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2017 State System Summit

Session 1

Contact 2017 State System Summit  

2017 State System Summit

13-15 University Ave.
West Chester, PA 19382

Hiram G. Martinez
2017 Summit Chairperson
Phone: 610-436-2433

Research and Mentoring Initiative (RMI): A High Impact Practice

  • 2:00 PM – 2:55 PM
  • SYKES ROOM 209

This panel presentation will highlight Millersville University's President's Commission for Diversity and Inclusion's (PCCDI) collaborative initiative that provides research and mentoring workshops that prepare faculty, staff, and administrators to support students belonging to racial/ethnic minorities and first generation students as they complete a five-week summer research project. Topics to be discussed include development and implementation of this project, mentoring and research workshops for research mentors and students, the expectations for both mentors and mentees, preliminary findings of the efficacy of this initiative, and lessons learned.


Travon Erwin-Toney, WCU Student Volunteer


Dr. Loenora E. Foels, Associate Professor of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Foels teaches at the BSW, MSW, and DSW levels. Dr. Foels received her PhD from Barry University School of Social Work in 2007 and MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work in 2003. A licensed clinician, the focal point of Dr. Foels research agenda includes social work practice, diversity, social justice and change, social work education issues, and using technology in education. In 2015, she was appointed chairperson of the President's Commission on Cultural Diversity & Inclusion (PCCDI).

Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El, Professor of Psychology and Director of African American Studies at Millersville University
Dr. Smith Wade-El received her B.A from Columbia University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Millersville, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies, Temple University. She teaches courses in General Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, History and Systems of Psychology, Racism, African American Studies and Women's Studies. Dr. Smith is a consultant in the areas of Black Family, Male-Female Relationships, the Black Child, Development and Parenting, Racism, Race Heredity and IQ, the Black Woman, Black Psychology, Leadership, Stress Management, and Group Developments.

Dr. Miriam Witmer, Instructor, Educational Foundations, Millersville University
Miriam M. Witmer, Ph.D., teaches Educational Foundations courses at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She earned her B.S. in English/Communications Secondary Education and her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University. In 2014 she earned her Ph.D. in Education from Temple University. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and she mentors student teachers. She is also the coordinator of the Color of Teaching Mentoring Program at Millersville University. The primary mission of this organization is to recruit and retain students of color in post-secondary education programs. She has also co-facilitated the Side-by-Side program, focused on inspiring students of color to consider careers in education. She has served on the PCCDI for 2 years and has provided mentoring training for faculty and students in the Research Mentoring Initiative.

Mx. Jan Bechtel, MSW, Director of Integrated Studies, Millersville University
Mx. Bechtel has been a part of the Millersville University community for 6 years, obtaining a Masters in Social Work in 2015. Mx. Bechtel is currently the Director of Integrated Studies (formerly Career & Life Studies) at Millersville University and previously served as the Interim Director of the Office of Diversity & Social Justice at Millersville University. Additionally, Mx. Bechtel is an adjunct faculty member for the School of Social Work and Educational Foundations Department.