Attendees of the Preparing Future Faculty Conference

Preparing Future Faculty Conference for Graduate Students of Color

A conference attendee presenting their research

The Preparing Future Faculty Conference, held annually at NIU, brings together graduate students of color from universities across the state.

Preparing future faculty is a national movement focused on transforming the way aspiring faculty are being prepared for their careers. The NIU program is unique in its focus on students of color, designed to create a pipeline to increase faculty diversity within the state and nation.

Faculty presenters at the conference inform, encourage and inspire graduate students of color to consider the professoriate as a career path. Specific topics have focused on:

  • Types of institutions of higher learning.
  • Understanding the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae.
  • Preparing the curriculum vitae.
  • The academic job search for a faculty position.
  • Academic work-life: balancing teaching, research and search.
  • Confronting cultural taxation in the academy.
  • Navigating race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in the academy.
  • Dealing with microaggressions, microinvalidations and implicit bias in the academy.
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome.
  • How to get the mentoring you need and deserve.
  • How faculty can become involved in community engagement.

Topics are presented in various formats including individual presentations, panels, mini workshops, keynote presentations and roundtable discussions with professors and graduate students. Students are also given the opportunity to present their scholarly research.

The conference has been in operation since 2015 and has drawn support from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It is considered an essential conference for graduate students across the state, especially recipients of the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship.

Contact Us

Faculty Mentoring Program
Division of Academic Affairs
Altgeld Hall, Room 214
DeKalb, IL 60115


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