The Big Question: What can colleges and universities do to help prepare students to live and work in a highly diverse society?

Why this initiative?: The "educational benefits of diversity" is one of the most widely studied and talked about topics in higher education. Yet, even with all the theories and research that exist, institutions continue to struggle with creating educational experiences that are inclusive and beneficial for the wide-array of students that are enrolled in higher education institutions. Our research takes up this dilemma by trying to approach it from a different vantage point, literally. Through this project, we study and explore how students interact across different social identities and experiences during their college careers.

What's new?: While spatial analysis has been around for a while in other fields, it's application in higher education is relatively new. Working with students on different types of campuses, this project uses qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques and pairs the results with different types of maps to help us pursue new insights into the Big Question that guides this initiative.

 

What's the goal?: We hope to produce a set of tools that administrators and faculty members can leverage to better understand the campus climate for inclusion and diversity at their institution.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Team

Demetri L. Morgan, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator) – Loyola University Chicago

Rachel A. Fischer (Project Manager) – Loyola University Chicago

Bree Hyde (Intern/Qualitative Data Manager) – Loyola University Chicago

Hilary A. Houlette, M. Ed. (Project Associate) – Huron Consulting Group

Jessie Payne, M. Ed. (Project Associate) – Marquette University

Manuscripts [^denotes collaboration with graduate student]

In Preparation

  • ^Morgan, D. L., Houlette, H. A., Payne, J., & Fischer, R. A. Gaining our

  • bearings towards the educational benefits of diversity: Mapping cross-difference interactions and campus climate

Grants

2019 NASPA Technology Knowledge Community Small Research Grant 

2018-2019 ACPA Commission for Admissions, Orientation and First Year Experience Research Grant. $700 (Awarded)

2018 Loyola Provost Summer Research Stipend; $7,000 (Awarded)

Awards

2018 NASPA Technology Knowledge Community Innovation Award (Mapping Campus Climate Project)

Presentations [*denotes peer-review] [^denotes collaboration with graduate student]

June 2018 ^*Houlette, H., Morgan, D. L., Payne, J., & Fischer, R. A.

Mapping Cross-Difference: A Tool for International Education

Professionals. Research poster presented at the 2018 NAFSA:

Association of International Educators Conference in Philadelphia, PA

March 2018 ^*Morgan, D. L., Houlette, H. A., & Fischer, R. A.

Mapping Cross-Difference Interactions: Using GIS Technology to

Create Inclusive Campus Climates for International College Students.

Session presented at the 2018 International Educators of Illinois (IEI)

Conference in Palatine, IL.

February 2018 ^Morgan, D. L., Houlette, H. A., Payne, J., & Fischer, R. A. Mapping Cross-Difference Interactions: A Tool for Student Affairs Professionals. Session presented at the 2018 Loyola University Chicago Student Services Conference in Chicago, IL.

October 2017 ^*Morgan, D. L., Houlette, H., & Payne, J., A New Frontier in Campus Climate Research: Diverse Interactions and Geospatial Mapping Technology. Paper presented at the 2nd National Symposium on LGBTQ Research in Higher Education in DeKalb, IL

Interested in learning more about our study?

We are currently accepting inquiries from campus leaders who are interested in learning more about our study and how to get it started on their campus. If you're interested, please fill out the form below:

For more information and updates about the study, sign up here​.