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Diversity Programs

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program

The Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program is a SUNY-wide initiative that offers fellowships to students who have been admitted to graduate or professional study. This program is intended to assist in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of students in doctoral and master’s level programs who can demonstrate that they contribute to the diversity of the student body, especially those who can show that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.

For the 2017-2018 year, ODEI distributed $8,764,564 to 25 campuses that awarded fellowships to 416 graduate students: 122 African-American recipients (29%); 121 Latino recipients (24%); 18 White recipients (16%); 7 Native American recipients (2%); and 26 Asian recipients (6%). Sixty-two percent (259) of the awards went to women, thirty-eight percent (157) went to men. 

Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship Program

The Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship Program is a state-wide undergraduate scholarship program for students from a broad range of background who will contribute to the diversity of the student body in their campus or academic program. Eligible students must be enrolled in a degree program and have demonstrated high academic achievement characteristic of an honors program. For the 2017-2018 academic year, ODEI awarded scholarships averaging at $1,842 to 854 undergraduates at 45 institutions.

Native American Initiative

The Native American Initiative is part of a consortium of post-secondary institutions in the North Country and western part of New York State that have come together to provide programs that address the specific educational needs of Native American students. 

SUNY’s support of the Native American Initiative funds programming at two campus locations (Fredonia and Potsdam). SUNY Fredonia is home to the Native American SUNY: Western Consortium, which includes liaisons from the Seneca Nation of Indians (Cattaraugus and Alleghany Territories), the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, the Tuscarora Nation, the Cayuga Nation and the Onondaga Nation. A member of the Northern Consortium, SUNY Potsdam serves the members of the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation at Akwesasne (U.S. and Canada).

The overall goal of these two programs focuses on recruitment, access, retention and graduation of Native American students in higher education. There are a variety of student support services and activities associated with these two programs.  More specifically, these activities revolve around campus and community involvement, student development, counseling, networking, information sharing, cultural events and academic support.

Diversity Abroad Honors Scholarship Program

The Diversity Abroad Honors Scholarship Program (DAHSP) is committed to supporting opportunities that recognize the transformative experience of studying abroad as students prepare for future careers in increasingly global environments. ODEI strives to eliminate the gap in attracting, serving and graduating underrepresented populations while promoting inclusive educational programs that reward academic excellence along with its broader mission in expanding students’ knowledge of diverse peoples throughout the world. ODEI would like to encourage campuses to nominate students who might not otherwise be able to study abroad for a Diversity Abroad Honors Scholarship through their campus Study Abroad Office or Vice President for Academic Affairs.

ODEI has created this program to help offset the costs of participating in an approved international program of study or research.  Scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis, and these stipends must include a source of matching funds from the campus equal to or greater than the award.

Doctoral Diversity Fellowships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

The Doctoral Diversity Fellowships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is awarded to academically exceptional students who have been admitted to SUNY’s doctoral degree granting institutions and will commence their graduate studies in STEM fields. The President of the National Academy of Engineering explained that the nation’s economic leadership and national security would likely decline if universities fail to increase the participation of minorities in STEM fields. As one of the nation’s largest public universities in one of the most demographically diverse states in the union, SUNY has a particular interest in developing creative approaches to expand diversity in its science and engineering doctoral programs.

Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence

The ‌Exploration in Diversity and Academic Excellence initiative provides SUNY’s state-operated universities and colleges with support for innovative approaches that illuminate and strengthen the intersections between diversity and academic excellence. Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those that involve improving the campus climate, improving access and success for students, course development and pedagogical innovations, conferences and symposia, film and speakers series, recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, faculty research, campus-community dialogues, campus surveys that can be used to further any of the above, and other comparable programs. 


SUNY Replication Project

The SUNY Strategic Plan through its Seamless Education Pipeline emphasizes the need to create seamless transfer opportunities for the students from the community colleges to four-year institutions. A model for this seamless transfer exists in the Baccalaureate and Beyond Community College Mentoring Program established at Purchase College. The SUNY Provost’s Office and the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) has sought to replicate some of the Purchase College ideas for seamless transfer throughout the SUNY System. Called the SUNY Replication Project, it is headed up by the founder of the Purchase Program, Dr. Joseph Skrivanek. Dr. Skrivanek is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Purchase and is coordinating the replication efforts through the SUNY ODEI.

View an outline of the
SUNY Replications Program

The Baccalaureate and Beyond Community College Mentoring Program was founded sixteen years ago with major funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, PepsiCo Foundation, and private donors and corporations. The goal of the program is to aid underrepresented minority, financially disadvantaged, and first generation community college students in completing a Bachelor’s degree in various fields of the liberal arts and sciences. Over 600 students have participated in the program. Eighty-three percent have completed their AA/AS degree and are transferring to four-year institutions and 71% of these students are completing their Bachelor’s degrees. These figures compare to a national transfer rate of 30% and a bachelor’s completion rate of only 17%. Thirty-three percent of the students are pursuing post-graduate opportunities. The Baccalaureate and Beyond Community College Mentoring Program received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Education Mentoring (PAESMEM) from President Obama in 2011.

Work on the Replication Project began with the "Building Bridges in STEM: Expanding SUNY's Collaboration Among Community Colleges and Four-Year Institutions" Conference in November 2010, funded by grants from the SUNY Provost's Office and the SUNY ODEI. The conference was attended by 30 two-year and four-year institutions. The purposes of the conference were to: 1) share information on the two-year to four-year transition; 2) explore elements of what a program would entail; and 3) formalize a consortium of interested institutions that would formulate a blueprint for collaborative action. In discussions following the conference with the interested institutions and the SUNY Provost, a regional approach was decided upon. A second Replication Conference, "Connecting and Collaborating to Foster SUNY STEM Student Success", was held in Albany in November, 2012. The conference featured presentations by regional partners on efforts to promote student success.

Thirty-one SUNY institutions (19 two-year and 12 four-year) are presently working in five regions throughout New York State on the Replication Project:

Greater Capital Region: North Central:
Four-Year: Cobleskill, Oneonta, ‌Empire State, Delhi Four-Year: Potsdam
Two-Year: Broome, Fulton-Montgomery, Herkimer, Mohawk Valley, Tompkins Cortland Two-Year: Jefferson, North Country
Lower Hudson: Western:
Four-Year: Purchase Four-Year: Oswego, Geneseo, Brockport, Buffalo State
Two-Year: Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester Two-Year: Monroe, Genesee, Niagara, Finger Lakes
Long Island:
Four-Year: Stony Brook, Old Westbury  
Two-Year: Farmingdale, Nassau  

The Regional Partnerships each have Advisory Committees composed of one faculty and one administrator from each institution. In addition there is an overall Steering Committee composed of the Project Director and two representatives from each of the regional partnerships. Under Dr. Skrivanek’s leadership, the SUNY ODEI is seeking additional funding for the Replication Project.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI)