ASCN Blog

Happy National Mentoring Month!


Posted: Jan 31 2023 by

Patricia Marsteller
Emory University
Patricia Marsteller, Emory University

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

Since Odysseus left Mentor in charge of his family, estates, and his son, the art and science of mentoring has been critical to guiding career and educational development. Like Mentor, I aim to be a wise and trusted counselor, guide, guardian, and teacher or as the title of a widely read book indicates, an Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend (National Academies of Sciences, 1997). I have learned that mentoring is an alliance between people and that both mentors and mentees benefit from agreements about how the relationship will evolve and how to include social support, career development, and growth. With faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, mentoring often involves getting to know the whole person, their aims and aspirations, and their qualms about the future. Connecting students to the right resources or empowering them to bring up difficult questions with their faculty or research mentors requires that you be open, listen carefully, and know them as persons. More

Open Education as a lever for social justice and equity - Exploring the many on ramps of Open STEM education


Posted: Dec 21 2022 by

Melanie Lenahan
Raritan Valley Community College
Carlos Goller
North Carolina State University
Kaitlin Bonner
Saint John Fisher College
Kaitlin Bonner - St. John Fisher University,

Carlos Goller - North Carolina State University 

Melanie Lenahan - Raritan Valley Community College

*All authors contributed equally to this article. The names are arranged in alphabetical order.

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

The Open Education Ecosystem can be thought of as a roundabout where educators and researchers enter into a high-impact landscape through many different on ramps, including Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Data, Open Science, Open Pedagogy, or any of the many aspects of Open Education Ecosystem. Here we describe these common on ramps, transitions, and intersections between different facets of the Open Education landscape and more importantly how Open Education can be leveraged to promote social justice and equity in STEM education. More

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

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