TIDE Ambassadors Fellowship

TIDE Ambassadors Fellowship

Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, & Equity

The CTL will pause the TIDE Ambassadors Program during the 2024 – 2025 academic year. Kirsten Helmer, the program lead, will be on Professional Development Leave during Fall 2024. Applications for the 2025-2026 TIDE Ambassador cohort will be available in February 2025.


About TIDE

Paige, Raeann, David, and Anne engaged in a small group discussion
Paige Warren, Raeann Leblanc, David McLaughlin,
and Anne Ciecko engaged in a small group discussion

In 2016–2017, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) inaugurated a new year long faculty fellowship, the TIDE Ambassadors Program (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity). This program supports the UMass Diversity Strategic Plan and recognizes the vital role that faculty fulfill in creating an inclusive and equitable college experience for students.

TIDE Ambassadors explore how they can enhance students’ learning and academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences by adopting a strength-based, inclusive, and equitable approach to teaching and learning grounded in the value of diversity. The program acknowledges the potential of faculty functioning as catalysts for change through intensive professional development of faculty across disciplines and career stages.

TIDE Ambassadors take what they learn from their experiences with the fellowship program and develop a project through which they share their growing expertise and contribute to the dialogue about and practice of teaching for inclusiveness, diversity, and equity at the departmental, school/college, or campus-wide levels.

TIDE Ambassadors continue to support the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts beyond the fellowship year through the work they do in their programs, departments, or colleges and by supporting CTL diversity, equity and inclusion programming.


Program Goals

The overarching purpose of the program is to establish a learning community that offers participating faculty fellows sustained opportunities to engage with and support each other, as well as to learn together so that they are able to develop the knowledge and skills to share this learning with the UMass community. Experiential, collaborative, and reflective learning are integral elements of the TIDE Ambassadors Program.

Throughout the fellowship year, participants:

  • Engage in reflective practices, developing self-awareness and sharing their own experiences, successes, failures, and concerns with inclusive teaching and engaging students with diversity-related topics.
  • Engage in experiential learning activities to gain experience with inclusive and equitable teaching practices.
  • Explore scholarship, theoretical frameworks, and various perspectives to build and enhance their capacity to teach diverse students inclusively and equitably.
  • Participate in discussions, considering insights from relevant literature and exchanging ideas on how one can use inclusion and equity models to support deeper and more respectful learning.
  • Implement what they learn into their course design and pedagogical practices, reflect on this, and gain feedback from peers and facilitator.
  • Set goals for continued improvement.
  • Identify and carry out a TIDE Ambassadors project through which they will share their experiences and knowledge.


What Previous Faculty Fellows Say About the TIDE Ambassadors Fellowship

Multiple people sitting around a table talking during the intensive May retreat
2017-2018 TIDE Ambassadors cohort during
the 3-Day Intensive May Retreat.

“I now feel part of a very strong and engaged community across the university and have many colleagues to turn to for advice on different topics.”

“I found a place to discuss my hopes and concerns, to give and get support, and where my desire to develop my ability to respond to my students' needs in my teaching in increasingly meaningful ways was normalized and validated. TIDE offers an environment that is very unique and it is invaluable in this regard.”

“The experiences during TIDE were incredibly powerful and formative for me.”

“TIDE has impacted every aspect of my teaching. It has impacted the things I create (syllabi, documents, etc.), how I present material, and who I am as a person.”

“TIDE has given me so many new tools to use in my teaching. I have redesigned many facets of my courses, everything from the syllabus, to assignments, to how I relate to students, based on what I have learned in TIDE. These changes have been very positive, and students have specifically commented on how much they felt included and valued in my class.”


Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Faculty at all stages of experience in teaching for inclusiveness, diversity, and equity are encouraged to apply. We strongly encourage faculty from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Faculty Fellows are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time position. The fellowship is open to non-tenure track (with the exception of short-term hires) and tenured/tenure-track and faculty.
  • Demonstrates high interest in developing capacity for teaching diverse students in inclusive and equitable ways.
  • Potential for making a positive impact on the teaching culture in the home department, school/college, and/or broader campus community.


Application Process & Deadline

The CTL will pause the TIDE Ambassadors Program during the 2024 – 2025 academic year. Kirsten Helmer, the program lead, will be on Professional Development Leave during Fall 2024. Applications for the 2025-2026 TIDE Ambassador cohort will be available in February 2025.

The application includes responses to the following (not to exceed three pages):

  • Information about teaching responsibilities, prior trainings/participation in professional development programs and any other activities/work related to issues of diversity and inclusive teaching.
  • Reflection about how issues of diversity, inclusion and equity have emerged in the applicant’s discipline or courses taught and what challenges and questions the applicant wants to explore as part of the fellowship.
  • Envisioning how the applicant will contribute to the dialogue about and practice of teaching for inclusiveness, diversity and equity in their department, college and/or the wider UMass community after the fellowship year ends.

CTL staff will review the applications and select 10 TIDE Ambassadors. Pending the volume of nominations, the selection committee may request in-person interviews with semi-finalists only. Fellows will reflect a wide range of experiences and interests in teaching for diversity, inclusion, and equity as well as a range of departments and disciplines.


Fellowship Components

During a typical academic year, TIDE Ambassadors will:

  • Attend an intensive introductory institute. 
  • Attend eight monthly 2-hour cohort meetings throughout the academic year: August – December, February - April, with readings and assignments in between (approximately 2 hours of work between meetings). The proposed days/times for the semester meetings are: every first Friday of the month from 1PM – 3PM.
  • Adapt what they learn to their own teaching contexts, implement inclusive and equitable course design and teaching practices in their classes, reflect on their successes and challenges, and report back to the group.
  • Attend an intensive institute (2-hour morning and afternoon Zoom sessions).
  • Attend two final half-day sessions. 
  • Develop a project through which the fellow will share aspects of their learnings at the departmental, school/college, or campus-wide level.
  • Provide feedback on their program experience through a feedback survey after the 2 Intensive Institutes and after the two final half-day sessions. 


Fellowship Compensation

Participating in the TIDE Ambassadors Fellowship is a rewarding and rigorous experience. In recognition of the commitment necessary to participate in the TIDE Ambassadors program, the Center for Teaching & Learning will provide $1,500 of GOF funds that faculty fellows can use for their further professional development. These funds are typically transferred to the Ambassador's department GOF fund in two installments.  

For more information, contact Kirsten Helmer (khelmer@umass.edu).

View a List of Current and Past TIDE Ambassadors