ASCN Blog

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

Are we Gatekeepers or Groundskeepers? Being a good introductory STEMM instructor in a pandemic and beyond


Posted: Feb 1 2022 by

Jennifer Tsan
University of Chicago
Alice Tarun
St. Lawrence University
Tina Tao
St. Lawrence University
Rachel Renbarger
Western Michigan University
Laura Frost
Florida Gulf Coast University
Laura Frost, Florida Gulf Coast University; Rachel Renbarger, Western Michigan University; Tina Tao, St. Lawrence University; Alice Tarun, St. Lawrence University; and Jennifer Tsan, University of Chicago

Change Topics (Working Groups): Equity and Inclusion
Target Audience: Teaching/Learning Assistants, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Non-tenure Track Faculty
Program Components: Supporting Students

​​Georgia was a confident high school student. Despite the pandemic she continued to earn high marks in her science courses, motivating her to pursue a science major as she began college. She entered her first year at Perpetual University taking introductory biology and chemistry, along with participating in ROTC and community service learning. Although she had many commitments outside the classroom, she believed she could manage all her obligations on her own. But when she began failing quizzes and exams, instead of seeking out resources on campus right away, she put off reviewing her work and intended to address the concerns later. By the end of her first semester, she was facing academic suspension. In her view she felt ashamed for being in this position and couldn't bear to face the issues even though her professors, advisor, and academic support staff reached out to her and offered to help. Although Georgia was able to continue her college studies, she turned away from the science track because she could not envision success in these courses in her future. More

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