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  1. At Michigan State University (MSU), the AGEP learning community features the participation of over 70% of the African-American, Latinx, and Native-American under-represented minorities (URM), also referred to as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) doctoral students in fields sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Monthly learning community (LC) meetings allow AGEP participants to create dialogues across disciplines through informal oral presentations about current research. The learning communities also offer opportunities to share key information regarding graduate school success and experience; thus providing a social network that extends beyond the academic setting. At MSU, AGEP also provides an interdisciplinary and multigenerational environment that includes graduate students, faculty members, post-docs and prospective graduate students. Using monthly surveys over a 4-year period, we evaluated the impact of this AGEP initiative focusing on the utility of the program, perceptions of departmental climate, career plans and institutional support. Findings indicate that AGEP participants consider their experiences in the program as vital elements in the development of their professional identity, psychological safety, and career readiness. Experiences that were identified included networking across departments, focus on career placement, involvement in minority recruitment and professional development opportunities. Additionally, AGEP community participants resonated with the “sense of community” that is at the core of the MSU AGEP program legacy. In this article, we proposed a variation of Tomlinson’s Graduate Student Capital model to describe the AGEP participants’ perceptions and experiences in MSU AGEP. Within this 4-year period, we report over 70% graduation rate (completing with advanced degrees). More than half of Ph.D. students and almost 30% of master’s degree students decided to pursue academia as their careers. In addition, we found a high satisfaction rate of AGEP among the participants. Our analysis on graduate student capital helped us identify motivating capital development by years spent at MSU and as an AGEP member. These findings may provide some insight into which capitals may be deemed important for students relative to their experiences at MSU and in AGEP and how their priorities change as they transition toward graduation. 
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  2. While there is movement to create more equitable and holistic admission review processes, faculty continue to place strong emphasis on a single piece of information when making admissions decisions: standardized test scores. This study used an experimental design to test whether instructions provided to faculty prior to assessing doctoral applicants could support holistic review by reducing the weight of the general record examination (GRE) in faculty appraisals of competence and merit for graduate study. Tenured and/or tenure-track faculty ( N =271) were randomly assigned to one of three instructional conditions: Control (no instruction), “Diamond in the Rough,” and “Weed Out.” In addition, faculty participants were randomly assigned to read one of two vignettes of a prospective first-generation student who either received high or average GRE scores. Faculty then rated the applicant’s competence using a three-item survey. As expected, faculty who read the vignette describing the candidate with the high GRE rated him as more competent than faculty who read the average GRE vignette. In addition, being instructed to seek out diamonds in the rough buffered the effect of the GRE score on competence. Faculty were also asked to indicate whether they would need additional information to make an admissions decision. They were more likely to ask about grades and research skills than about psychosocial factors that might contextualize the candidate’s performance and perceived competence. The results of this study have implications for creating more equitable doctoral admissions processes that center equity, diversity, and inclusion in decision making. 
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  3. In this paper, we describe the model for faculty diversity developed as part of the Professorial Advancement Initiative (PAI) funded under the NSF AGEP program. The PAI, consisting of 12 of the 14 Big Ten Academic Alliance universities, 1 had the goal of doubling the rate at which the universities hired tenure-track minoritized faculty, defined by National Science Foundation as African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. This paper reviews the key programmatic elements of the PAI and discusses lessons learned and the practices developed that helped the Alliance achieve its faculty diversity goal. 
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