Increasing Diversity in Graduate Education

By: Noro Andriamanalina   Simone Gbolo   Joel Mixon  

This highly interactive workshop will discuss two programs in the U.S. that focus on increasing diversity in graduate education on two levels—nationally and locally. Nationally, the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program promotes inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and advances their leadership roles throughout civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs. Through PPIA's Junior Summer Institutes, students engage in rigorous preparation for graduate school in public policy and international affairs hosted by top graduate school programs nationally. The PPIA Graduate School Consortium, comprised of 40 to 50 institutions and professional associations, ensures that future public service leaders reflect our increasingly diverse population to address the societal challenges of our time. Locally, the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) at the University of Minnesota, was recognized by the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals for innovative practices in supporting graduate students of color, across disciplines, by building strong networks that promote timely degree completion. COSP initiatives include high-impact mentoring programs utilizing the Individual Development Plan (IDP)—a structured communication tool for student mentees to pursue academic and professional goals with guidance from faculty and staff who serve as mentors. Through small and large group discussions, workshop participants will (1) discuss successes and challenges with current diversity initiatives at their academic institutions, (2) create their own IDP to identify goals to diversify their institutions, and (3) explore strategies to implement goals using a list of effective resources provided by workshop facilitators.

Inclusive education Policy
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Workshop Presentation

Noro Andriamanalina

University of Minnesota, United States
Minnesota, United States

Dr. Noro Andriamanalina is Director of Academic and Professional Development for the Graduate School Diversity Office at the University of Minnesota,  Twin Cities, USA. Dr. Andriamanalina directs several programs to assist Master's and doctoral students, across disciplines, through various stages of their graduate programs. Initiatives focus on developing supportive relationships with advisors and mentors; building a sense of community through academic seminars and professional development workshops; and connecting students to teaching, research and community engagement opportunities. Dr. Andriamanalina also conducts research on writing experiences and career paths of doctoral students of color. She has 20 years of administrative and teaching experiences in higher education. Dr. Andriamanalina holds a doctorate of philosophy in educational policy and administration, with emphasis on comparative and international development education, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Simone Gbolo

Executive Director , Humphrey School of Public Affairs , University of Minnesota/ Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship Program, United States
MN, United States

​Simone Gbolo is the executive director of the Public Policy & International Affairs Program (PPIA) a national non-profit organization housed at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  Also, an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota’s Leadership Minor program. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in the department of organizational leadership, policy, and development in Higher Education at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on historically underrepresented and marginalized student’s career pathways, persistence towards advance education, and the impact on the institutional change in higher education due to diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives. She is a first-generation Liberian, African American who resides in St. Paul, MN that holds a B.S. in Political Science, Public Health, and Educational Psychology, an M.A. in Multicultural Teaching and Learning, and an M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership.


Joel Mixon

Director of Advising and Retention, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, United States
MN, United States

Joel directs advising and retention efforts at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. He also serves as the co-chair of the Humphrey School's Equity and Inclusion Council. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development program in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  Joel's research interest include the role of advising relationships in the persistence to degree completion for Black men at Historically White Institutions in Higher Education.