Academic Diversity

A Culture of Inclusive Excellence

Academic Affairs is committed to fostering a culture of inclusive excellence at Virginia Wesleyan University.  We provide an academic experience that aids the institution in achieving our mission of inspiring “students to build meaningful lives through engagement in Coastal Virginia’s dynamic metropolitan region, the nation, and the world.”  Virginia Wesleyan University envisions an open and safe campus climate for all who learn, live, and work in our campus community.

We value faculty diversity in its myriad forms and strive for an equitable and inclusive campus climate where all faculty feel empowered to do their best work and fully engage in the life of the university.

Consortium for Faculty Diversity

In the fall of 2020, Virginia Wesleyan University joined the Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) at Liberal Arts Colleges.  The Consortium is committed to increasing the diversity of students, faculty members and curricular offerings at liberal arts colleges with a particular focus on enhancing the diversity of faculty members and of applicants for faculty positions. Membership in CFD will help the University continue to actualize the diversity priorities set forth three years ago. 

The Consortium was founded as an association of liberal arts colleges committed to strengthening the ethnic diversity of students and of faculty members at liberal arts colleges. The early goals of the Consortium with regard to faculty diversity included encouraging members of underrepresented minority groups to complete their graduate programs and to consider faculty employment in liberal arts colleges.

The Consortium invites applications for dissertation fellowships and post-doctoral fellowships from those who will contribute to increasing the diversity of member colleges by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximizing the educational benefits of diversity and/or increasing the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of students. 

Virginia Wesleyan shares the commitment of the Consortium’s member institutions to enhancing its faculty, student body, and curriculum, as well as upholding the teacher-scholar career model essential to the success of small colleges and universities. The University looks forward to working with CFD member institutions to make VWU, as well as the larger organization, stronger and more significant. 

For information about doing a placement at Virginia Wesleyan University, please contact Dr. Susan Larkin, Vice President of Academic Affairs, at

Diversity in the Curriculum

To aid VWU students prepare for meaningful lives, Virginia Wesleyan University brings an interdisciplinary approach to diversity.  As part of their liberal arts experience at VWU, students will have the opportunity to take courses that are explicitly focused on underrepresented voices and perspectives, to take courses that teach about cultures and cultural diversity throughout the world, and also to consider questions of diversity across the curriculum.  At VWU, students may take classes on such topics as:

  • North African Authors
  • The Literature of Slavery
  • France and the French Today
  • African American History
  • LGBTQ Literature
  • Mediating Religious Conflicts
  • Images of Women in Theatre and Film
  • Topics in Mexican Culture and History
  • Cross Cultural Psychology
  • Health and the Hispanic Community
  • U.S. Women’s History
  • Complex Global Challenges
  • Buddhist Philosophy
  • Globalization & Its Discontent
  • Homeless in America
  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion in Sports
  • Travel’s Impact on Culture and the Environment
  • International Human Rights
  • Queer Cultural Studies
  • Women Writers
  • Beyond the Border: Stories of Immigration
  • Extreme Religion and Religious Freedom
  • Diversity & Society
  • Diversity in American Literature
  • Music and Art Around the World
  • Women in Culture and Society
  • African-American Religious Experience
  • Theatre of Diversity
  • The American Protest Tradition
  • Aging in the Media
  • Africa in Transition
  • Race, Gender, and Leisure
  • Art of Africa, Asia, and the Americas
  • Feminist and Gender Theory
  • African American Literature
  • German Women Filmmakers
  • U.S. Latino Culture
  • History of South Africa
  • Women on the Brink
  • Music and Folk Culture of the Southern Appalachians
  • Judaism through Food
  • Ethnicity and Politics: Latinos in America
  • Immigration and citizenship
  • Disability in the Media

Africana Studies

In 2019, Virginia Wesleyan University began the process to establish an Africana Studies program at the institution.  The program will be an interdisciplinary academic program that engages students in critical analyses of current and historical sociological, economic, political, psychological, and cultural issues concerning the African American experience, Africa, and the African Disapora – the global dispersion of peoples of African descent.  Students enrolled in the program will be introduced to a wide range of historical and contemporary perspectives through an interdisciplinary approach to the coursework and research.  The program offers students the opportunity to develop an individualized program of studying black people’s religions, sociologies, cultures, cultural expressions, and history throughout the world. 

For more information, please reach out to Dr. Modupe Oshikoya, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Africana Studies program, at