History student among College of Social Science inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Small Grant Award Program winners

The College of Social Science is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Small Grants Program. The program is aimed at providing faculty, staff and graduate students with funding to support multi/interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that are aligned with the College Strategic Plan for DEI.   

“The Dean’s small grants program is in its inaugural year and demonstrates SSC’s commitment to advancing DEI initiatives and scholarship among our faculty and staff,” says Nwando Achebe, the College of Social Science Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Faculty Development and Strategic Implementation.  

The awards were reviewed via committee based on numerous factors including Quality and Technical Merit, Impact of the Work, Capabilities, Demonstrated Productivity, and Experience of Applicants and Budget. Up to five awards of $5000 each are given in each category of consideration (Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students).  

Applicants for the award were asked to submit a proposal outlining how they would use the grant to advance DEI in the college and across the university.  

The award recipients for 2024 are as follows: 


  • Dr. Jinny Han Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), Dr. Linda Halgunseth (HDFS) and Dr. Nick Waters (HDFS) – Collective Empowerment Mentoring Program.  
  • Dr. Rebecca Karam (Sociology), Dr. Najib Hourani (Anthropology) and Dr. Stephen Gasteyer (Sociology) – Counting MENA In: Middle Eastern and North African American Community Experiences at MSU. 
  • Dr. Sarah Prior (Sociology) and Dr. Jennifer Carrera (Sociology) – Humanizing Across Differences Facilitator Training.  


  • Samanatha Hughes (Office of Undergraduate Affairs) and Dr. Shannon Halbedel (Office of Student Success) – The STAR Program.  

Graduate Students:

  • Gloria Ashaolu (History) – “An Outstanding Teacher, Civic Leader, and Author”: The Pedagogical Praxis and Education-Activism of Jane Dabney Shackelford.  
  • Kexin Feng (Economics) – The Effect of Pay Transparency of the Gender Wage Gap.  
  • Ezgi Karaoglu (Sociology) – (In)visibility and (Non)belongingness of High-Cultural-Capital Syrians in Istanbul Neighborhoods.  
  • Atikah Bagawan (HDFS) – Designing, developing, and carrying out a sibling intervention implemented by parents for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  
  • Xueshi Wang (Economics) – Does Paid Family Leave Widen Infant Health Disparities 
  •  The College of Social Science DEI Small Grants Program will award winners annually each spring. You can learn more about the DEI Smalls Grants Program here.