Glossy images of diverse student bodies at universities are meant to convey these institutions’ warm embrace of prospective students, employees and supporters. But research suggests that when the images don’t line up with reality, the use of minority member photographs can backfire, generating an effect exactly opposite of the one intended.
Women and African-Americans are underrepresented among science and engineering graduate students. The Bridge Program, a collaboration between Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities, is working on changing this. And other programs are learning from its approach.