Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows (DIFF)

Mission, Vision, and Planning 

Mission Statement 

The Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows (DIFF), in alignment with Strategic Pillar 3 – Inclusive Excellence within the Georgia Southern University Strategic Plan, will serve as advocates and agents of change in addressing broad issues of diversity and inclusion for faculty and graduate students on the campus of Georgia Southern University. Our overarching goal is to cultivate a community of like-minded colleagues who desire to shape the current conversations about higher education around issues of diversity and inclusiveness. We will do this by (1) developing and curating diversity and inclusion resources available to faculty and graduate students, and (2) providing opportunities for exposure and sensitization to issues related to diversity and inclusion in higher education. 

Who We Are 

The current group of DIFF represents a range of departments and most colleges at Georgia Southern University. Click the members’ names to read their biographies. 

  • Lisa Costello (College of Arts and Humanities, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Writing and Linguistics) 
  • Nikki DiGregorio (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Human Ecology) 
  • Stacy Smallwood (Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Health Policy and Community Health) 
  • Dina Walker-DeVose (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Human Ecology) 
  • Rochelle Bornett Lee (Waters College of Health Professions, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences) 
  • Peggy Shannon-Baker (College of Education, Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading) 
  • Clare Walsh (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Sociology and Anthropology) 
  • Alexandra Reyes (College of Education, Middle Grades and Secondary Education) 

Brief History on How DIFF Came to Be 

The organization known as DIFF was born out of a panel discussion on diversity & inclusion in the classroom, which was part of the Fall 2017 new faculty orientation. Based on the high attendance and positive feedback from attendees, a representative from the Center for Teaching Excellence recognized both the importance of and demand for ongoing diversity & inclusion training opportunities for instructors. The four panelists (Drs. Costello, DiGregorio, Smallwood, and Walker-DeVose) became the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows. Since then, DIFF has grown to include other faculty members from the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses with expertise in and commitment to diversity and inclusion in the classroom. 

Past and Current DIFF Work 

To date, DIFF has designed and led several faculty and staff professional development workshops. DIFF members have also designed, co-facilitated, and participated in other university events and activities. 

  • New faculty orientation (Fall 2017) 
  • Unpacking Privilege (Fall 2018, Statesboro & Armstrong campuses, at the request of the President’s Diversity Advisory Council) 
  • Diversity & Inclusion in the Classroom: What’s the DIFF? (Spring 2018, Statesboro campus; Fall 2018, Statesboro & Armstrong campuses) 
  • Addressing Identity and Stereotype Threat (Spring 2019, Statesboro & Armstrong campuses) 
  • Privilege and Owning Our Biases (Spring 2020, Georgia Southern Professional Development Day) 

Last updated: 5/18/2020

Office of Inclusive Excellence • 11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA  31419 • (912) 344-2669 • tajuanwilson@georgiasouthern.edu