Lesa Clarkson Laila Gulzar Yat Sang (Terry) Lurn William Salmon Lin Xiu
        Jiyoon Yoon
        Virginia Zuiker