ASCN Blog

Flying with Sankofa: Moving forward by learning from the past


Posted: Aug 23 2022 by

Ruthmae Sears
University of South Florida
Laura Frost
Florida Gulf Coast University
Alec Cattell
Texas Tech University
Alec Cattell, Texas Tech University; Laura Frost, Florida Gulf Coast University; and Ruthmae Sears, University of South Florida

*All authors contributed equally to the document.

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion
Target Audience: Graduate Students, Post-doctoral Fellows, Institution Administration, Teaching/Learning Assistants, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff, Non-tenure Track Faculty
Program Components: Professional Development:Cultural Competency, Diversity/Inclusion

It is important to celebrate the heroes in our society who spoke up, and who took action to change systems and improve the lives of many. For instance, our nation celebrates heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose legacy continues to inspire civil rights initiatives and advocacy for equitable opportunities. The living legend Shirley Malcom, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) SEA Change program, was recently celebrated when her name was recognized on a building at her alma mater, Penn State University. Over her career, Dr. Malcom has tirelessly advocated and brought attention to the challenges of intersectionality, specifically the challenges faced by women of color in the sciences. More

Is the Bus Lane Missing for Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity and Justice (DEIJ) Initiatives in Higher Education?


Posted: May 26 2022 by

Reema Zeineldin
Framingham State College
Martina Rosenberg
University of Connecticut
Martina Rosenberg, She/hers, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT and Reema Zeineldin, She/her, Framingham State University, Framingham, MA

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion
Target Audience: Post-doctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, Institution Administration, Non-tenure Track Faculty, College/University Staff, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty

We all want to travel to desired places, but we do not all use the same means to get to our destination. Modes of transportation are human-powered or require replenishment of fuel. Some of us travel in isolation, others car-pool to tackle the journey together, or use public transportation. Progress may feel more like insignificant baby steps and less like traveling in the fast lane where pooling resources and effective pathways decreases demands on each individual. Similarly, context and strategies vary in institutions of higher education, when initiating improvements in institutional climates. More

What is Social Justice in STEMM Higher Education


Posted: Apr 15 2022 by

Sharon Homer-Drummond, PhD
Tri-County Technical College
Carlos Goller
North Carolina State University
Patricia Marsteller
Emory University
Pat Marstellar (she/her/hers), Emory University, Carlos Goller (he/him/his), North Carolina State University, and Sharon Homer-Drummond (she/her/hers), Tri-County Technical College

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion, Change Leaders
Target Audience: Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff, Non-tenure Track Faculty, Institution Administration

Social justice in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) higher education may be defined as ensuring that all students see themselves as fully represented and supported members of STEMM fields, even as new students (Byars-Winston & Dahlberg, 2020). That baseline implies that each student's cultural, religious, sexual and, gender identities, nationality, and socio-economic backgrounds are respected, welcomed, and honored in the STEMM courses. Social justice also includes access for learners of various backgrounds and preparation, of variously-abled situations, and socio-economic status. Social justice in STEMM also requires that faculty are as diverse as the student body, and that curricula include robust representation of fully diverse scientists, their data, and their work. Students can then see perspectives of counter-stereotypical scientists, and see themselves in those roles and in that work. The current reality in STEMM classrooms does not reflect that ideal of social justice. We therefore argue that curricula, faculty and staff, and school support systems need to change in order to incorporate social justice into STEMM. More

Social Justice in Undergraduate STEMM Education 2040: An Optimist's Perspective


Posted: Apr 8 2022 by

Sharon Homer-Drummond, PhD
Tri-County Technical College
Carlos Goller
North Carolina State University
Patricia Marsteller
Emory University
Pat Marstellar (she/her/hers), Emory University, Carlos Goller (he/him/his), North Carolina State University, and  Sharon Homer-Drummond (she/her/hers), Tri-County Technical College

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion, Change Leaders

It is the year 2040!

The intersecting crises of the 2020's (the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate change) finally led faculty groups and funders to a social justice agenda for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) education. Thousands of faculty read Ibram Kendi's How to be an Antiracist (2019) and began to realize that open educational resources (OER) and open pedagogy (OP) were needed to address the racial and ethnic disparities in health, impacts of climate change, and institutional practices. A revolution began! More

Enacting Rightful Presence to Promote Students' Belonging


Posted: Feb 24 2022 by

Ruthmae Sears
University of South Florida
Ken Griffith
Texas Tech University
Alec Cattell
Texas Tech University
Alec Cattell, Texas Tech University, Ken Griffith, Texas Tech University, and Ruthmae Sears, University of South Florida

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion, Change Leaders
Target Audience: Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Non-tenure Track Faculty, College/University Staff, Institution Administration

As we educators pursue equitable and just practices in STEM education, we acknowledge our students' diverse experiences and challenges, and we recognize the importance of their sense of belonging in our learning communities. Too often, we focus on quantifiable differences without considering how our actions and policies can impact the ways our students' voices and presence are valued and the extent to which their beliefs and dispositions are respected within our community. By enacting rightful presence (Calabrese & Tan, 2020), we can foster the sense of belonging that is essential for all students, particularly underrepresented groups, to succeed in our classrooms (Rainey et al., 2018). More

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