Three new scholars have joined the University of Michigan as LSA Collegiate Fellows, part of an initiative that aims to increase faculty members’ capacity to engage in diversity, equity and inclusion scholarship.

Joining LSA as assistant professors in the social and natural sciences, the three were chosen for their academic achievements and dedication to DEI principles, having showcased their commitment through research, teaching and mentoring, and service and engagement.

The new fellows and their LSA departments are:

  • Tina Lasisi, anthropology.
  • Sarah Peluse, mathematics.
  • Suraj Shankar, physics.

LSA and the National Center for Institutional Diversity have welcomed cohorts of LSA Collegiate Fellows to U-M since 2017. This year’s fellows were chosen from a pool of more than 550 candidates.

The program is crafted to help change the way LSA departments, the college, and the university at large perceive the importance of diversity in scholarship, leadership and service.

In addition to building their research and teaching portfolios, fellows participate in professional development and community building opportunities to prepare for tenure-track faculty careers at U-M.

“I find immense inspiration in each cohort of Collegiate Fellows,” said LSA Dean Anne Curzan. “Their outstanding scholarly contributions enrich our college’s intellectual environment, fostering deep conversations and understanding about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am excited to continue to collaborate with them in our joint pursuit of transformative change.”

Since the program’s inception, 96% of the LSA Collegiate Fellows have transitioned or will transition into tenure-track assistant professor positions within LSA. Under LSA’s DEI 2.0 plan, the program will expand in its seventh recruiting year to include associate-level faculty.

In recent years, LSA Collegiate Fellows have conducted pioneering research and scholarship in their specific areas of expertise, simultaneously initiating inclusive teaching methods in classrooms. Additionally, they have engaged in high-quality mentoring practices with both undergraduate and graduate students.

“Recruiting such talented scholars is just the initial step,” said NCID Director Elizabeth R. Cole, professor of women’s and gender studies, of psychology, and of Afroamerican and African studies in LSA. Cole also is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.

“To ensure their personal and professional growth, it’s crucial to establish inclusive environments. Our aim is to support the significant contributions of these fellows and integrate them as longstanding members of the U-M community.”


Originally published in the University Record.