Stony Brook University Community Relations Stony Brook University Community Relations

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of the CIE?

The CIE mission is to promote action and knowledge that broadens the participation of disadvantaged Americans in higher education, the scientific work force, and the Academy. The Center has been a major force in promoting inter-departmental partnerships to achieve this mission and has been successful in streamlining communications and activities to maximize interrelated program resources and efficiency. The CIE ensures that underrepresented minority students and postdoctoral fellows are connected to a network of faculty, staff, and peers beyond their own department, and have access to a range of support services designed to enhance their graduate school experience. The existence of the CIE enables the university to capture, synthesize, record, and convey the tremendous strides both the campus and the country are making towards true access and inclusion in higher education. 

What does the CIE do?

For students and postdoctoral fellows affiliated with the CIE diversity programs, we offer a range of services such as professional development seminars, community building events, advocacy, and financial awards. For academic departments, the Center offers assistance with underrepresented minority recruitment, special events, conversion and retention issues, the planning of strategies and tools for building diversity and nurturing student environments, and components related to diversity within proposals and external site visits. A major contribution of the Center has been the partnerships it has established with institutions throughout the country as well as the active engagement in national collaborations. The Center has also built a wide resource library and has collected comprehensive data on student experiences, which has enabled the Center to put into a broader context our admissions, attrition, and career placement outcomes. Also, the Center leadership is visibly engaged in national discussions pertaining to diversity, ensuring a meaningful engagement by the University in this arena. The Center is currently working on bringing in new initiatives to both enhance and expand its programmatic portfolio. 

Which students and postdoctoral fellows are served by the CIE?

Past and present recipients of the Turner fellowship, GEM fellowship, IRACDA fellowship, or Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship are considered CIE students. All domestic underrepresented students (African American, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islanders) in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) master's or doctoral program are considered AGEP students. Combined between these three programs we have 165 current students, 3 postdoctoral fellows, and over 500 alumni affiliated with the Center. 

Who works for the CIE?

The CIE is a division of the Graduate School in the Office of the Provost. Dr. David Ferguson, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. Charles Taber, Dean of the Graduate School, provide broad oversight of the CIE. 

Currently, the CIE has four professional staff and numerous student support staff. 

Nina Maung-Gaona is the Assistant Dean for Diversity in the Graduate School and Director of the Center for Inclusive Education. She oversees the management of all the diversity programs in the CIE, leads external collaborations, and supervises the Center staff. 

Kathryne Piazzola is the CIE Administrator. In this capacity, she serves as the office manager responsible for pre and post grants management, budget and administration.  She also manages the REU Nanotechnology and NSF AGEP-T programs. 

Toni Sperzel manages the Turner Fellowship & GEM Fellowship programs, as well as underrepresented minority recruitment activities. 

Angel Gonzalez is the CIE Postdoctoral Fellow responsible for core CIE activities and services, as well as the management of the NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Program. 

Student Support Staff: We are fortunate to have the support of numerous Graduate Assistants and work study students at various points throughout the year. 

There are also 16 faculty/staff that serve on two separate advisory committees for the NSF AGEP and Turner Programs. 

NSF AGEP Advisory Committee: Professor Carol Carter (Microbiology), Professor Stephen Finch (Applied Mathematics & Statistics), Professor Peter Gergen (Biochemistry), Professor Gary Halada (Materials Science), Professor Glenn Lopez (Marine & Atmospheric Sciences), and Professor Kathlyn Parker (Chemistry). 

Turner Advisory Committee: Professor Clive Clayton (Materials Science & Engineering), Professor Stephanie Dinkins (Art), Professor David Ferguson (Technology & Society), Professor Robert Grubbs (Chemistry), Dr. Alfreda James (Career Center), Professor Suparna Rajaram (Psychology), Professor Susan Schekel (English), Professor John Shandra (Sociology), Professor David Talmage (Neuroscience), and Christina Vargas-Law (Diversity & Affirmative Action). 

Where is the CIE located?

The CIE is located in the Graduate School Suite on the second floor of the Computer Science Building. It is readily accessed by students, staff and faculty to meet and use shared resources. 

Where can I learn more about the programs within the CIE?

For more information on the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate – Transformation (AGEP-T) Frontiers of Research and Academic Models of Excellence (FRAME) program, please visit the AGEP-T FRAME website.

For more information about the W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship Program


, GEM Fellowship Program or underrepresented minority recruitment activities, please contact Toni Sperzel at or 631.632.9560. The Turner Fellowship Web site is: Until we launch the Stony Brook GEM Fellowship Web page, you can learn more about GEM from the National Consortium Web page: 

For more information about the NSF AGEP or REU Programs, please contact Kathryne Piazzola at or 631.632.1387. The NSF AGEP Web site is: 

For more information about the NIH IRACDA Program, please contact Kathryne Piazzola. The IRACDA Web site is: 

For more information about the NSF Bridge to the Doctorate program, please contact Angel Gonzalez at or 631.632.7046. The NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Web site 

For general information contact us at

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