Yomaira Figueroa, assistant professor in the MSU Department of English and African American and African Studies, has been selected as a 2015-2017 Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) Fellow, and inaugural SITPA Fellows cohort member.
SITPA is a mentoring and professional socialization initiative at Duke University designed for early-career faculty to facilitate successful transition from junior faculty status to tenured associate professor. Its underlying objective is to address the persistent underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities on the faculties of U.S. colleges and universities.
The two-year SITPA fellowship provides information, guidance, and strategies on how to be successful in the tenure quest. Many view increasing tenure success rates as the next frontier in efforts to diversify the academy. A central feature of SITPA is matching fellows with a senior faculty mentor in their discipline, but from a college or university other than their own.
Says Figueroa, “Being chosen for the SITPA Fellowship means that I have an exciting opportunity to work alongside a diverse community of junior and senior scholars committed to countering the underrepresentation of tenured faculty of color in the U.S. As a fellow, I will have access to two years of one-on-one mentorship and help developing strategies toward completing several critical research projects with the goal of successfully earning tenure at MSU.”
Dr. Figueroa works on 20th century U.S. Latin Caribbean, Afro-Latinx and Afro-Hispanic literature and culture. Her current book project, “Decolonial Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Latinx & Afro-Hispanic Literature,” focuses on diasporic and exilic Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and Equatoguinean texts in contact.
Figueroa earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. in English, Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University.