Skip to main content

Our Projects



2023-2024 Projects


Inclusion at Work: Diversity in Careers


Project Advisor: Erin Massey, Senior Associate Director of Career Services


IEFI Fellow: Aashish Panta


This project is designed to explore DEI in careers around such topics as imposter syndrome, interviewing, employer evaluation, building social capital, self advocacy, and presentation of self. It will also inform students and our community of best practices.

  • Explore latest trends of DEI in careers 
  • Explore and benchmark best practices at other institutions
  • Conceptualize and implement a program on campus that will offer support and education to students from diverse backgrounds on how to navigate their careers. 


We’ve Always Been Here: History of LGBTQ+ Project


Project Advisor: Tiffany Thompson, Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence | Paige Jennings, Director of Gender & Sexuality CENTER



In its 3rd year, this project will continue where it left off. The project will centrally document the history of the LGBTQ+ community at Swarthmore College and to think about future work to be accomplished. 

  • Review the findings of the last two years and begin to map out a comprehensive and easily accessible multimedia archive that documents the lives and stories of Swarthmore’s LGBTQ+ communities that will build on what already exists at McCabe Library. 
  • Work to highlight BIPOC, trans, and non-binary stories that are more than often erased even within the community.


Intersectional Sustainability


Project Advisor: Clare Hyre, Associate Director of Sustainability 


IEFI Fellow: Bidhata Pathak


This project seeks to expand the understanding of intersectional sustainability in relation to sustainability work on campus, especially in regards to environmental justice and other social justice practices.

  • Assist in developing Intersectional Sustainability training for students involved in Sustainability Office programs.
  • Think of ways to develop Intersectional Sustainability programming with the broader campus community.


Good Trouble & Good Eats


Project Advisor: Michelle D. Ray, Associate Dean and Director of Case Management | Director of the Inclusive Excellence Fellows Initiative


IEFI Fellow: Sophia Cáceres


The goal of this project is to build a community of commonalities through storytelling and connection. It will examine how our own actions and the actions of others impact our sense of belongingness and explore how to identify and tear down barriers that cause us to feel isolated. This project will encourage participants to expand their personal concepts and begin building foundations for friendships all over good food.

  • Host a progressive meal throughout the academic year that will permit a small group of diverse students, faculty, and staff to learn more about each other and challenge themselves to grow together.  
  • Creatively guide the participants to chronicle and share their experience with our community.
  • Journal the overall experience.


Radical Practice of Care


Project Advisor: Ashley Netanel, Health & Wellness Educator


IEFI Fellow: Natalie Pham


The purpose of this project is to identify practices of sustainable care for self, community, and across differences especially for those involved in social justice work. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (and participating in any social justice/activist effort) can be exhausting and stressful work that often falls on the shoulders of marginalized groups who can experience burnout and ultimately disengagement.

  • Research skills and practices that can allow the Swarthmore Community who engage in DEI and social justice work to take care of themselves, their communities, and practice care across identities/perspectives. 
  • Utilize these practices of care to develop a program that imparts these to increase the capacity for continued DEI involvement.
  • Identify campus partners that may have knowledge of or engage in such practices for possible collaboration in creating and facilitating a program, series, or retreat that focuses on the development of essential care skills/practices. 


Inclusion at the Core: A Toolkit for SWAT Student Social Life


Project Advisor: Ben Shalk, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership


IEFI Fellow: Mya Chuluundorj


The goal of this project is to engage Swarthmore’s diverse student population and gain a better understanding of student perspectives/feedback/ideas around student social life. This project seeks to  further enhance the overall student experience and develop an inclusive toolkit for student social life that can be shared with the Swarthmore community. 

  • Seek student perspectives/feedback/ideas and generate a comprehensive report for the further development of student social life. 
  • Provide recommendations based on student feedback to enhance both structured and unstructured programming in the community.
  • Develop an inclusive toolkit to accommodate a variety of student voices and diverse perspectives and  assist with the implementation process. 


Voting and Inclusion at Swarthmore


Project Advisor: David Foreman, Director of Institutional Relations


IEFI Fellow: Madeline "Joe" Fox


Research the history of voting at the College. Explore recently compiled Swarthmore student voting survey data to understand what student voting patterns reveal and to identify what the college might do to support and increase student voter turnout for different student demographics.

  • The work must be nonpartisan in that it does not advocate for a particular political party or agenda.
  • Research Questions to consider:
    • Do the patterns of national disenfranchisement by race and income also occur within the Swarthmore community?
    • Nationally, communities of color have suffered from systematic disenfranchisement due to legislation designed to make it more difficult for them to cast votes -- how do the patterns of exclusion reinforce themselves on the Swarthmore campus or on college campuses more generally? 
    • How have students approached voting over time at Swarthmore, and are our current student attitudes much different than those of 10, 20 or 30 years ago?
    • How do other campuses promote voting in ways that help to overcome efforts to disenfranchise populations as defined by race, gender, class,and age?
    • The 26th amendment fundamentally changed how colleges and universities approached voting in the US by making all or almost all college students eligible to vote. How was this amendment received at Swarthmore in 1971? 
    • Survey data compiled every two years about Swarthmore student voting shows that student voting has increased over the past six years. However, it has not increased for every subset of the student population. For example, why have some majors shown greater increases than others? Why do women vote in greater numbers than men?
  • Produce materials that can help promote voting among students with a specific emphasis on underrepresented populations and traditionally disenfranchised.
    • The work must be nonpartisan in that it does not advocate for a particular political party or agenda.
  • Speak with public audiences on voting, voting research, voting resources, etc. 
    • Engage alumni from the early 70s who may have been involved in voting rights advocacy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 26th amendment


Uncovering Swarthmore’s International Community


Project Advisor: Kathryn Melvin, Student & scholar immigration specialist


IEFI Fellow: Michael ugwe


How long have international students been coming to Swarthmore? What was it like to be an international student 50, 25, 10 years ago and now? How do we continue to strengthen and grow this community? This project hopes to answer these questions and more by capturing and lifting up the experiences, history, contributions and presence of the international community at Swarthmore College. It will examine how the international community has developed over time and seek to tell the stories of international community members, with the intention to continue to build our global community on campus.

  • Identify key campus partners in our journey to uncover the history of the international community.
  • Collect data from identified campus partners to establish a timeline of key events impacting the international community at Swarthmore.
  • Begin work to highlight international community experiences on campus and beyond through storytelling, art and narratives.


Power the Narrative Through Art Project: (P9)

Project Advisor: Chandra Moss-Thorne, Lecturer- Dance 
IEFI Fellows: Annie Hauze & June Shin


This project’s mission is to examine how art can be used as a form of social justice and better represent artists from marginalized groups. This project will build off the work done over the previous years.

  • Host educational programs that allow the Swarthmore community to engage with different forms of art and artistry, highlighting the history, importance, and/or social impact. 
  • Identify and implement other creative ways to engage the Swarthmore community to uplift underrepresented artisans. 


Redefining Wellness: The Spirituality Awakening Project


Project Advisors: Sabrina LaBelle, Protestant Student Advisor | Umar Abdul Rahman, Muslim Student Advisor | Michael Ramberg, Jewish Student Advisor


IEFi Fellow: Laura Wentzel


This project seeks to learn more about the campus climate around spirituality and students' spiritual lives. Spirituality is a key aspect of identity for many people and a crucial resource for wellness. We are under the impression that mainstream campus culture discourages spirituality, thus inhibiting this identity and limiting its wellness benefits. 

  • Find out how students define spirituality and what currently supports and inhibits students' spirituality.
  • Identify new opportunities for supporting students' spirituality. 
  • Create a campus atmosphere that encourages spirituality as a key part of identity and provide greater access to spirituality as a resource for wellness.


The Next 50 Years at The BCC: Explorations for the Future

Project Advisor: Karima Bouchenafa, Assistant dean & Director, black cultural center
IEFi Fellow: Zuri Eason


The Black Cultural Center has a rich Swarthmore history and a very exciting and very promising future. This project is designed to find interesting ways to share and celebrate the BCC's curated history with the SWAT community, including alumni, and then creatively and collectively generate an expansive vision for the future of the BCC.

  • Develop a plan to explore the history and the future of the BCC with our Swarthmore community (including community beyond campus).
  • Work with the BCC staff to create BCC history-sharing opportunities for the community.
  • Work with the BCC staff and community to creatively gain insight about and create an expansive vision for the future of the BCC.


Writing Peer Leaders Emboldened for Inclusion: Progressively Reimagining DEI Training for Writing Associates

Project Advisor: Alba Newmann Holmes, Director, Writing Associates Program & Assistant Professor, English
IEFI Fellow: Lena Habtu


The leadership team of the Writing Associates program is committed to selecting and educating WAs from a wide variety of backgrounds, so that all students at Swat can see themselves reflected in our program. That diversity alone does not, however, guarantee that all students who become WAs have a baseline of cultural competency for engaging with peers whose backgrounds are different from their own. We recognize the need to hold sustained conversations, as new WAs are brought into the program each year, about race, whiteliness, and the operations of power, especially as these are expressed around academic writing. This work is necessary to foster an inclusive community within the WA program and to support all writers with whom we work. We begin these conversations in our semester-long tutor education course: English/Education 1C, and seek to continue them in subsequent Writing Program Meetings (or “WPMs”). 

We are interested in partnering with one or more Inclusive Excellence Fellows to develop a series of staff meeting topics and activities to build inclusive excellence. One of the questions we seek to address is: how do we educate and support all the members of our community (57 WAs) to recognize and respond to the operations of race and power, when some members are already so much more aware of and impacted by these operations than others?

Several years ago two of our Lead Fellows (experienced WAs in leadership positions) designed and facilitated a series of staff meetings, focused around anti-racism. We want to hold onto the important work that they created, but also build upon the framework of those initial meetings to create a curriculum that is capable of bringing new WAs into the conversation each year without simply repeating the last year’s staff meeting activities for returning WAs.

Last year, 534 Swarthmore students met with a Course-WA; 351 individual students also made use of the Writing Center. Partnering with the Writing Associates Program means reaching not only the WAs themselves, but also having the opportunity to positively impact the experiences of the many students with whom we work. We are hopeful that opportunity will appeal to some of the IE Fellows.

Through this partnership we hope to:

  • Have a series of preliminary conversations with the IE Fellow(s) in the fall, to draw from their experience and expertise in running anti-racism trainings in other programs
  • Have the IE Fellow(s) help us to gather up-to-date materials and resources to inform our practices
  • In the spring, have them help the current Lead Fellow team facilitate a series of staff meetings or workshops for the WA community.