The Samuel D. Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice | GSE | Rutgers

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice Introduces the L.E.A.D.D. Program!


Brandy Jones  | | 848-932-0788

New Brunswick, NJ., March 10, 2022 —The Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute) is proud to introduce Latinas Excelling at Doctoral Degrees (L.E.A.D.D.), a program intended to equip and empower undergraduate Latina students, strengthen their confidence, validate their research interests, create community, and share resources to combat cultural and academic isolation of Latinas and women of color, prior to attending graduate school. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Hispanic women are one of the most poorly represented demographic groups in academia, with Latinas representing less than 1% of full-time professors. This program seeks to address the disparity of Latinas in the academy by curating a peer support community that meets monthly, and by equipping students with the strategies and tools to navigate academia. 

“I am excited to be part of a solution to a national problem - the lack of Latinas in the professoriate, and even more gravely, the lack of women of color as a whole in the academy. As a Latina and first-generation college student, I know I would have benefitted from the L.E.A.D.D. program,” shared Bianca Neal, Proctor Institute Visiting Scholar and curator of the program. “I understand that my singular experience is more indicative of the overall landscape in education… I realize that this problem will not be addressed without forethought, strategy, and interventions to accelerate the progression of Latinas through the professoriate pathway.”

L.E.A.D.D. includes discussions and workshops on topics such as cultural and academic isolation, cultural values and academic expectations, peer support and mentorship, as well as identity, advocacy, and research design. Each workshop is developed to create dialogue and combat the common challenges that face Latinas within the academy. 

“With this program, our goal is to help Latinas and women of color succeed and be able to navigate the professoriate. The academy can be incredibly difficult to navigate, and we want to minimize strain to the best of our ability,” says Marybeth Gasman, the Executive Director of the Proctor Institute and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair at Rutgers University. 

In order to be eligible for consideration, the applicant must be an undergraduate student enrolled at an accredited 2-year or 4-year institution within any academic field. Applicants should be able to share how their work contributes to increasing the representation of Latinas and women of color in the professoriate. Additionally, applicants should aspire to become a professor. 

“Given the low number of Latinas and women of color in the professoriate, this program is vital to diversifying academia,” says Brandy Jones, Director of Programs and Communications at the Proctor Institute. “We aim to provide a support system to scholars early on in their academic career so they can have long lasting benefits as they traverse the field of higher education.”

L.E.A.D.D. will be hosted virtually by the Proctor Institute. In our effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, scholars will be hosted without program fees.

Future updates about the L.E.A.D.D. program will be announced on

Apply to L.E.A.D.D. here!

About the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice 

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute) is a national center that focuses on issues of leadership, equity, and justice within the context of higher education. It brings together researchers, practitioners and community members to work toward the common goals of diversifying leadership, enhancing equity, and fostering justice for all. The Proctor Institute is located at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, in the Graduate School of Education and houses the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI). Learn more at

Thursday, March 10, 2022
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