Director of Graduate Student Success Melvin “Jai” Jackson to Serve on NC State’s Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Champion Team, Earns Certification

Melvin Jackson

NC State College of Education Director of Graduate Student Success Melvin “Jai” Jackson, Ph.D., has been selected to serve on NC State’s Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Champion Team after earning his IDI Qualified Administrator Certification in July.

Jackson attended a three-day, intensive training on the administration of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a psychometric instrument that assesses intercultural competence — the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities.

“I was attracted to this opportunity because oftentimes in higher education we are rewarded with several opportunities for personal growth and development through training, workshops and certifications that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, but oftentimes we fail to first understand where we are in our cultural competence,” Jackson said. “I believe that we must truly understand where we are, at this point in our own continuum, before we can plot a path forward. We have to take note of our current understanding and our collective experience as an organization before we can strategically move towards our definition of progress.”

The IDI generates an individual profile that outlines the individual’s capacity to shift perspectives and appropriately adapt behaviors, and an individual development plan (IDP), which is a detailed blueprint for the individual to further develop their cultural competence. At the completion of the training, participants are licensed as IDI Qualified Administrators.

As an IDI Qualified Administrator, Jackson is trained and certified at the highest level to administer and analyze the instrument. He has the ability to help individuals move from “good to great in serving the diverse populations they reach,” and he will aid individuals and groups in their desire to be more culturally competent through NC State’s IDI Champion Team.

“To be selected as an IDI Champion means that I have the trust and support of my peers, students and university leaders. I have the charge of assisting the Wolfpack community to develop their cultural competence. This charge gives me the opportunity to show my dedication to NC State and do my part to make a difference in the students we educate and the communities we serve,” Jackson said.

Members of the IDI Champion Team are:

  • Stephanie Helms Pickett, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Melvin “Jai” Jackson, College of Education
  • Nikki Price, College of Sciences
  • Maria Almanza, Office of Faculty Affairs
  • Monica Banks, Office of Faculty Affairs
  • Kathy Woodford, Employee Relations
  • Stephanie Davis, Learning and Organizational Development

Applications opened on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, for leadership teams at NC State to apply for the inaugural experience. The IDI Champion Team will facilitate the engagement of each leadership team as they participate in the pilot program, which will take place between October 2020 and late April 2021. Each selected leadership team will be invited to complete a pre-assessment, the IDI, receive a group composite debrief and orientation and be provided with an Intercultural Development Plan in hopes of advancing their team’s goals, objectives and aspirations in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Applications are being accepted through Sept. 30 with notification of acceptance by Oct. 20.

“I am confident this program will help our leaders throughout the university gain a sharper understanding of where they rest on the cultural competence continuum and provide guidance on the work they can engage in to progress. I believe through engaging our community, we have a spark to ignite a collective desire to move our Wolfpack community towards a true intercultural mindset,” Jackson said.

“As a land-grant institution of higher learning, we have a duty to model what it means to have an intercultural mindset. We model this for our students and our stakeholders and I am honored to serve in a capacity that affords me the ability to lead through service, modeling and support.”