2023 Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Featured Sessions

These featured sessions are free to attend for individuals registered for the conference [in person only], but require advanced registration due to room capacity. Add them to your registration.

Session 1: Uncovering Joy in These Hot Mess Times: Mindfulness Practice for the STEM Leader

Location: Washington A
Thursday, November 2, 2023
3:00–5:00 p.m.

This session/workshop will provide STEM faculty/administrators with the skills necessary to decompress from travel, the stressors of the academy, and life/world challenges, and discover ways to enter into the conference space and any other space, with a restorative, joyful mindset.

Stefani R. Briggs, Owner, Be.Still.Move.

Session 2: Sunrise Salutations

Location: Regency Ballroom E
Friday, November 3, 2023
7:30–8:15 a.m.

As the sun rises and casts its gentle glow, Stephanie will guide you on a journey of inner awakening and mindfulness. This early morning workshop offers a unique opportunity to begin your day centered, calm, and ready to embrace the day's challenges with a sense of inner peace and vitality that will carry you through your daily endeavors. Stephanie's expertise in mindfulness and her calming presence make "Sunrise Salutations" the perfect start to your day, helping you navigate life with a clear mind and a peaceful heart. Don't miss this opportunity to greet the sunrise with mindfulness and serenity.

Stefani R. Briggs, Owner, Be.Still.Move.

Session 3: An Opportunity for Input on the New Consensus Study About Equitable and Effective Undergraduate STEM Teaching from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Location: Tidewater II
Friday, November 3, 2023
9:30–10:30 a.m.

In this session, participants will learn about the motivation, scope, and plans for a consensus study that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine began this year. The study focuses on preparing a Framework for Equitable and Effective Undergraduate STEM Teaching. The final report, to be released in 2024, will lay out recommendations for educators, departments, institutions, and disciplines. Participants will have an opportunity to share their own views on equitable and effective undergraduate STEM teaching. That input will inform the committee’s revision of the draft Framework that is being released this month.

Kerry Brenner, Senior Program Officer, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Archie Holmes, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, The University of Texas System

Session 4: Mind Full? Mindful Moment

Location: Regency Ballroom E
Friday, November 3, 2023
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

In the midst of your busy day, "Mind Full? Mindful Moment" offers a soothing pause to recenter and recharge. This midmorning session provides an invaluable opportunity to pause, breathe, and refresh, creating a space of calm that will resonate throughout your day offering renewed focus and serenity. Stephanie's expertise in mindfulness and her calming presence help you to remain mindful and present as you engage in all your daily endeavors. Join Stephanie for a "Mind Full? Mindful Moment" and embrace this opportunity to replenish your mental and emotional well-being.

Stefani R. Briggs, Owner, Be.Still.Move.

Session 5: Faculty Online Learning Communities for Gender Equity

Location: Potomac III
Friday, November 3, 2023
12:30–2:00 p.m.

Lunch will be served.

Faculty Online Learning Communities for Gender Equity (FOLC-E) is a community of practice for departmental teams to receive support (from the project team and each other) as they address intersectional gender equity in their home departments. During this luncheon, we will demonstrate a facilitated meeting, with current FOLC-E participants discussing the challenges and successes of engaging in equity work. Following the demonstration, you will have the opportunity to ask the participants about their experiences, which include: two years of support, personalized administrative mentors, and expert speakers. Please join us to learn how participants have navigated their equity work, and how you can apply for our next cohort.

Apriel Hodari, Principal Investigator, Eureka Scientific, Inc.
Donte McGuire, Director of Research and Evaluation, Higher Ed Insight
Samantha Elliott, Director of Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Michael Baumgardner, Assistant Dean of Public Engagement and Enrollment, University of Albany
Daniel Vrinceanu, Professor of Physics, Texas Southern University
Stacey Jones-Willy, Chemistry Professor, Pima Community College

Session 6: Friend or Foe: ChatGPT for Next Tier Academic Writing

Location: Potomac IV
Friday, November 3, 2023
12:30–2:00 p.m.

Lunch will be served.

In an era where artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way we approach academia, ChatGPT emerges as both a trusted companion and a potential adversary in the world of academic writing and research grant development. Blooksy is a pioneering content-sharing platform that offers a unique interface for writers and researchers to collaborate with AI, harnessing the power of ChatGPT. With the capacity to assist in crafting research papers, grant proposals, and even entire books, ChatGPT offers an efficient and adaptable tool for academic content creation. Join us for an insightful session that delves into the dynamic realm of AI-driven academic writing, featuring a focus on ChatGPT and its implications for scholarly endeavors.

Anthony Joiner, CEO, Blooksy
JW Jones II, Blooksy
Shantel Chapman, Department of Defense, United States Air Force>

Session 7: Cultivating Project Ideas for the NSF Innovation in Two-Year College STEM Education (ITYC) Program

Location: Conference Theater
Saturday, November 4, 2023
8:00–9:00 a.m.

The National Science Foundation recently launched the Innovations in Two Year College STEM Education program. Its goals are to (1) center students in the effort to advance innovation, promote equitable outcomes, and broaden participation for all students in STEM education at two-year colleges, and (2) enhance the capacity of two-year colleges to harness the talent and potential of their diverse student and faculty populations through innovative disciplinary, multi-department, and college-wide efforts. In this seminar, program directors will work with attendees to cultivate project ideas that may result in proposal submissions. Program directors will highlight strategies for building successful inter- and intra-institutional partnerships and using disaggregated institutional data to provide context for the project. Attendees will learn more about the submission and review process and will be encouraged to engage program directors in a conversation with a brief summary of their potential project.

Kalyn Owens, Program Director, National Science Foundation
Michael Davis, Academic Dean, Northern Virginia Community College

Session 8: GrantWise: An Introduction to NSF S-STEM Grant Writing Success

Location: Tidewater II
Saturday, November 4, 2023
8:00–10:00 a.m.

Breakfast will be served.

For many faculty members, especially those without formal grant writing training or those at institutions with limited grant support, the process of "getting a grant" can seem daunting. As part of the STEM Higher Education Conference, the 2-hour GrantWise Workshop is designed for participants who are interested in securing extramural funding to bolster STEM education but don't know where to start. We aim to demystify the grant-seeking process, emphasizing: (1) Knowledge of sponsor priorities and expectations; (2) Targeted communication skills; (3) Building and nurturing critical relationships and networks; (4) Streamlined proposal management; and (5) Crafting competitive grant proposals.

In the first segment of GrantWise, we'll delve into the broad Federal funding ecosystem, spotlighting the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM). Recognized as a signature program for PUIs, S-STEM aids institutions in granting scholarships to academically gifted low-income students, ensuring their seamless journey from recruitment to graduation in STEM.

Part 2 offers a choice between two concurrent sessions:

  • The HBCU Roundtable - This session invites HBCU faculty to a conversation about engaging in STEM education or disciplinary based education research, how to obtain funding for such research, how to establish collaborations, and how it can fit into the professional goals of faculty. Ultimately, researching and publishing what works in STEM education at HBCUs, can further illuminate the academic strengths of these institutions.
  • S-STEM Office Hour - Designed for faculty who want to learn more about the S-STEM opportunity, we will dive deep into the funding announcement, brainstorm fundable ideas, and discuss tools and strategies to draft a standout application well before the submission deadline.

Claudia Rankins, Senior Research Associate, PRISSEM Academic Services, LLC
Jessica Venable, Partner, Thorn Run Partners

Session 9: NSF Hours: Funding Opportunities for Broadening Participation in STEM

Location: Conference Theater
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:15–10:15 a.m.

Recently, the National Science Board (NSB, 2020) noted that our nation’s S&E enterprise has not kept pace with demographic trends or with the centrality of science and engineering to our economy, and they’ve issued a strong call for “increased inclusion of Black people in S&E at all levels including in opportunities to participate, lead, and thrive. This is particularly timely given the deadly pandemic and deep sociopolitical divides that now make the need for more diverse scientists no longer questionable, but factual. The mechanisms by which the NSF is able to heed this call include a keen focus on investing in the most innovative approaches to broadening participation in STEM. The AAC&U Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference showcases and offers insight into the most recent funding priorities for advancing the reform of US undergraduate STEM education and the most viable and practical ways for accessing them. Session leaders will discuss future directions of undergraduate STEM education reform and review funding mechanisms for broadening participation in STEM, as well as NSF’s most recent solicitations for proposals aimed at advancing a national agenda for the reform of undergraduate STEM education that prioritizes racial equity.

Carrie Hall, Program Officer, National Science Foundation

Session 10: Exploring NSF Opportunities to Support STEM Broadening Participation at HSIs

Location: Virginia Room
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:15–10:15 a.m.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is committed to broadening participation, and this is evident through the variety of investment priorities related to preparing a diverse, globally engaged science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce; integrating research with education and building capacity; and expanding efforts to broaden participation from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions across all geographical regions in all NSF activities. To meet its priorities, it is imperative that the NSF portfolio represents the IHE community it serves, including strong representation from HSI institutions and their scholars. The NSF acknowledges that HSIs are heterogeneous and unique in many respects. Whether 2-year or 4-year, public or private, the HSIs serve a wide range of students with a diverse set of educational backgrounds. The need for tailored initiatives, policies, and practices (mindful of socio-cultural awareness) should meet the students' needs and institutions' expectations while advancing undergraduate students at HSIs toward higher levels of academic achievement in STEM. In addition, scientists and educators at minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, are crucial to advancing the frontiers of knowledge in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics enterprise. After attending this workshop, attendees will a) learn about NSF opportunities that specifically benefit HSIs in the AACU community, b) have a general understanding of NSF Merit Review Process, and c) will learn how to best position themselves for successful proposal submission.

Michael J Ferrara, National Science Foundation
James Alvarez, National Science Foundation