M.I.A.M.I. Women Giving Circle Grants support Farmer School initiatives

Michelle Thomas and Gillian Oakenfull

Michelle Thomas and Gillian Oakenfull

Projects from two Farmer School members have been awarded M.I.A.M.I. Women Giving Circle Grants for 2021. Students, staff­ or faculty members of any Miami University campus can apply for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Grants are awarded for programs, projects, initiatives and research that are not profit-making endeavors.

Michelle Thomas, Director of Student Organizations & Diversity, received a $17,000 grant for the FSB Passport Bootcamp, a comprehensive four year high-touch student success program for students beginning in their first year on the Oxford campus who have been accepted to Miami University and directly admitted to the Farmer School of Business.

"I am honored that the Passport Bootcamp was chosen to receive this very generous grant from the Women's Giving Circle! I have always wanted to create a program that would help talented students transition from high school to college,” Thomas said. “Because of this grant, students will receive the training and skills necessary to flourish in their first year and beyond! It's a game changer and an opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of FSB students."

Marketing professor and Faculty Director of Diversity and Inclusion Gillian Oakenfull’s project, 'Cultural Intelligence and Inclusion Skills for Social Change: KickGLASS,’ was granted $19,670 to support student scholarships for KickGLASS Skills micro-credentials and faculty and staff cultural intelligence training.

“I’m delighted to be a two-time recipient of the M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN Hawk Tank Grant. The idea for KICKGLASS began three years ago with support from a M.I.A.M.I.  WOMEN Hawk Tank grant to provide implicit bias training to faculty and students. That idea evolved into the new Center for KICKGLASS Change which is designed to provide students, faculty, and staff with cultural intelligence skills and promote social change,” Oakenfull explained. “The funding that the Center has received for students’ scholarships for KICKGLASS Skills Credentials and innovative faculty and staff training to create culturally intelligent classrooms will be invaluable to us as we launch the Center for KICKGLASS Change programming this fall. I am so grateful for M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN Giving Circle support of so many important initiatives focused on providing visibility, representation, and opportunity for women.”

The Miami Initiative for Advancing, Mentoring and Investing in Women is a university-wide initiative that works with alumni, campus offices and student groups in its efforts to encourage and support opportunities for women.