Pathways participants collaborating at a table

The Pathways Project is a Graduate School initiative for inclusive excellence for students, faculty, and staff designed to foster equity and mentoring in graduate education at Ball State University. The Pathways Project features three distinct programs, which center and support students from marginalized backgrounds (e.g., domestic Students of Color, LGBTQIA2S+ students, students with disabilities, low-income students, student veterans, students with dependents, etc.).

The three programs are:

  • The Pathways Mentoring Program - for undergraduate and graduate students interested in collaborating with a faculty/staff mentor.
  • The Pathways Undergraduate Research Fellowship- for undergraduate students interested in research and scholarly experiences through the support of a faculty mentor.
  • The Action Research Collective - for graduate students interested in conducting research.

Ultimately, The Pathways Project aims to cultivate inclusive excellence by supporting marginalized students as they pursue and complete post-baccalaureate degrees. Learn more about programs within The Pathways Project below.


To apply, complete the onlinePathways Mentee Application or Pathways Mentor Application. Faculty interested in referring a student may direct them to complete the same application or can send the referral by email to Pathways program coordinators.

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Pathways Mentoring Program

Pathways Mentoring Program

Pathways is a mentoring program that supports undergraduate and graduate students from marginalized backgrounds as they pursue graduate education and beyond. Watch a video regarding our program on YouTube. The Pathways program includes the following features:

  • Mentoring Partnerships
  • Community-building Gatherings
  • University-sponsored Professional Development Programming
  • Small Grant Funding

Learn more about mentorship

Pathways Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Pathways Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Ball State University is designed to provide undergraduate Pathways students with research and scholarly experiences through the support of a faculty mentor who will allow them to gain additional skills and accomplishments to enhance their applications for post-baccalaureate graduate and professional programs. Students who are interested in the fellowship should review the requirements and complete the application here.

Action Research Collective (ARC)

The Action Research Collective (ARC) centers the knowledge, creativity, and expertise of graduate student leaders to produce information needed to advance support and success for graduate students from marginalized backgrounds at Ball State University. Foremost, this initiative aims to expand professional development opportunities for underrepresented and marginalized graduate students and demystify the graduate school pipeline. 

Throughout the academic year, the team of ARC research partners, across various graduate programs at Ball State University, will meet bi-weekly to design and execute a research study while gaining vital experience conducting research to transform Ball State's climate. 

Supported by the Graduate School and guided by Dr. Robin Phelps-Ward, Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence and Assistant Professor of Higher Education, ARC is a space for graduate students to confidently engage in critical scholarly inquiry while building a sense of belonging on campus through professional development opportunities and mentorship. ARC meets bi-weekly based on a schedule mutually agreed upon by team members. 


Additional Resources

The Graduate Student Wellness Initiative helps centralize resources and hosts wellness events for the Graduate School community. See what resources are available to you.

Program Coordinators

Dr. Scarlett Hester

Dr. Scarlett Hester (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and serves as the new Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence in the Graduate School. Dr. Hester earned her PhD from the University of Memphis in Rhetoric and Media Studies. Her research is situated within the intersections of critical rhetoric and media studies, emphasizing critical race, whiteness, sport and surveillance, gender, and sexuality. As a critical scholar, her research centers on important cultural work that combines notions of the body with race, gender, and sexuality as a means to critique structural power and inequality, specifically within professional sports culture.


Rebecca Adu-Boahene

Rebecca Adu-Boahene (she/her/hers) is a master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration, Higher Ed. (SAAHE) program at Ball State University. She is a graduate from University of Ghana earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration (majoring in accounting).

Upon graduation, she would like to pursue a doctoral degree after completing her program at Ball State.

Dushani Eshwaran

Dushani Eshwaran (she/her/hers) is a master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education program at Ball State University. She holds a bachelor’s, a postgraduate diploma, an International postgraduate certificate, and a master’s in education. She has nearly 22 years of experience in K-12 schools. Dushani is passionate about working with college students and supporting them to accomplish their desired goals.

She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree after completing her program at Ball State.