Click on each fellow's name to read more about their action plan.
Oregon State University |Integrative Biology
Improving Representation of BIPOC Scholars in Evolution and Marine Biology Using Inclusive and Critical Pedagogies
I teach undergraduate Evolution and Introduction to Marine Biology. The vast majority of textbooks used for teaching either of these courses rely on knowledge generated primarily by white (European, and European-American) researchers, most of which are men, as a result of historic and systemic bias and racism. Scientists of non-white backgrounds have long participated in research in these fields, and continue to increase in prevalence today. Their contributions, however, are still largely ignored in favor of those of white scientists. My IE Action Plan will address these issues at multiple levels. Using concepts from Inclusive Pedagogy, I will work to replace relevant content within my Evolution and Marine Bio lectures with scientific knowledge generated from research by BIPOC scholars. I will engage my PhD student trainees to help collect primary literature for as many topics as possible, and I will then work these into my lectures and course assignments. I will also engage the course students to help learn more about the scholars themselves. For this, I will leverage resources such as "scientistspotlights.org" and "https://marinemadness.blog/2020/06/19/the-black-lives-of-marine-biolog", from which student groups can be responsible for writing short reports on the lives and contributions of interesting scientists. Within the Evolution course, I will employ Critical Pedagogy practices to learn about the misuse of scientific theories, such as population genetics, to promote social injustice and racist practices. I will primarily focus on the concepts and history of eugenics, which used to be a prominent topic within OSU's Biology curriculum in the recent past. While eugenics was formulated from basic genetic principles, there were, not surprisingly, many technical flaws in addition to countless ethical issues. I will develop a lecture and group assignment series in which students will use proper evolutionary genetics theory to debunk the merits and potentials of eugenics. They will also spend time discussing and listing ethical and social justice implications of considering eugenics as a viable option. In addition to eugenics, students will also study and discuss genomic research associated with social divisions of "race", and how much misunderstanding there still is. These discussions will focus on statistical genetic data sets that clearly illustrate how skin pigmentation is an extremely poor predictor of most stereotypes currently attributed to racial differences.
Oregon State University | Chemistry
Help, I'm failing my chemistry lab! Working towards an increased sense of inclusivity in the general chemistry laboratory
Each year, approximately 1000 students enroll in the general chemistry laboratory sequence (CH 26x; x = 1–3) at Oregon State University (OSU). This cohort is comprised of primarily first-year students who bring significant diversity to OSU in terms of their intersecting social identities. While this diversity doubtlessly enriches the OSU community, it may lead to concerns of differing student interpretations regarding their sense of belonging and potential for academic success. This can be exacerbated in a course such as the general chemistry laboratory, where students are tasked to complete challenging coursework that, for most, entails new and unfamiliar pedagogical approaches. Some students may feel that they are not sufficiently included in their laboratory cohort and lack the ability to do well in the course. If students who espouse this view are not disabused of this notion, it can become detrimental to their performance in the course and thus early intervention is crucial. With this in mind, the proposed action plan items are summarized below:
Starting fall 2020 and continuing into subsequent terms, we intend to increase communication to students, with an emphasis on inclusivity and the potential for success regardless of one’s background. This may be most easily and immediately accomplished via Canvas announcements to the students in the course.
Starting fall 2020 and continuing into subsequent terms, we intend to implement survey questions to measure our students’ sense of inclusivity. One potential route is by adding instructor questions to the student evaluations at the end of the term, and more ambitious surveys may be possible.
At both the Departmental and University level, there is currently no explicit inclusivity training of incoming chemistry graduate students who will serve as CH 26x TAs. The importance of this can hardly be overstated, as TAs are the main point of interaction for CH 26x students. We plan to add dedicated inclusivity training during the fall TA orientation. This may be done in collaboration with colleagues from other departments with a similar intent (OSU Physics, for example) and experts from the Office of Institutional Diversity.
We intend to make ongoing inclusivity training, discussion, and reflection a part of our compulsory weekly CH 26x TA meetings.
We hope to add a mechanism for students who have completed CH 26x to provide advice and support for incoming students. This peer support may be of particular value.
Oregon State University | Forest Ecosystems and Society
Developing Inclusive Teaching Guides for the College of Forestry
Ensuring that the College of Forestry (CoF) classes are welcoming, inclusive, and create a sense of belonging can help increase diversity in forestry and forestry-related fields. CoF has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). However, some barriers to creating more inclusive CoF classes are faculty and graduate students not knowing “where to start” with DEI resources and/or what resources are most relevant. To help address these barriers related to teaching and pedagogy, I plan to create a series of Inclusive Teaching Guides built around themes (ex: inclusive language, creating a welcoming classroom, assessment, etc.). These Inclusive Teaching Guides will include best practices, a range of resources to gain further knowledge (such as scientific papers, podcasts, publicly available recorded lectures), and CoF-specific examples of how these practices can be operationalized in the classroom. I will build the Inclusive Teaching Guides into Modules on a CoF-hosted Canva page. To help inform colleagues about the Inclusive Teaching Guides and how to use them, I will host a College-wide workshop introducing the CoF community to this resource. I plan on measuring the outcomes of this Action Plan in a few different ways. First, I will quantify engagement with Inclusive Teaching Guides using the basic metrics provided by Canvas. Second, I will survey CoF faculty and graduate students about their use, or lack of use, of the Inclusive Teaching Guides and any changes they have made in their classroom and teaching practices. Third, I hope to use qualitative information from Peer Reviews of Teaching as a metric of whether faculty are putting in to practice the knowledge gained from the Inclusive Teaching Guides.
Oregon State University | Physics
Growing a sense of belonging in the physical sciences
My objective is to increase the comfort level and sense of belonging of students from groups that have traditionally been a marginalized part of physics – basically anyone who isn’t a white male. I have four specific projects I hope to complete sequentially. They are:
- Collaborate with PhIS to create a series of posters of physicists of diverse backgrounds. The immediate goal is to turn these into PowerPoint slides that can be shared at the start or end of each lecture. They can also be made into hard-copy posters for display in the department. I would like to have the slides for Winter 2021; because of COVID the posters will have to wait until we return to campus.
- Create an introductory video sharing a bit of my personal background as well as my goals for students in the course. The hope is that students will connect more with me as the instructor and thus with the course. I hope to have this ready for Spring 2021, when I will teach the first term of the introductory course, and thus have a class of new students.
- Add inclusivity training to our instruction for new graduate TA’s as a way to leverage the information and understanding I’ve gained from this fellowship. This training occurs in the Fall term, so the timeline for this is Fall 2021.
- Create a bank of problems that are built around diverse student experiences, thus connecting to the diversity of backgrounds and cultures of our students. This will require a team of diverse problem writers, which could come from LA’s, physics majors, PhIS, or the students themselves. This will be a continuous project, but given the other initiatives it probably won’t be put into practice until next academic year.
Measuring results will mostly be based on surveys of student attitudes, self-assessment, and possibly assessment of other members of small-group work. It will involve digesting a lot of data, so I will need to assemble assistants (and probably funding) to summarize results.
Lane Community College | Physics and Astronomy
Strengthening Classroom Community for Belongingness and Growth
As a community college instructor teaching non-majors science courses, I have a responsibility to help students build healthy academic habits by encouraging a growth mindset and metacognitive skills. Students must be see my critical feedback as an opportunity rather than a threat; fundamentally, they must trust me. However, building rapport can be difficult - now more than ever. I am focusing my efforts on nurturing stronger connections with students so that they are open to critical feedback, and come to believe that they can meet my high expectations. Additionally, I aim to build community within my classroom, fostering peer-to-peer support. Specifically, I plan to reframe office hours as study sessions, and require one-on-one meetings with each student early in the term (thank you, small class sizes!). I will use these sessions, along with weekly writing prompts, to scaffold study skills, highlight campus resources, stimulate metacognitive reflection, and deliver social-psychological interventions to mitigate stereotype threat and build science identity (values affirmation and Scientist Spotlights). My goal is to boost a sense of belonging for my students, both within my classroom but also in STEM more broadly. I will use a survey at the end of the term to measure the impacts of these interventions in three key areas: 1) classroom belonging, measured using Alfred Rovai's Classroom Community Scale, 2) growth mindset, measured using Elizabeth Canning's Faculty Growth Mindset Survey from Washington State University, and 3) science attitudes using items from the University of Colorado's CLASS Science Attitudes Survey. I hope that this proactive and integrated approach to building classroom community supports the success of all of my students and leads to higher course success rates across demographics.
Linn-Benton Community College | Mathematics
Taking Them to the Beach
I am thinking about how to present mathematical ideas through other sensory channels. I have been taking students' vision for granted and in fact, have been favoring those who have vision over those who have vision as a learning barrier. Studies have shown that students with major learning barriers due to vision vary rarely take calculus courses, let alone college algebra. I currently feel as a contributor to this unbalance, which is why I really want to bring touch, taste, smell, and audio into my methods of teaching. With the current Covid situation, I believe this is an even harder action to incorporate over the next few years, but to me, that just shows how great the need is. I plan on continuing to try different ways for students to listen to functions (such as Desmos.com) and use some type of textured paper so students can feel what a function may feel like.
When I think about what it means to use multi-sensory teaching I think of taking someone to the Beach. If I only talk about the beach and show pictures, people would have some concept of the beach, but If I take them there where they can smell, touch, taste, see, and hear it, then that changes the entire experience and meaning of a beach.
Oregon State University | Microbiology
Grading for Equity
The problem facing us is that our grading system leaves no room for learning, just for gaming the system and accumulating points. Those whose lives leave them free to learn how to game the system do best, while those who may be experiencing hardships have little to no time to creatively accumulate points, and so suffer grade-wise; neither group learns the material, as these grades are not based solely on content mastery. My plan gets students away from focusing solely on assessment and point accumulation and back to learning via implicit motivation. I’ll be focusing on five equitable guiding principles: practices that are accurate and mathematically sound, and allow growth rather than failure (minimum grading (50% floor), weighing most recent performance, no group grades, EMANI scale); practices that value knowledge, not environment or behavior, and that evaluate only on content mastery (no “participation”, “extra credit” or “effort” grades; grades based on work, not timing of work; grades based entirely on summative assessment, not formative (no grading the learning process)); practices that support hope and growth mindset, encouraging mistakes are part of the learning process (allowing assessment retakes; replacing old scores with new ones; no averaging); practices that lift the veil on how to succeed, making grades simpler and more transparent (renaming grade scale; minimum grading; rubrics); practices that build soft skills and motive students without grading them, relying on intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation (using peer and self-evaluation and reflection; employing a more expansive menu of feedback strategies). Measuring outcomes will ultimately be through the issuing of a grade on summative performance; this grade will come about and be “decided” on by students’ active role in their learning (knowing what they don’t know, retaking and demonstrating learning; possible collaboration with peers/instructor on measuring content mastery).
Oregon State University | Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Lack of diversity in veterinary medicine is worse than almost all other healthcare professions in the USA. Through active participation in pipeline programs, mentorship, and efforts to reduce bias in our selection process, veterinarians can improve diversity in our field and in the specialty of veterinary emergency and critical care. We need to leverage diversity as an asset which can enhance collective performance across a broad range of contexts. Creating inclusive environments which foster a culture of curiosity, empathy, kindness and belonging in which students feel cared for as a learner is vital. I strive to understand the mechanism of learning, how it is implemented in the brain and how students/trainees can be more effective learners. Knowledge is constructed, not passively transferred; it is assembled around information, past experiences and the surrounding environment.
My goal is to create learning environments in the clinical setting in which students feel safe, seen, heard, valued and respected. I would like to practice culturally responsive teaching which recognizes the unique identities, backgrounds and cultures of students. Culturally responsive pedagogy is an evidence-based teaching approach that makes meaningful connections between what students learn in school and their cultures, environments, languages, and lived experiences. These associations facilitate student access to a rigorous curriculum, develop higher-level academic skills, and help them understand the significance of what they learn at school and the world they live in (Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Dr. Zaretta Hammond).
The healthcare team in the veterinary ICU setting provides comprehensive care for patients with acute and chronic life-threatening conditions. Clinicians learn to recognize and respond to the complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity ingrained in critical care medicine practice. On the emergency and critical care rotation, the learner partners with a clinician educator to work through the diagnosis and management of critically ill patients. This is a dynamic, interactive, synergistic, and collective process; a balance of clinical reasoning to care for patients and educational reasoning to teach students/trainees.
- Meeting the Learner
a) Orientating the learner (learn about your learner background, interests and previous experiences), b) setting expectations: a reciprocal relationship, c) diagnosing the learner: understand and personalize their experience, d) priming the learner: prepare them for academic success
- Case presentation teaching strategies
- Curtail interruptions, apprise the student of the expected length for presentations beforehand, allow the learner to arrive at the diagnosis themselves, encourage the learner to present in a way that “makes their case”
- Goal is for the oral presentation to be accurate, organized and concise.
- Areas of deliberate practice: organization of presentations, being more concise in presentations, focusing on the key patient-specific elements of a presentation, including more pertinent positives and negatives, better highlighting the key active issues, communicating areas of uncertainty, and modifying presentation based on audience, amount of time, purpose, and specialty.
- One-Minute Preceptor model:
The one-minute preceptor model provides a framework for time-efficient teaching with evidence of positive impacts on learning in the clinical setting.
1) Get commitment, 2) probe for understanding, 3) teach general rules, 4) provide consolidative feedback, 5) provide constructive feedback (Aagard E, Teherani A, Irby DM: Effectiveness of the One-Minute Preceptor Model for Diagnosing the Patient and the Learner: Proof of Concept. Academic Medicine 2004;79(1):42-49.)
Lane Community College | Mathematics
Community Building and Sense of Belonging in Math Classes:
Problem: Students avoid or fail math classes and feel that they don’t “belong” or identify as “not a math person”. This phenomenon occurs in all identity groups but seems particularly acute for traditionally underrepresented college populations.
- Increased passing rate and grades in student's current math class.
- Increased student success in subsequent math classes.
- Increased use of common spaces, office hours, and tutor centers.
- More lively, relevant conversations in the classroom and in common spaces.
- Greater sense of community or "family" in the department.
Possible measures to take:
- Look up demographics for various identity groups to see if they are represented at LCC and in LCC math classes
- Interview a colleague with particularly high student success rates in subsequent classes.
- Meet with individual students to see how they are doing and get to know them.
- Utilize activities that allow students to get to know each other.
- Involve students in classroom processes like presenting material and scoring quizzes or homework.
- Create "pods" of students for them to check in with each other on a regular basis.
- Think of and solicit ideas to make the classroom culture more inclusive and to minimize prejudice.
- Streamline other teaching duties to free up time and attention for more individualized engagement.
- Lack of time ot provide relaxed, individual attention.
- Fear of activities being perceived as inappropriate or a waste of time.
Help to request:
- Pedagogical support: Usable activities
- Logistical/tech support (especially when teaching remotely) to set up efficient ways for students to connect with each other and with the instructor.
- Reassignment time to implement some of these systems.
- Comparing success and retention rates before and after implementation
- Survey of perceived belonging (as self-reported by students)
Oregon State University | Mathematics
Develop and Implement a Learning Community for Instructors and Graduate Students at OSU
Project team: Filix Maisch, Raven Chakerian, Shawn Massoni, Dan Rockwell, Rachael Cate, and Liddy Detar
The purpose of this learning community is to create an instructor-led and oriented professional development opportunity for instructors to provide leadership in and take ownership of antiracist work in their units and beyond. While instructors as a community at OSU have the highest student contact hours, their positions are vulnerable in terms of job security. This combination of circumstances uniquely positions instructors to have immense potential to reach students while also putting them in a position of limited power and influence among higher ranking peers. Our community will create a space where instructors will have agency and feel empowered to explore antiracism in a community of peers of similar ranking. Below are the learning objectives for participants in this faculty learning community:
Analyze antiracist pedagogy in general educational practices and across disciplines.
Design, implement, promote and assess antiracist teaching practices and their application to student learning.
Openly and effectively discuss issues of race, particularly in concert with content design and delivery, assessment and other instructor related activities.
Apply techniques such as dialogue to support interdisciplinary collaboration on antiracist teaching practices.
Create, maintain, and/or increase an awareness of the complexity of the social construction of Whiteness and its effects on teaching and learning, particularly in individual disciplines and among faculty in their academic units.
Identify resources and communities at OSU and beyond to support antiracist pedagogy.
Contribute to department and university expectations around diversity, equity and inclusion.
Identify at least one concrete change for your course(s)/general teaching practices that integrates antiracist pedagogy.
Oregon State University | Integrative Biology
Biology Outside the Box: Social Justice Conversations in an Introductory Biology Context
The discipline of biology is frequently projected as taking place in a bubble of strict science, and community standards of research ethics and best practices are intentionally formulated to minimize researcher bias (unintended or otherwise). On a broader scale, the application of science involves human decision-making, complete with myriad social considerations including politics, philosophy and cultural constructs. Thus, both a student’s biology education and their development as an equitable and socially-just citizen is better served by exploring the social implications of biological sciences. My Action Plan is to offer students enrolled in the Ecampus BI20x Introductory Biology series the opportunity each term to examine disparities in the social ramifications of cutting-edge research through guided online conversations among their peers. Topics will include health disparities in the time of COVID-19, social justice in the face of climate change, and deconstructing misconceptions regarding human genetic variation and racial distinctions. While education remains the primary goal, the hope is that students will also feel an increased sense of belonging in light of their uniquely intersectional identities.
Oregon State University | Biochemistry & Biophysics
Belonging through Teaching, Mentoring, and Recruiting: OSU students teach online Biochemistry outreach course to local high school students
In order to help overcome barriers to belonging and to aid in recruiting and retention of a diverse group of students to OSU STEM departments, my plan is to leverage the high school level Biochemistry Blast course I developed for PACE (Professional and Continuing Education). I will apply for seed money or crowdfunding to offer scholarships to students at Oregon high schools, targeting in particular some programs in Salem and Portland. I will seek out the help of program directors to choose students who are interested in science and might not otherwise be able to afford the course. In addition, I will recruit some undergraduate BB/BMB majors who have an interest in teaching, have them enroll in the Learning Assistant program, and then have them work with me to teach the Biochemistry Blast courses. This experience would allow them try out some teaching, experience being a mentor to high school students in underserved communities, and further their work experience as relevant to their resume-building and future careers. Bringing on undergraduates who identify with groups who are a minority in Oregon would be ideal for fostering a feeling of belonging in the potential recruits/future Beavers. My hope is that high school students who take Biochemistry Blast would enroll at OSU when it comes time for college. (And perhaps themselves participate in this program.) I will measure the outcomes by following up with the enrollees as to whether they enrolled in college, which college, and whether they entered a STEM major.
Oregon State University | Civil Engineering
Inclusive and critical practices for increasing confidence in programming and computation
Diversity in programming and perquisite knowledge are the biggest barriers to students. Due to the computational nature of my courses, students with limited programming experience can have early setbacks and lose confidence at the beginning of a course. Often, students are also rusty in previous theory from prerequisite courses (particularly in mathematics and mechanics). Since these courses often focus on theory over applications, it is easy for students to miss the course context in relation to their other classes. Combined, these barriers result in incomplete assignments and lack of interest in the course material.
Goal: My aim is to develop a teaching pedagogy that is inclusive of all students, regardless of previous experiences in programming and computation. In particular, I want to increase persistence, self-efficacy, and confidence in my course material. Based on the “Inclusive and Critical Practices Framework”, emphasis will be placed on “belonging”: Acknowledge the anxiety and self-doubt many students experience related to programming. Each lecture, communicate high expectations, respect for the students, and belief in students’ capability.
Tentative action plan for CE 589: Seismic Design and CE 534: Structural Dynamics
- Explore the literature:
- Resources to aid in developing CE 538 as a DPD course: https://dpd.oregonstate.edu/teaching-resources
- NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology: https://www.ncwit.org/
- NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) on career readiness and linkages with industry
- MAA Instructional Practices Guide (this is a great resource that I would like to read in detail)
- Brainstorm with others:
- w/in IE@OSU (stoked about this!)
- w/in structural engineering at OSU: Michael Scott
- 2/in computer science at OSU: Jennifer Parham-Mocello
- Outside OSU: Laura Linderman, U. of Minnesota (also teaches structural dynamics)
- Low-stakes, frequent practice: develop modular course material as building blocks to guide student learning in programming:
- Develop first-tier scaffolding to guide students in programming from "hello world" code to numerical analyses
- Develop second-tier scaffolding to aid students that miss a module or make a mistake in above
- Develop debugging modules and a checklist
- Develop "recall" modules on:
- Ordinary Differential Equations
- Linear Algebra
- Frequent quizzes every other week (no testing)
- Emphasize Growth Mindset: "intelligence through mental effort"
- Tie to real-world example problems:
- Earthquake engineering and urban environment
- Emphasize trans-disciplinary research that includes both engineering and social science
- Impact of earthquakes on society in terms of economic loss, urban recovery, and resiliency
- Address social and political dimensions of natural hazards research
- Structural systems
- Base isolation
- Tuned mass damper
- Videos of experimental tests
- Online visualization tool/physical demonstrations
- Beginning mid- and end-of-term surveys to assess attitude towards programming; summarize results and highlight feedback and integration plan during following lecture
- Every lecture - in-class anonymous poll to assess attitude towards course material:
- How did you enjoy this lecture?
Reflective, self-assessment via weekly written questions in assignments
Peer-to-peer assessment via peer grading of written questions
Self-assessment via real-time automatic programming assignment tests
- This was review.
- I learned a few things.
- I will need to look back through the material
- I got completely lost
- I fell asleep
Oregon State University | Physics
Expectation Setting, Community Building, and Critical Pedagogy in Physics
This project will create and implement a set of activities to be implemented during the first two days of General Physics PH201. The goals of these activities will be:
- To excite and motivate students
- To begin to create community within the classroom
- To break down stereotypes of physics
- To confront and assuage fears about the course
- To set expectations for behavior
- To set expectations of course format and techniques for engagement and learning in the course
- To help students see the instructors as approachable, unintimidating, and supportive humans
The activities will include a musical intro to the course, reading of the land acknowledgement, an interactive live survey activity, and an expectation setting and community building activity created with inspiration from the Paradigms program at OSU. To assess the impact of this practice, a follow up activity will be created for the end of the term. Portions of the results of this latter activity will then feed back into the next year's introductory activity as inspiration for students in the next cohort.
Oregon State University | Biochemistry-Biophysics
Increase access to undergraduate research opportunities in genomics by applying for NIH R25 undergraduate training grant
Members of the Oregon State University Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics have identified financial barriers as one challenge preventing underrepresented students from engaging in research and mentoring opportunities during the academic year. Most academic year research opportunities are not supported with stipends and thus are not accessible to students who need to work 20+ hours to pay for tuition and basic needs. A collaborative team of BB faculty (Hendrix, Freitag, Dalton, Shay, van Zee) will develop and submit an NIH R25 undergraduate training grant proposal by either Jan 25, 2021 or 2022.This type of training grant aims to enhance diversity in the genomics workforce. We will request funding to support a cohort model of 8-10 2nd and 3rd year students in School of Life Sciences (SLS) over 2 years with mentoring, 12 months paid research, and professional development. We expect to train a total of 24-30 students with bachelor of science degrees prepared to enter the genomics research and work forces. We will also develop a portfolio of genomics and mentoring cohort courses for SLS students. To assess these outcomes we will use 1) mentor and student direct assessment tools to measure sense of belonging and preparation for genomics careers and 2) post- graduation surveys (+ 6 months and+ 3 years after degree award date) to see what career fields/professional fields cohort members are in and whether cohort members continue in the genomics workforce. We hope to use such training grant funding to leverage institutional support and fundraising with Foundation for program sustainability.
Oregon State University | Chemistry
Fostering Inclusion and Success by Building a Better Classroom Community
The community that we build in our classes plays an important role in fostering the success of our students. That sense of community shows students that they belong in our classes, that they can be successful, and provides them the support that helps them persist in the face of setbacks. Students will engage in short, focused writing activities throughout the term that will promote community by connecting students' individual identities to their peers and to the larger academic and science communities. These writing activities will include having students list and discuss the traits or abilities that they value in themselves so that they see themselves as students who belong in college classrooms. Other writing activities will focus on goals for the class and for their academic career. Academic success will be promoted by giving students time in class to focus on skills development, such as setting up and revising a calendar, and developing exam strategies and to reflect on how those skills will help them achieve success both in and beyond the classroom. An improved sense of community will be promoted by having students write letters to middle school students about why science is important to them and how they see science as a part of their goals and identity. Students will also write a letter to a student who comes after them, so that they have a chance to pay it forward, and so that future incoming students can see that those who came before are interested in their success.
The effectiveness of this community building approach will be measured in two ways. At about the midpoint of the term, students will be given the Formative Student Learning Environment Survey to provide a measure of the student view of these activities. Questions in this survey focus on students' sense of belonging, their view of the support they have, and if the environment is helping them achieve their academic and professional goals. In addition to the survey, attention will also be paid to other measures of success, including retention rates and persistence in science disciplines. It is hoped that, over time, a consistent focus on community will lead to increased participation and success in science by all students, but in particular those students who are typically under-represented in the sciences. The activities that will be used are short, focused and effective, and can transform our classrooms to spaces where everyone benefits from and contributes to a better sense of community.