To foster DEI, whether it is in higher education or the workplace, people need to feel like they belong. An environment of belonging is created when individuals experience deep connection, they feel their ideas, thoughts, and contributions matter, and they can show up authentically. This paper is part 1 of a 3-part series on belonging addressing belonging from the perspective of students, staff and faculty, and community. This paper discusses the benefits of creating a sense of belonging with students and how online community and belonging can be nurtured through specific efforts.
Alisa Fleming, Ph.D., is an academic leader with experience in higher education administration, business, consulting, and teaching. Dr. Fleming serves as Director of Assessment for Assessment & Institutional Research at University of Phoenix. She has served on boards for the Kyrene Foundation and the Association for Talent Development, Valley of the Sun Chapter. Dr. Fleming is the 2022 recipient of the Phoenix500 faculty award and is a 2019 recipient of the Achieving My Purpose Celebration of Women Award. She received a Ph.D. in Business with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. She holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace certificate from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include leadership, ethics, employee behaviors that contribute to healthy workplace culture. Dr. Fleming’s passion for developing and inspiring others to action has led to service roles in her organization and outreach within nonprofits and youth-based organizations in her local community.
Jelisa Dallas, MSEd., is the Program Manager for Recognized Student Organizations for the Office of Educational Equity at the University of Phoenix. With over twelve years of experience working in education, Jelisa has designed and implemented innovative resources and programming for student development and engagement in private, non-profit, and public institutions. Jelisa is DEI Workplace Certified through the USF Muma College of Business. She currently sits on of the board of the University of Phoenix African American Council for Excellence (employee resource group) and Warren/Youngstown Urban League Young Professionals.