1490 Views
  1. Deb Cole
  2. https://lsmrce.org/about/leadership-profile/deb-cole-profile.aspx
  3. Academic Specialist, Project Manager
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Chicago State University
  1. Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  2. https://uwm.edu/global-inclusion/people/ruiz-anique/
  3. WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WiscAMP
  1. Brian Thomas
  2. Student Mentor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. FastTrack Consulting

Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence

NSF Awards: 1826719, 1826626

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

In response to the pandemic and the inability for students to participate in in-person activities on their campus in 2020, the Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence (LSMRCE) partnered with eight NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMPs) to develop and deliver a 10-week webinar series.

The purpose of the series was to keep students engaged with peers and mentors, while also serving as a learning platform. The topics included professional development skills such as career and academic pathways, but also included, life-management and self-care topics. The series featured diverse presenters and panelists who shared their expertise and encouraging words to the student attendees. 

The summer series had nearly 900 webinar attendees over the 10-weeks. Survey response from attendees was very positive and as a result, the webinar series continued in Fall 2020 and will continue through at least Fall 2021. 

The webinar recordings and supplemental materials are available on the LSMRCE website and are free for use by all.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (45 posts)
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 10, 2021 | 04:23 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our video Virtual Learning Communities in STEM! 

    We are excited to share our collaborative work and answer any questions you have. All the material we develop for this 10-week series and beyond is publicly available on our website: https://lsmrce.org/students/speaker-series.aspx

    We invite you to view our video and ask any questions you have. We also welcome you to please share any virtual learning programs or activities that you developed for your students in the wake of the pandemic. 

     
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    Susan Foutz
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Susan Foutz

    Susan Foutz

    Director of Research and Evaluation
    May 18, 2021 | 03:53 p.m.

    I see that registration is open for this summer. Is it limited to students enrolled in certain programs, schools, or states? Or could any undergrad from any state sign up? We have a really great group of summer interns who might be looking for a supportive space like this!

  • Small default profile

    John Berges

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 01:11 p.m.

    Amazing work to connect students during the pandemic!

    Shout out to Anique for her boundless enthusiasm and constant encouragement.

     
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    Deb Cole
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 11, 2021 | 01:16 p.m.

    Thank you Dr. Berges for providing our students with an opportunity to meet and learn from amazing faculty at UWM. You rock! Thanks for posting...your package is on its way BTW. (-;

  • Small default profile

    John Berges

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 01:11 p.m.

    Amazing work to connect students during the pandemic!

    Shout out to Anique for her boundless enthusiasm and constant encouragement.

     
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    Deb Cole
  • Icon for: Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Facilitator
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:58 p.m.

    Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your work! Keeping current and prospective STEM students engaged and supporting them in multiple ways is essential for building a diverse and successful STEM workforce. I enjoyed hearing from the participants themselves about the impact your series had on their decisions.

    I’d be interested in hearing more about what you have learned from your participants regarding the types of support for young scholars that are missing? How do they wish the research community would support them, and what would be most helpful to them?

    Thank you in advance.

     
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    Pati Ruiz
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 11, 2021 | 05:44 p.m.

    Thank you Dalila for your questions and feedback! Working with STEM students of color, I have found that scholarship funding is sorely needed for students that are first-generation, low income or ineligible for federal aid. I've also observe that truth telling is lacking in the profession as a whole and can be addressed more by faculty and staff to dismantle toxicity, misogyny and racial bias in our classrooms and labs. Likewise, more people can be of help to marginalized students by not always selecting students viewed as the "cream of the crop," and instead mentoring emerging professionals who demonstrate acumen in their STEM major but who may not have the highest GPA or the greatest "profile." We have to see STEM differently across disciplines and make sure we are not discriminating against potential research candidates who could make a difference in researching STEM breakthroughs, with some encouragement.

    What helped you to be successful as a postdoctoral researcher that I can use to help my students? 

     
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    Susan Foutz
    Pati Ruiz
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Facilitator
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 11:28 a.m.

    Hi Anique,

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful and candid response. Much of what you said strongly resonated with me. I am currently building a community of emerging interdisciplinary scholars called Emerging Scholar CIRCLS. This community is an Expertise Exchange at NSF-funded Center for Integrative Research in Computing and Learning Sciences (CIRCLS). Broadening participation in learning and computing sciences is part of our mission. I greatly appreciate the input that helps me ensure our current and future activities are meaningful and build the social and academic capital the next generation of scholars need to succeed in their work. I invite your students to join the Emerging Scholar community (link to the form included below) or contact me for more information. 

    I have a couple of reflections that might be helpful to share with your students.

    I found that it is not just my academic training that prepared me for the postdoctoral work that I am currently doing. I draw a lot on my other life experiences of being a war survivor and a refugee living in a refugee camp. Although these experiences might not seem related to scholarly and research work, they are a constant source of inspiration and strength. It is essential to draw on all our life experiences and recognize that they contribute to our unique expertise and perspective development.

    I also found that allies and paths to success do exist, although the obstacles may seem tremendous at times. After coming to this country, I found that the ivory towers were not quite ready to accept me, although I have already completed two years of electrical engineering. After talking to several local schools, it was an HBCU, North Carolina Central University, that took a chance on me, and took me into their Physics program, and helped me start my academic and professional journey in this county.

    I hope you and your students find these reflections helpful. I’d be happy to connect outside of the showcase and continue our conversation. Once again, I congratulate the team on this much-needed work. 

    Link: CIRCLS Communities Interest Form

     
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    Susan Foutz
    Pati Ruiz
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 12, 2021 | 02:46 p.m.

    Dalila, your story is so powerful and helpful for others to hear and glean from. I am SO happy we met on this platform and I would love to meet sometime virtually to get to know you and learn more about the Emerging Scholars CIRCLS Initiative! Can you call me at 414-229-3306 anytime after 2pm CST this Friday, May 14th? If not, what does your schedule look like this month? Our campus uses MS Teams, so I can send you and Deb (Deb, let me know if you can join as well) a calendar invite to download further. Take care Dalila and I look forward to virtually "meeting you" soon!

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Pati Ruiz
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 12, 2021 | 02:59 p.m.

    What a great connection! Thank you, Dalila, for reaching out and sharing your inspirational story and reflections. I look forward to continuing the discussion and learning about Emerging Scholars CIRCLS. I see several opportunities to collaborate! Anique - please invite me, but if I am not available, please don't let me stop you and Dalila from connecting and losing momentum. 

    Wonderful making this connection, Dalila! - Deb 

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Facilitator
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 03:56 p.m.

    Deb and Anique, it is wonderful to connect with you both.

    Anique, thank you for your kind words. I could give you a call this Friday at 3:30 PM, to talk more about the Emerging Scholar CIRCLS and to figure out the next steps.

    I look forward to a continued conversation and a potential collaboration!

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 12, 2021 | 07:06 p.m.

    Great! Please inbox me at anique@uwm.edu with your email address and I can send you a calendar invite. 

  • Icon for: Suzanne Otto

    Suzanne Otto

    Facilitator
    Teacher / Fellow
    May 11, 2021 | 05:52 p.m.

    It was great to hear about your efforts to support "whole students" in this critical and unusual time.  With the lack of in-person school, internship, and other professional experiences, many students undoubtedly found navigating their college and career pathway much more confusing.  The supports you are providing have hopefully helped students remain connected to the community and guidance they need to keep moving forward.

    Can you provide some insight into how you chose the topics for the webinars you provided?  Do you know how many of your student participants have had sustained contact both within your webinars and with the network you're helping them establish?

     

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 11:04 p.m.

    Hi Suzanne -

    Thank you so much for the question. As a group of student mentors and program directors, we decided which topics we felt our students needed at the time (such as De-Stress & Motivate), as well as, which topics would they benefit from in order to keep our students focused on their future and staying productive over the summer months. Going foward in selecting topics for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021, we have used feedback from the alliance mentors and directors, as well as, student surveys to determine the topics and areas of interest. 

    We are currently writing our annual report and calcuating exactly how many 'repeat students' were in the sessions, but through visual review of the attendee reports, I would estimate that 60-70% of student attendees attendended at least 5 of the 10 sessions, with the vast majority attending 7+ of the 10 sessions, and we continue to see this trend in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 webinar data.

    Deb

     

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Marisol Santisteban

    Marisol Santisteban

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 07:09 p.m.

    Great initiative! Kudos for making this available to students across the country. 

    Like you, we also find that those topics are vastly needed by first-generation students, and students from underrepresented groups, who also lack role models in STEM. We also facilitated speaker panels for our STEM students in the COMPASS2 scholarship program this semester (one of the "good sides" of the pandemic) and we have had similar reactions: students who never heard before of graduate school have been considering that path going forward. Our students did not know things like one can get paid to do research as a graduate student, did not know of umbrella programs, or how long on average graduate school last, or the opportunities for networking and travel, etc. etc. It has been a whole new world opened in front of their eyes. And the best part is that they heard all that from panelists that "looked like them" and that were in their shoes not long ago. Some have started to do research with an eye in graduate school, they are being "converted" :).

    I was please to see "Time management" on top of your list, because that has been also been a big demand from our students, mostly freshman who came to college without that skill.

    Have you been able to asses the impact of the interventions?  

     
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    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 11:05 p.m.

    Hi Marisol - Your program sounds wonderful. If your sessions are recorded and publicly available, please let me know. We are slowly but surely building a repository of resources for URM STEM students.  

    Regarding assessment. So much like our activities we had to pivot very quickly when the pandemic hit and the only assessment tool we had IRB approval for was the post-webinar survey (satisfaction of topic/presenter/content/relevence). So we did not get an opportunity to do any formal pre- and post- in order to assess impact. However, we hope to amend our IRB to add some focus groups with the speaker series participants. That being said...we did conduct informal assessment within some of the sessions where we would start with the pre-condition poll question (Ex. Who here plans to go to graduate school? 5pt likert), then ask the same question at the end. We shared the poll results in real-time so the students can see the overall trend and we discussed it, had students take themselves off mute and share their thoughts on how their mindset changed or what spoke to them the most during the session.  

    What about the COMPASS2 program? Were you able to assess the impacts? 

    It is great connecting, Marisol. Please share your pogram information so we can stay in contact.

    Warmly,

    Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Marisol Santisteban

    Marisol Santisteban

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 01:42 a.m.

    Hi Deb. It is nice to connect! 

    Unfortunately with the exception of a few career panels, we did not record our sessions. We should have done systematically. That could have contributed to broaden the impact. There is always next year :) We will have a brand new cohort this fall, and of course the current cohort will be in their second year. 

    We will be implementing peer-mentoring interventions. The third year we will have the last cohort entering the program. 

    We have an external evaluator who has conducted focus groups in two instances (beginning and end of the year) as well as online interviews mid way. We also had surveyed students at the end of the fall semester for evaluation purposes and conducted other surveys for research purposes (these focusing on science identity, efficacy, mentoring experience, etc); the research surveys are partially based on Lopatto's CURE survey. We have also surveyed mentors and have had formative meetings with them in three occasions (beginning of the program, beginning of the spring semester, and mid-way.). 

    We also in the process of amending our IRB to include more probing questions in the focus groups. 

    We found that the speakers series were some of the most influential interventions. Students also like the "meet the scientist" periods where we invite a faculty from the Biology or Chemistry departments to speak to students about their career path and their research in hopes that the students would like to start a project with one of them and also to foster the idea of role models. This has revealed a more real/humane side of the "professor", brought them closer to the students. Some students have expressed interest to work with these faculty. We have found out which things worked better and which did not. For example, we tried to implement a whole "soft skills" curriculum the first semester that required quite a bit of work and more high impact experiences than what the students where exposed during the pandemic. The curriculum is fantastic but not for that first semester freshman :)

    I love that idea of sharing poll results in real time. That must really be a catalyst for more conversation! We did share main findings with students but not in real time.

    Our website is https://www.uncp.edu/departments/biology/compas.... We will be thrilled to learn about your program, stay in contact and share experiences.

    Cheers!

    Marisol

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 12, 2021 | 12:54 p.m.

    Hi Marisol -

    Thank you so much for sharing your program link and details about your program activities by year, and your smart approach for assessment of your speaker series.

    We also found students really engaged when we had near-peer subject matter experts and when the presenters were AUTHENTIC in their responses. Our students wanted to hear the good, bad, and ugly and we encouraged our presenters to speak their truth when asked direct questions. Our skillful moderators were always able to provide space for these conversations, but always brought it around to what skills or tools are available to address these challenges.

    Let's please stay connected and please save the date for the LSAMP 30th anniversary and LSMRCE annual conference, Oct 22-24. The conference offers tracks for STEM mentors and faculty, as well as, URM STEM undergrads and grad students, a competitive poster session, a resource fair, and several networking sessions. Our resources and opportunities are open to all! https://lsmrce.org/events/annual/2021-annual/2021-conference-overview.aspx

    Warmest regards,

    Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Marisol Santisteban

    Marisol Santisteban

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 03:17 a.m.

    Definitely Deb, we should stay connected and I am saving those dates for the LSMRCE conference. I just took a look to the website you sent and it looks like a wonderful opportunity for our students to attend. Excuse my ignorance Deb, but what do you mean by "offers tracks for STEM mentors and faculty"? 

    Yes, speakers' authenticity is key to engage students. That is why panels work so well, the exchange really reveals the true personalities. We have been really fortunate to have excellent ones.

    Cheers!

    Marisol 

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Meredith Kier

    Meredith Kier

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 09:46 a.m.

    Congratulations on your amazing work. During a time when students desperately needed connections to others, this work is very powerful. Based on your surveys from participants in the speaker series, could you identify which webinars or tools on your were most helpful or influential to participants? 

     
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    Pati Ruiz
    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 12, 2021 | 01:00 p.m.

    Hi Meredith - Thank you for visiting our page and your question! From our survey results, the session that students rated as most impactful during the summer months were, "Applying to Grad School", "PhD? Why not me!", and "Funding Grad School". These three and the two career panels were all rated very high and also had the highest participate rate. These surveys were given directly following the session, so we hope to conduct some focus groups to determine if there are any longitudinal impacts, or impacts that were not fully appreciated at the time. 

    Thank you for your question and visit to our video!

    Deb 

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Small default profile

    Scott Schaefer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 04:32 p.m.
    Congratulations to all who have done so much amazing work! I can't express how brilliant the program has been and I'm honored to have been able to work with some of the best people at our university, in our discipline, and in the science community!    Scott
     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 12, 2021 | 07:15 p.m.

    Thanks Scott for your involvement with Cheyanne and our URM STEM students at UW-Milwaukee. You are an amazing lecturer and faculty research preceptor, and we can't thank you enough for your support! 

  • Small default profile

    Scott Schaefer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 04:32 p.m.
    Congratulations to all who have done so much amazing work! I can't express how brilliant the program has been and I'm honored to have been able to work with some of the best people at our university, in our discipline, and in the science community!    Scott
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 13, 2021 | 11:55 a.m.

    Thank you, Scott, for your engagement and continued support and mentorship of our students. If you ever have a suggestion for at topic, please don't hesitate to reach out! - Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Alexa Sawa

    Alexa Sawa

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 07:45 p.m.

    This is a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing. If you see some requests from California it's because I shared your flier with my community college students.

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 13, 2021 | 11:38 a.m.

    Hi Alexa - Thank you for sharing our opportunities with your students! Thank you for viewing our video and your engagement! - Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Small default profile

    Marie Chastain

    May 12, 2021 | 09:00 p.m.

    All of this input is going to be great for those that access this site.  Plus great information being shared by all to focus more on topics for students and make them aware, "more to come" !  Great work everyone !

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 13, 2021 | 11:53 a.m.

    Thank you, Marie! And thank you for your support of the speaker series!! Good point -

    2021 Speaker Series Schedule: https://lsmrce.org/students/speaker-series.aspx

     

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    Learning Sciences Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 10:04 a.m.

    Such important work, thank you for sharing your efforts to support students with such a successful summer webinar series! I'm curious of what you learned as you went in terms of hosting such large webinars for students and what recommendations you might have for those of us looking to host large webinars like these in the future for students. 

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 13, 2021 | 11:52 a.m.

    Hi Pati -

    Thank you for the question and I invite my co-presenters to also comment if they have insights. But I would say the things we learned from hosting the summer series via Zoom is that we have a formula that works.

    1) Keep the sessions to 1hr or less for attention spans; We struggle with this, but it's always our goal!

    2) Be intentional in leveraging the interactive tools to gain and keep the engagement of the students. For instance, we almost always open up with a poll with a surprising statistic or trend. This sets the context and hooks their interest.And about every 10m we have some sort of question we ask the audience to keep them engaged. 

    3) Give the students space to let their voices be heard. So related to the last point, we always included opportunities for students to take themselves off mute and engage with the speakers or share their thoughts directly with the audience;

    4) Provide actionable strategies or solutions, along with resources for further exploration and learning;

    5) Embedded reflection questions at the end of the sessions gives programs the option to making it an assignment for credit and provides programs artifacts for their evaluation purposes; and

    6) Timing of the live session and recording. We found the most success in garnering live attendees by having this at 6p ET each Wednesday. It was a consistent date/time, it was in the early evening for at least 2 time zones, and the sessions were recorded and posted (usually within 48hrs) so students who couldn't attend live, could still participate. 

    These are my six top tips to success in what we have delivered, but again, I open this up to others or my co-presenters to share their tips as well!

    Deb

     

     
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    Susan Foutz
  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    Learning Sciences Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 05:14 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Deb! This is very helpful

  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 17, 2021 | 06:33 p.m.

    Hi Pati! I would agree with Deb that the timing of the sessions and the transparency of the speakers and participants has been key elements in the success of the Speaker Series thus far. Having the ability as a student to see someone that looks like you as a star in their field and willing to share industry-level knowledge with you that will help you to succeed creates what I like to call an "investment strategy" that is guaranteed to result in tremendous growth for the student AND for the professional lending their time and expertise to helping others.

    We have to see these engagements as a win-win, that is designed to produce results for our young people and for the STEM community of professionals we hope to attract to mentor our students of color. I hope these insights are helpful as you develop power house programming for your students, and thanks for your engagement on this site!

  • Icon for: Luiz Oliveira

    Luiz Oliveira

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 06:51 p.m.

    Hello Deb and team, 

    What an amazing initiative you took to maintain students connected and engaged with peers and mentors throughout this tough time! 

    In terms of "social presence" and engagement, would you say that the students were able to actively participate in the series? Sometimes a sudden shift from in-person interactions to virtual can be hard for students to fully adapt.

    Wonderful job, and thank you in advance for you response :)

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 13, 2021 | 07:15 p.m.

    Hi Luiz - Thank you so much for watching our video and your interest in our project. 

    To be honest, we don't yet know if there was really the social presence and engagement, of to what degree. As each LSAMP alliance has different structure on their student's required activities, it was left up to the individual alliance coordinators to choose or not choose to do more with the topic after the session, require students to interact on the Google Classroom, or to complete the interactive polls and reflection questions. However, we will be conducting some focus groups with the 2020 summer participants and we will be asking feedback to assess how that shift impacted them and if the series helped fill the gap. 

    As a researcher, what are your thoughts on how we can assess the "social presence" and engagement?

    Thank you again for your interest and thank you in advance for your rsponse. :)

    Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Marisol Santisteban

    Marisol Santisteban

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 09:22 p.m.

    If I may interject in your discussion, I am also very interested in learning about your thoughts and suggestions as a researcher, Luiz. Great topic, engagement. Even though the scale of our program is not comparable because only involved a small group of 11 students, the things we asked them for the careers panels series were:

    1- They had to read speakers's bios and come up with some questions ahead

    2- They had to write a reflection after the panel

    3- We encouraged them to connect through LinkedIn and only recently we have started to suggest they write a short thank you email. 

    As for the session related to more actionable subjects such as Time management, Blooms taxonomy, Metacognition strategies, CV/resume writing, etc. we follow up with some applications that given them practice. Students have constructed various short and long term planners, put in practice techniques to avoid procrastination, used bloom's taxonomy to rank the questions they ask to speakers, developed SMART goals, etc. I think is key for them to have opportunities for putting those theories into practice and receive feedback and support. It looks like in your case Deb, you depend on what the individual coordinators require from students after the sessions, but maybe some proposed activities "ready to go" would help the individual alliances to engage their students. Those could be developed jointly by participating alliances. 

    I also think that during the sessions the students want to feel like the panelists are speaking to them :) Many years ago, and for lack of access to speakers in person, I turned to recorded videos by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education about applying to graduate school, careers exploration, communicating science, etc. I thought they were great but the students did not like them. They could not maintain their attention, even with me pausing and commenting and asking questions, those people were not talking to them :) I remember one student told me that the story of my career path was much more inspirational! I thought they really must be boring videos to them, ha ha ha. I stopped.

    Cheers!

    Marisol

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 14, 2021 | 10:29 a.m.

    Thank you, Marisol. Great questions and idea on the 'read to go' material! I'm anxious to hear back from the educational researcher. :)

     

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 17, 2021 | 07:11 p.m.

    Thanks Deb for responding, and Luiz and Marisol for your questions and insight into engagement and social presence. As a program director working hands on with my students, I believe that the Speaker Series was the "next best thing" to in-person engagement, namely due to several factors: 

    1. Facilitator: Brian Thomas was EXCELLENT at providing a platform where students were heard and could engage with each other and the presenters in real time. His success as a seasoned career coach and group facilitation expert made the engagement less "artificial" and "static" and much more engaging and student-centered. While I am sure that our students would have loved to interact with him and the group in person, they told me that their experience with the series was highly meaningful because of the level of support and engagement they felt, even on a Zoom screen.

    Brian even had a "before" and "after" roll call during the pandemic where he would shout out students names who were "regulars" at each webinar and give them a platform to share how they were feeling or what was going on with them that week. It was deeply moving and empowered students to use their own voice to share concerns or introduce topics that were of concern to them. That is how the upcoming "Racism in STEM" webinar series (starting May 26th) was conceived--a student spoke out about how she felt and several students replied, and Deb made it happen.

    2. Selection of speakers: As opposed to pre-recorded webinars where students are forced to sit and take notes while they are lectured on a particular topic (and can only engage with the speaker or panel via chat or Q&A), the Speaker Series was hosted live and in real time so that everyone could see one other and feel encouraged to come on camera and say hello. Not all students elected to come on screen, but a majority of them stayed on screen throughout the program. Also, the speakers that were invited to participate knew that our aim was to give students a meaningful alternative to in-person events pre-COVID and made sure to tailor their presentation to help students gain confidence in speaking up and asking questions verbally, versus just typing them in the chat.

    If these programs are to have any efficacy, I believe the selection of who is speaking to our young people and how they are doing it has to be carefully deliberated and vetted. Deb did an AMAZING job in this area.

    3. "Wrap around care": The homework that my WiscAMP STEM-Inspire students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee had to do involved several layers to keep them engaged and informed in their STEM disciplines throughout the pandemic. First, students had to attend the majority of the webinars in each semester live. Second, with the exception of one webinar, I have attended the programs WITH MY STUDENTS live. I say that because while some levels of accountability can intimidate some students who prefer anonymity when attending or participating in a program, I believe that the rapport and openness I encourage on our campus created a level of continuity in a social media space that was otherwise unfamiliar to them, especially when the pandemic hit the hardest. The transition from in-person to virtual STEM programming was not an easy one, but showing up as a program director and learning from and with your students can be richly rewarding and incredibly important, especially in times of crisis when things are unsteady at school, work, and home.

    Third, students were rewarded as they completed milestones in the program overall, which lifted morale and provided them with resources necessary to incentivize their participation and frankly, lift morale among a cohort of young people who lost internships, family members, some social supports, etc. 

    I could share further, but these are just some of the ways that the Speaker Series created social presence and a base of interconnectedness and sense of empowerment among students and the STEM community. We should know more about how the Speaker Series impacted our program participants by next month when our anonymized survey data comes back.

     
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    Deb Cole
  • Icon for: Marisol Santisteban

    Marisol Santisteban

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2021 | 12:24 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Anique. This is great! I could not agree more with the idea of live sessions being a much superior experience to recorder ones. Again, our group is so much smaller, but we also sit with the students in the same room as we attend together the panels and we moderate, as well as fill some blanks for students and probe them with questions to facilitate discussion. A bit like in your "wrap around care" :)

    I love the idea of rewarding students for completing milestones. What do you use?

    Cheers!

    Marisol

  • Icon for: Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD

    Co-Presenter
    WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Director
    May 18, 2021 | 10:45 a.m.

    Thanks Marisol! We provided them with stipends for each webinar attended and event reflection submitted, and I plan to provide students with a "Certificate of Completion" to encourage their continued participation in the series. The Speaker Series is a form of professional development for our scholars, and I believe treating them as professionals that receive commendations for learning a new skill or mastering a particular course should be encouraged. On top of the feeling of being accomplished, the focus on our program early on was to provide students with stipends to help them cope with the loss of jobs and other resources during the pandemic.

  • May 15, 2021 | 06:19 p.m.

    This is a great initiative that connects participants all over the country and engages them in meaningful and impactful conversations! I am interested to know more about the challenges you experienced when organizing the speaker series and how you were able to overcome those.

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 18, 2021 | 10:42 a.m.

    Hi Tamara -

    As a Center of Excellence, LSMRCE took lead in the administrative overhead and building the infrastructure and dissemination portal. The collaborators suggested speakers for certain topics and LSMRCE reached out to secure the speakers and onboard them to our process. In addition, we partnered with the National Association of LSAMP Alumni (NALA) to identify program graduates who are early-mid career to serve as our panelists and presenters. NALA, also known as LSAMP Alumni Group, was only officially launched in 2020, but already has 200+ members from the community. We feel it is important to leverage the expertise and voice of the program alumni as near-peer connections, as well as, gives the alumni the opportunity to reach back and help those who are coming behind them. The students seemed to really connect with these individuals and also serves to highlight NALA as a professional network for our students.

    Overall, we had all our speakers secured by early June. BUT we did have a few situations where a panelist or a speaker canceled at the last minute due to family emergencies, so we did have to scramble and tap some of our colleagues to serves as speakers as well. :-)

    Thank you so much for your question and interest in our project!

    Deb

     

  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 18, 2021 | 10:50 a.m.

    ALSO - Brian Thomas was our secret weapon. As my colleagues, Anique Ruiz, mentioned, Brian Thomas served as the moderator for all sessions and as a presenter/co-presenter for some. Brian has been working with the Center since 2014 as a student professional development specialist and has a library of topics he has presented for us over the years. So he has many topics 'in his back pocket' that he can pull from in a real emergency. We did this for the "Networking in the New Normal" and Brian was a rockstar!

  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 11:40 a.m.

    Dr Cole and team, it is rewarding to see your program in action. I recall the formation of the AMP (later LSAMP) program in the early 1990s at NSF, and was part of the design process at Chicago State University.  Congratulations on your collaborations, on this project, and overall progress in correcting underrepresentation.  Thank you for your work.

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
  • Icon for: Deb Cole

    Deb Cole

    Lead Presenter
    Academic Specialist, Project Manager
    May 18, 2021 | 10:27 a.m.

    Thank you, Dr. Hamilton - We are very proud of the impacts of the Louis Stokes Alliancse for Minority Participation and we look forward to celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the program in October 2021! - Deb

     
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    Anique Ruiz, MA, JD
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