Tag: Inclusion

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: How to change the culture of ableism in academe

We are all aware of various accommodations that our campuses have made to respond to the needs of those with disabilities, such as ramps into our buildings; signage in Braille in the elevators; wheelchair sections in our classrooms; and accessibility requirements for webpages and learning management systems. Still, students, staff and faculty with more visible and less visible disabilities frequently encounter ableism, which refers to beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with disabilities. Recently, Nature has featured the experiences of several scientists who face specific challenges in navigating academia, including a lip-reading ecologist, a graduate student with PTSD, and a nuclear physicist on crutches. They offer advice for how colleagues can be allies such as making small changes in communication methods when needed and not dismissing their requests for accommodations.

Additional guidance is offered in an Inside Higher Ed post about how to write reference letters for colleagues and students with disabilities, including not outing someone’s disability without their permission, not discussing how accommodations “fix” the disability, and not creating “inspiration porn” about the person with the disability. Taken together, these articles prompt us to update our assumptions, professional practices, and campus facilities to normalize and support accommodations for people with disabilities.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advance team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup. The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Departmental Climate Has High-Impact for DEIS

A recent article in Science magazine, “Michigan’s Surprising Path to Diversity,” highlights the success of the Applied Physics Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan in recruiting and graduating underrepresented students. As much as one-third of the program’s entering cohort are Black, Latino, or Native American students, compared with 5% nationally, and women comprise one-third of the typical graduating class. Success starts by removing barriers, such as reconceptualizing the vision of the ideal graduate student among faculty, empowering staff to serve, and creating a family-like climate. Roy Clark, founding program director, states that “we make it clear that we expect people who come here to succeed,” and the program promotes excellent teaching among research faculty. The interdisciplinary program also helps to connect multiple areas of study, which appeals to underrepresented students. For example, the Imes-Moore Bridge Program helps recruit, prepare, and sustain cohorts of underrepresented students to the program. Model programs such as this one can inspire new ways of structuring our own PhD programs for student success.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advocates Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Beyond Productivity Metrics: Call for a Paradigm Shift in STEMM

In this essay, a group of scientists advocates for paradigmatic change in the academic scientific enterprise. Specifically, they point to biases in STEMM measures of success, normative standards that support a subset of scholars and narrow the career pathways for others, and call out those in positions of power for engaging in advocacy performances rather than substantive change. They offer several ways to“pivot the paradigm”. First, address the gendered, raced, and classist biases in the “publish or perish” model that relies on impact scores to assess value. Second, expand measures of scientific value to encourage non-publishing pathways (i.e., applied sciences, public dissemination, podcasts) that acknowledge the critical need for researchers with expertise to engage in broader communities (i.e., policy, training). Third, implement multidimensional and networked mentorship to support a ”publish and flourish” model of STEMM excellence. Fourth, engage in creative, innovative ways to dismantle discriminatory systems to instead promote equity, diversity, and inclusion with effective accountability mechanisms. Finally, invest the resources to promote belonging, safety, and well-being at the research group, departmental, institutional, and funding levels. We applaud this far-reaching call for transformative change to realize justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the academy.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Amy Marcarelli. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. . To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Public Statements are Not Actions

This is Black History month; next month is Women’s History month. We celebrate by highlighting the first black woman to earn her Ph.D. in physics in the U.S., Willie Hobbs Moore, who was also an electrical engineer and received her degree in physics from the University of Michigan in 1972. Dr. Moore is known for a number of achievements including bringing Japanese manufacturing practices to Ford in the 1980s, working in the field of molecular spectroscopy, and supporting STEM education for minority students. 

Dr. Moore was able to break through a glass ceiling but, unfortunately, fifty years later this glass ceiling remains for many minorities. This IEEE article suggests institutions need to move beyond public statements expressing solidarity with the Black community to examining the different types of anti-Black violence that  is tolerated within their own campuses, such as beginning with engineering education and practice. This examination should include what the authors call the “engineering ecosystem” and the “three realms of experience” that Black students must navigate within this ecosystem (mainstream culture, Black culture; the status of the oppressed minority). 

Today’s feature was shared with us by The ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: High school chemistry textbooks fail to advance positive role of women in field

Many young people are introduced to professions like Chemistry in high school and textbooks play a major role in informing students about the discipline and the people who work within it. An article in Chemistry World shines a light on what happens when textbooks are biased in their representation. A study of four widely used Chemistry texts in the UK and Ireland found that of 105 historic figures named in the books, only 4 were women, all Nobel Prize winners. Men mentioned in the books include non-scientists such as Julius Caesar, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, and artist David Hockney. Two of the four textbooks did not mention a single woman. Of 131 images, only 16 were of women alone. Only one of those was a known woman, Dorothy Hodgkin – one of the Nobel winners, compared with 52 identifiable men. The textbooks included many images of women doing domestic work such as shopping or laundry.

This study reinforces a pattern observed in a study of US college Chemistry textbooks which found that male names appeared every 4 pages while female names appeared every 250 pages. As college educators, we can redress this in part by being particularly mindful of avoiding books with these kinds of inequities when we choose college textbooks for our classes. As Dr. Claire Murphy, lead researcher on the UK study stated, “The biases we have observed are not unique to a single publisher, textbook or curriculum. They are also not unique to chemistry.”

Today’s feature was shared with us by David Flaspohler, chair of the Advocates Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Recommendations for LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

Creating more inclusive academic communities and making equity and diversity hallmarks of campus culture are lofty goals. What are the actual practices that can make such goals concrete features of university life? A recent essay in CBE-Life Sciences Education makes the case that inclusivity requires thoughtful, proactive strategies. Specifically, the authors advance fourteen actionable recommendations for creating more inclusive academic relationships and environments for LGBTQ+ individuals in the life sciences. The recommendations provide strategies for inclusive practices in the classroom, on campus, in research spaces, and at conferences. They address issues of language, naming assumptions and alternatives, a variety of practical advocacy actions, teaching activities and materials, and research design and protocols. These recommendations are meant to stimulate further discussion, recognizing the ongoing need to adapt normative expectations and commonplace practices in order to create productive, inclusive academic spaces and communities.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Supporting Indigenous Students

As we work to diversify our student body, we need to reflect and adapt commonplace practices to be inclusive of the needs of students from different backgrounds. Today’s Roundup features a study of stresses related to self-beliefs, ethnic identity, and cultural congruency experienced by Native American undergraduates and how we might adapt to better support these students.  Among the changes suggested to better support these students are increased access to advising, mentoring by older students, and encouraging joining clubs and other social groups. In the classroom, we can support Native American students by creating improved cultural understanding, a collaborative learning environment, and a communal rather than competitive environment in which students are evaluated on information mastery rather than relative grading dependent upon peer performance. This shift to a “learning community” benefits all students and reduces feelings of isolation and stress, which leads to better outcomes for everyone.

Today’s feature was shared with us by ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


Project Implicit: A Virtual Session on Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making.

We will be hosting a virtual session on implicit bias presented by Sylvia Perry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University from Project Implicit. The objectives of the Education Session are to raise awareness of our biases; to explore how researchers measure and understand identity-based biases; and to provide actionable steps that we can take to prevent and mitigate the impact of biases. We invite you to join us for this important discussion about how hidden biases we carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes and stereotypes may be influencing our decisions and leading to unintended consequences.

Register Now! We will provide a free copy of the book, “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”, by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald for a limited number of Tech faculty and staff registering for the Project Implicit event on a first come, first served basis. Complimentary copies of the book will be available to pick up in the Tech Bookstore in the MUB. You will receive an email with further instructions regarding pick-up when the books arrive. If you have questions, contact the ADVANCE Office at: (906) 487-2519 or advance-mtu@mtu.edu


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The importance of leaders developing support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This week’s article from the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education explores the importance of academic leadership in developing support for diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) among faculty. Academic leaders with more visibly favorable attitudes towards diversity positively influence faculty in their awareness and support for DEIS. This research suggests that this may be especially important for faculty who don’t often question the status quo of policies and practices that retain historic systemic bias. This article provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how we, along with our academic leaders, express favorable attitudes towards DEIS efforts and help our institution to make progress in this valued area. Although this study focused on academic leadership, it highlights opportunities we may have for influencing attitudes about DEIS in our professional and personal leadership roles.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Allyship for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging

A critical component of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) is deep and meaningful collaboration that enacts allyship. This is a cooperative model whereby people from diverse backgrounds, especially those with power and privilege, join together in solidarity to overcome systems that disadvantage some groups, including unlearning assumptions about what constitutes “help” – particularly the kind that reinforces unwanted power structures.

One research article that explores this point is “Male allyship in institutional STEMM gender equity initiatives.” The article centers on men’s self-understanding as “champions for change,” the barriers and risks of this paradigm, and evolving perceptions among participants in the program. The concept of men as “champions” in gender-equity programs is not uncommon, and one such program is “Male Champions of Change.”

Initially, study participants tended to perceive “champions” as an empowering term that encouraged men’s involvement in social justice work. However, by the second year, participants began to perceive  “the gendered positioning of male championship is at odds with gender equity and structural change.” Rather, DEIS is about all of us and we all gain when we remove barriers to equity, including terms and concepts like “champions.” 

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE Advocates team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.