Examining Belongingness, Uniqueness, and Inclusivity Within a Land-Grant University Agricultural and Life Sciences Institute


  • Whitney Stone Oregon State University
  • Olivia Caillouet University of Florida
  • Annie Muscato University of Florida
  • Colby Silvert University of Florida
  • John Diaz University of Florida




belongingness, diversity equity and inclusion, Extension, uniqueness, land-grant university


This mixed methods study aimed to explore the perceptions of employees’ belongingness, uniqueness, and inclusivity within the [Blinded University]. A survey with quantitative and qualitative questions was used for data collection from February to April 2021. Respondents were [Blinded University] employees, faculty, students, and Extension professionals (n = 430). White (non-Hispanic) Extension professional respondents reported significantly greater levels of organizational belongingness than Extension respondents classified as Other ethnicities. No other significant differences were found for the three constructs among Extension, main campus, or student respondents. The qualitative survey data converged with the quantitative survey data and provided a more complete understanding of respondents' perceptions of organizational diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI). Respondents indicated improvements are needed for diversity and inclusivity initiatives, resources, and training. Key recommendations were that [Blinded University] continue DEI initiatives while better tailoring efforts toward meeting the needs of Extension professionals and Hispanic students. Building on the foundational understanding garnered from the present study, future research should explore inclusivity beyond ethnicity and also consider gender, sexual orientation, and income levels.

Keywords: belongingness, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Extension; uniqueness; land-grant university;


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How to Cite

Stone, W., Caillouet, O., Muscato, A., Silvert, C., & Diaz, J. (2023). Examining Belongingness, Uniqueness, and Inclusivity Within a Land-Grant University Agricultural and Life Sciences Institute. NACTA Journal, 67(1). https://doi.org/10.56103/nactaj.v67i1.90