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The Dream Fellowship Program

A Coalition for Aspiring Leaders



  • Portrait of Staci Perryman-Clark

    Dr. Staci Perryman-Clark

    Director, Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies

  • Dr. Evelyn Winfield-Thomas

    Executive Director, Office of Institutional Equity

Program Description

The Dream Fellowship Program: A Coalition for Aspiring Leaders is an exciting new opportunity to transform the representation of new and aspiring leaders on WMU’s campus. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Institutional Equity, The Dream Fellowship Program cultivates an environment for inclusive leadership development as an institutional priority. Given the underrepresentation of diverse leaders across the nation and within WMU Academic Affairs, the Dream Fellowship Program seeks to close this gap.

The Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs will select a cohort of three to four aspiring leadership fellows, drawn from the ranks of tenured faculty, to apply for a job-shadowing role in their academic unit or college. Applicants must identify a specific career aspirational goal and a unit sponsor, who has agreed to establish a professional mentoring relationship to support the development of the fellow for their "dream career."

The applicant will also be required to choose a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) project to accomplish during their fellowship. The mentor and mentee will identify an agreed-upon area of DEI emphasis to support both the mentor and mentee’s needs and aspirations. Fellows will receive a course release for fall and spring semesters during the academic year; the fellowship must be completed within one year. The program will be facilitated by Dr. Staci Perryman-Clark, director of the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies, and Dr. Evelyn Winfield-Thomas, executive director of the Office of Institutional Equity.


Program Expectations

Participants will be expected to do the following:

  • Attend a welcome orientation session scheduled tentative at the start of the year in August.
  • Participate in the PDI: Building Cultural Competencies and other diversity, equity and inclusion learning and competency building experiences prior to the start of fall semester.
  • Attend a fall and spring semester meeting with facilitators, unit supervisor and Dream Fellows.
  • Shadow their unit mentor for 10 hours per week during the academic year.
  • Attend key leadership meetings at the discretion of the mentor during the academic year.
  • Attend at least two DEI-sponsored sessions; these sessions may be those coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion or other units across campus.
  • Submit a final reflection which summarizes the findings from the DEI project, and identifies future leadership opportunities and potential areas for contribution.


Application Requirements

This program is open to all tenured WMU faculty who support the goal of enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic leadership. To apply, applicants must include the following materials:

  • A 1-page aspirational statement of your career and how you see DEI work as a part of your work as a future leader.
  • A 1-page statement of goals, including a discussion of previous experiences and future experiences that are necessary to meet these goals.
  • A 2-3-page project description, including how your project will contribute and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in your unit.
    The project should answer the following questions:
    1. What are the project goals and objectives?
    2. How will you complete the project? What campus resources you will need?
    3. What is the potential impact of the project on supporting and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in your field and/or on your campus?
    4. In what ways will WMU benefit from supporting this project?
    5. How do you think the Dream Leadership Fellows Program experience will help you initiate and accomplish this project?
  • A letter of support from your unit supervisor or college dean.
  • A current CV.


  • Aspire to be more. Application deadline has been extended until end of business on April 9, 2021.