Cultivating a Practice of Mindfulness: Minimizing Unconscious Bias
Dr. Robbin Chapman, Associate Provost & Academic Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Wellesley College
A hallmark of effective leadership is the ability to exercise good (informed, balanced) judgement. However, there is an unconscious influence on our judgement called “bias.” Our assumptions and stereotypes can intensify our bias filtering and even external events can trigger bias behaviors. In this session, we will unpack how bias works and introduce practices for reducing the influence of those biases on our actions and decisions, and our interactions with others.
Exploring Class and Gender in Supporting STEM Students
Dr. Laura Ramsey, Associate Professor of Psychology, Bridgewater State University
Dr. Colby King, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater State University
This session explores how gender and class shape students’ experieces in STEM fields. In particular, the culture of STEM disciplines may be mismatched with the cultural expectations of women and working-class students, which can create barriers to these students’ success and motivation in STEM. This session will offer highlights from the research on gender and class as it relates to STEM education, as well as recommendations for STEM faculty who wish to create a more inclusive environment.
Supporting Isolated Students
Ms. Charlana Simmons, Director of Office of Multicultural Affairs, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Supporting successful student integration into campus culture can sometimes be a difficult task. There are several instances where students isolate themselves from peers, faculty, and staff or become excluded from community building opportunities. This session will identify potential causes for isolation (self-imposed and systematic), and assist faculty and staff in identifying students who are isolating themselves or being excluded. Participants in this session will learn how to identify students who are having difficulty finding community institutionally, academically, and socially, and identify ways to help those students access community in various venues across the campus.
Making STEM’s Relevance Clear
Dr. Adrienne Wooters, Physics and Academic Affairs, Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts
There is ample research that shows that students who take STEM courses that address personal and/or socially relevant issues through project-based learning are more engaged and are more likely to succeed in those courses. These courses strengthen students’ critical thinking skills and heighten their levels of civic engagement. This workshop will cover the basic building blocks of creating, integrating, and assessing project-based assignments. Participants will then work to develop project-based assignments that engage students in relevant real-world issues.
Help Students Navigate your Courses and Programs with Backwards Design
Dr. Thomas Kling, Physics, Bridgewater State University
Backwards Design is an organizing principle that can help you create interventions that help students better meet your course and program objectives. Participants in this workshop will learn the basic principles of backwards design, and begin to apply them at the individual course and a program levels.