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PERC 2018 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Supporting Student Leadership and Ownership in Equity Work: Insights From The Access Network
Abstract: The Access Network is a coalition of nine university-based organizations that advance equity and inclusion in physics and other physical sciences. While they differ in their implementations, these organizations share a set of five core goals that together embody the network's values: 1) fostering supportive learning communities, 2) engaging students in authentic science, 3) developing students' professional skills, 4) empowering students to take ownership of their education, and 5) increasing diversity and equity in the physical sciences. The Access Network enhances the efforts of individual organizations by cultivating intersite communication, especially facilitating the documenting and sharing of ideas across sites through a variety of network-level activities.

Many Access members are conducting foundational research on student participation within the programs, including their senses of community and feelings of ownership over their learning. Within this session, we showcase the brilliant ideas that student leaders have implemented in their local sites and discuss how the network has supported those efforts.
Abstract Type: Poster Symposium
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II
Room: Grand North

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: B. Gutmann
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
and Co-Presenter(s)
Moderator/Discussant: B. Gutmann
Presenters: D. Dounas-Frazer, B. Gutmann, S. Hyater-Adams, G. Lee, M. Lopez, M. Marshall, G. Quan, K. Rainey, C. Turpen, C. Woodrum

Symposium Specific Information

Presentation 1 Title: Polaris: A Grad-Undergrad Mentorship Program
Presentation 1 Authors: Mike A. Lopez, Humberto Gilmer, and Noah Charles
Presentation 1 Abstract: Polaris is an undergraduate and graduate student led community at Ohio State University (OSU) dedicated to fostering a more diverse, inclusive, and satisfying experience for nontraditional physics and physics interested students. In this poster we show the need for this program at OSU, particularly stemming from the underrepresentation of women and minorities in B.S. Physics degree earners at OSU. We describe the leadership structure and goals that were developed through leadership retreats. We also describe the grad-undergrad mentorship program, the primary program of Polaris, and future programmatic events in motion.
Presentation 2 Title: The Access Network: Bringing together student leaders to support equity programs
Presentation 2 Authors: Gina M. Quan, Chandra A. Turpen, and the Access Network
Presentation 2 Abstract: The Access Network consists of nine university-based programs from across the country working towards a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible STEM community. Each program places a strong emphasis on undergraduate and graduate student leadership, and some programs are entirely student-led. One component of Access is an annual Assembly, which brings together representatives from current and potential Access sites to update each other, share lessons learned, support each other in overcoming challenges, participate in professional development, and build relationships with others interested in promoting justice in STEM education. The Assembly is co-designed by a team of student leaders from each of the nine Access sites in collaboration with network leaders. In this poster, we discuss the Access Network structure and development process, positive highlights and challenges that we encountered, and lessons learned through ongoing reflective practices.
Presentation 3 Title: Illinois GPS: A platform for student-led initiatives
Presentation 3 Authors: Brianne Gutmann, Gloria Lee, and Luis Miguel de Jesús Astacio
Presentation 3 Abstract: The formation of Illinois GPS (Guidance for Physics Students) was entirely student initiated from its beginning, and the program continuously aims to create a community between undergraduates and graduate students where members can take ownership of their ideas but have support in their implementation.  The program was intended to act as an anchor for typically underrepresented students in the physics department at the University of Illinois by connecting undergraduates to graduate mentors and creating a collective welcoming space beyond those pairs to connect with others in the department. Many events are driven by student interests and leadership is open to any interested members, which has helped the program grow and shape itself around the needs of members. Typical types of events are academic/research based, social gatherings, community conversations around social barriers in STEM, and an annual retreat.  This poster describes the open leadership structure and shows the ways which our activities have transitioned from being mostly initiated by leadership to more member-driven and organized events.
Presentation 4 Title: CU Prime Diversity Workshop Model: Training Student Leaders around Issues of Equity
Presentation 4 Authors: Simone Hyater-Adams, Dimitri Dounas-Frazer, and Katherine Rainey
Presentation 4 Abstract: Self-education is an invaluable tool that can push physics educators forward in their effort to create inclusive classrooms. This work highlights the CU Prime Diversity Workshops as a model for doing so. CU-Prime, a student-run organization at CU Boulder, runs a course for first-year undergraduates, and holds diversity workshops for the organizing group, in order to provide space and time to reflect on and grapple with difficult issues around diversity and inclusion. With a structure based on readings, informal videos, reflection, and discussion these workshops serve as a space of self-education for instructors of the course as well as other members of the leadership. This talk will overview the structure and framing of our most successful workshops, highlighting the benefits and pitfalls of their structure, as well as the implications of these workshops on the course that the group designs and teachers.
Presentation 5 Title: Adaptation of Peer Mentoring Programs to Better Serve Students
Presentation 5 Authors: Megan Marshall, Jamie Luskin, Chandra Turpen
Presentation 5 Abstract: To provide additional support and community to students in the University of Maryland Physics Department, two peer/near peer mentoring programs have been created. Both programs were started with the same structure and still have similar matching mechanisms and requirements, though they serve different populations in the department. The first program, started in Spring 2013, is run by the local Women in Physics (WiP) group and partners undergraduate women with more senior women. The second program, created in Fall 2014 is run by the department's Graduate Student Committee (Grad Comm), pairing an incoming first year graduate student with an older graduate student mentor. Both programs have been running for several years and have made many changes to the shared basic structure to adapt to the needs of the specific populations they serve. Here we will share these changes, student feedback related to them, and challenges we are still facing.