Community of Scholars Program

2016 Summer Institute Students

Program Description

Based in the Graduate School Diversity Office, the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) works towards creating an institutional environment that supports the academic and professional success of graduate students who are under-represented in academia. COSP assists students (US citizens and permanent residents) to more fully participate in the University; develop supportive relationships with advisors and mentors; build a sense of community through academic seminars and professional development workshops; and connect students to the Twin Cities and broader U of MN system through teaching, research and community engagement opportunities.

Student in labGSDO Summer Institute

The Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) Summer Institute provides seven weeks of research opportunity for newly-admitted graduate students.  Priority is given to recipients of the DOVE fellowship. In-coming graduate students of color who are awarded fellowships through their college or department can also participate in the Summer Institute, with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. In addition to conducting research, students attend weekly seminars on issues pertinent to the graduate experience. Each student receives a $4,000 stipend which is provided by the student's graduate program or department. As part of participating in the Summer Institute, participants mentor or tutor junior high school students during the spring semester of their first year.

Travel Grants

Grants of up to $1,000 per student are provided to support travel to conduct research that will facilitate completion of the thesis or dissertation.  Grants also support travel for students who are invited to present at major conferences in their field of study. Priority is given to active COSP participants and students who have secured partial funding from other sources. All travel grant recipients participate in a fall research symposium to showcase their work to the University community.  Please note that DOVE Fellowship recipients are not eligible for this travel grant. 


Several workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year focusing on academic and professional development. Topics include grant and dissertation writing, publishing, job search processes, networking, and effective interviewing for academia and industry. 

Writing Initiative

COSP provides writing support for all COSP students through individual consultations, writing groups, and monthly Shut Up and Write! retreats. Students can reserve the Scholars Den, the COSP space for writing.

Monthly Lunch Forums

Monthly lunch forums are held focusing on specific topics related to experiences of graduate students of color.  Topics include conversations with faculty of color on diversity in higher education, conducting research with communities of color, acclimating to a predominantly White environment, and cross-cultural communication.

Community Engagement

COSP provides program participants with opportunities to serve as mentors and tutors at Twin Cities schools and youth-serving organizations. Through group and individual activities, COSP participants encourage youth to finish high school and to attend college. Organizations with which COSP participants have been involved include El Colegio, Al-Amal Islamic School, La Opportunidad, YMCA, Agape High School, Brian Coyle Center and Multicultural Excellence Program (St. Paul Public Schools). 

Adjunct Faculty Positions in the Twin Cities

Through collaborations with various teaching partners in the midwest, COSP students can apply for adjunct faculty positions while completing their doctoral degrees.  Partner institutions include Augsburg College, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Century College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and St. Olaf College. 

two students at poster event

Mentoring and Individual Consultation

Students can request mentors from within or outside the University, community leaders or individuals from industry to guide and support their career choices.  Individual consultation on academic, professional and personal matters is also available by appointment with the COSP Director.

Diversity Fellowships at Augustana, Morris and Duluth Campuses

Faculty with a student

COSP students who are ABD can apply to teach at various partner teaching institutions. Fellows teach one course and are mentored by senior faculty, participate in department and campus activities, and meet regularly with the COSP Director to discuss dissertation progress and overall professional development.  Got to the top of this page for information on Diversity Fellowships. 

Directory of Twin Cities Multicultural Resources and Services

This directory was developed by the University of Minnesota Office for Diversity in Graduate Education as a courtesy to inform University students, staff and faculty about resources and services within the Twin Cities area.  The directory can be viewed by major category or the primary community served.  The University of Minnesota does not endorse any of the resources or services listed in the directory that are external to the University. 

Social Gatherings

To build community, COSP hosts social gatherings throughout the year for students and their families.  Events include the annual Bowling and Pizza Night, Winter Gathering and Spring Celebration.


Noro Andriamanalina, Ph.D., Director of Academic and Professional Development

            Graduate School Diversity Office  & The Graduate School
            327 Johnston Hall
            101 Pleasant St. SE                 
            Minneapolis, MN 55455                     
            612-626-4546        612-625-6855--fax