DEI Digest

April 2024

Put a spring in your step…springing forward

Days are noticeably longer. Trees and flowers are budding, birds are building their nests. We are in a time of anticipation. Is time moving fast? Yes.

Many of you are about to launch our students into their post-graduate careers or launching yourselves into something meaningful and new. It can be hard to pace yourself and be mindful of how far you’ve come with so much to attend to.

Please take that time.

It is so easy to focus on what is yet to be done and fret over what we have not started. However, you and I have accomplished much since the beginning of fall quarter. Take time to pat yourself on the back. We are still here.

What is coming? Check out the upcoming events that wrap up an amazing year and lead to ‘graduation season’. Reflect on the good news in Foster’s inclusion, equity, and diversity spaces.


Michelle Purnell-Hepburn
Associate Dean for Inclusion & Diversity

Building and Bridging Racial Caucus Network


Late last year, the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and the University Diversity Officer launched a pilot program called the Building and Bridging Racial Caucus Network. Several program applicants, including Foster’s own Dr. Samantha Einarson, were accepted to serve as facilitators for racial caucus spaces and lead conversations related to race/racism, intersectionality and racial identity, and the collective responsibility for dismantling racism. The first of these caucuses will launch this month at one of UW’s schools. 

First generation business leaders fireside chat

Join Associate Dean for Inclusion & Diversity Michelle Purnell-Hepburn as she moderates a panel of first-generation business leaders, including managers at Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon, as well as Foster Undergraduate Career Services Executive Director Andrew Rabitoy and Dr. Crystal Finkelstein, discussing the challenges and opportunities for executives who are bringing fresh perspectives to the business world. The event will take place in Douglas Forum in the Bank of America Executive Center, on Thursday, April 18 from 12:30 – 1:20 pm. Register at First Gen Fireside Chat RSVP (  

DEI and belonging

While DEI is one of our governing values here at Foster, continue to determine how to best and most effectively incorporate these concepts into our roles. Associate Dean Purnell-Hepburn recently led a training on DEI and belonging, putting these terms in context and engaging with participants on how diversity and inclusion is an essential aspect to our curriculum and community, and how to incorporate this mindset on a day-to-day basis. Watch this space for the opportunity to attend future sessions.

Foster Listens Sessions 

Foster leadership will host a session for Faculty on Monday, May 13, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Pigot Boardroom (PCAR 556). Its purpose is for assistant professors and Dean’s Impact Scholars to tenured faculty to share their recommendations to support the strategic thinking of Foster Leadership, making our school an even better place to teach and thrive.

Fostering Community Thursday brings community together

Elba Moise

Join us for FOSTERing Community Thursday (FCT) 
Thursday, May 2, 4:30-6:30pm 

Founders Hall, Commons Room #180.     

At the upcoming FOSTERing Community Thursday (FCT), graduate/professional students have the unique opportunity to connect with:




  • Kelly Coleman(MBA 1998), Principal Program Manager Microsoft, Foster Dean Impact Scholar
  • Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson(UW BA 2009, SU JD 2013), Associate Director of the Office of Court Innovation
  • Felicia Ishino(UW BA 2001 UW M.Ed. 2006), Executive Director at Sankofa Impact

FCT is geared toward increasing community and belonging for Foster’s graduate students of color and UW Law students of color. However, all students committed to supporting racially diverse student populations are welcome.  

Join us for small bites, beverages, guest speakers, and community. Please RSVP here.

Gamble Teaching Award

The Lex N. Gamble Family Award for Curriculum Excellence and Innovation is one of the major teaching awards for Foster faculty.  It gives special consideration to business cases that include diverse protagonists and incorporate and encourage discussions of inclusion and diversity. Individual faculty members will be nominated for one or more of the awards by department chairs;   students, via survey, can provide information to department chairs to help inform their nominations. Past Gamble award winners include:

2020 – Thaddeus Spratlen, Liz Tinkham, Michael Verchot

2021 – Shaosong Ou, Emily Cox Pahnke

2022 – Darren Bernard, Sarah Shaikh, Crystal Farh

2023 – Jenny Graves, Scott Reynolds

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