The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Community Building Events & Programs

Community Building Events & Programs


Finding community both on and off campus, can be a challenge. We offer a number of events and programs to connect faculty to each other and to resources to help promote faculty productivity, camaraderie, and general well-being.

Spring 2021 Events :

  Tenure/Promotion to Associate Professor: Opportunities and Challenges
Friday, February 19th

Dr. Lorraine Cordeiro, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, and Dr. Darrel Ramsey-Musolf, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
For BIPOC faculty earning tenure/promotion to Associate Professor as well as NTT faculty going for promotion.
Enhancing tenure rates is central to remedying the shortage and retention of faculty of color in higher education. The objective of this workshop is to provide scholars with some of the information, strategies, and skills needed to facilitate the transition from junior faculty status to tenured associate professor, or in the case of NTT faculty for promotion to associate professor.

  Presumed Incompetent: Experiences of Women of Color in Academia - A Session for BIPOC Faculty
Friday, March 5th
Panelists: Dr. Mari Castañeda, Dean, Commonwealth Honors College, Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, and Dr. Miliann Kang
Facilitated by Dr. Lorraine Cordeiro, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition

We will explore race, gender, and class through personal narratives that reveal both the privileges and challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate various stages of their career in higher education, including hiring, promotion, and tenure. Our panelists will share their wisdom, humor, and recommendations for academic women of color.

  Native American/Indigenous/First Nations Faculty – Risk, Resilience, and Finding Your Peace in Academia
Friday, April 2
A special forum for Native American/Indigenous/First Nations Faculty facilitated by Dr. Michelle Jacob, Professor and member of the Yakima Nation 

  • Dr. Michelle M. Jacob is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and is Professor of Indigenous Studies and Director of the Sapsik’ʷałá (Teacher) Education Program in the Department of Education Studies at the University of Oregon. Michelle also serves as Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies, and Affiliated Faculty in the Environmental Studies Program. Michelle engages in scholarly and activist work that seeks to understand and work toward a holistic sense of health and well-being within Indigenous communities and among allies who wish to engage decolonization.

  Workload Accommodation Session
Thursday, May 13 – 1:00-2:00 pm
Facilitated by Dr. Lorraine Cordeiro, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition
Interested in working in a group format to complete your workload accommodation report for Spring 2021? Join us for this accountability session to draft your report and get it ready for submission on APWS at the end of spring semester.

  Black Faculty – Determination, Talent, and Triumphs
A special forum for Black Faculty in the Five College Consortium - Friday, May 21 – 1:00-2:30 pm
This session will be led by Dr. Jessica Graham-LoPresti and Dr. Tahirah Adullah-Swain, renowned faculty and co-founders of BARE Mental Health & Wellness. Facilitated by Dr. Lorraine Cordeiro.
The presence, value, research, teaching, service, and DEI contributions of Black faculty is essential to university students, as well as colleagues in higher education. Yet, Black faculty are disproportionately underrepresented as professors in academia and at the top ranks of the higher education system. The experiences of Black faculty are rarely topics of discussion in higher education, despite research indicating that college/university environments present structural barriers to advancement, particularly as Black faculty face institutional and person racism. Black scholars have linked these experiences to their attrition.

  • Dr. Graham-LoPresti is co-founder of BARE Mental Health & Wellness, and an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. Dr. Graham-LoPresti graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Psychology and American Studies and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  She has focused her career on promoting the resilience, health, and well-being of people and communities of color and has published extensively on the multi-level impact of racism on mental health as well as barriers to quality and effective mental healthcare for underserved and underrepresented communities. 

  • Dr. Abdullah-Swain is co-founder of BARE Mental Health & Wellness, and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Africana Studies from the University of Miami, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Abdullah-Swain's research focuses on the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health, barriers to help-seeking for mental health problems, mental illness and mental health treatment stigma, and understanding Black Americans' therapy experiences. 

Faculty of Color Community Dinners

FoC dinners are held once a month and give faculty a chance to connect with colleagues from across campus. These are informal gatherings, but each one has a theme that aims to get at some of the issues that affect us on and off campus. For each dinner, a few colleagues will offer some reflections to lead us in discussion.


Five College Events

Faculty and Staff of Color Receptions: Meet new colleagues and reconnect with old friends.