1. Victoria Rodriguez-Operana
  2. Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  3. ED-SYSTEMS: Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success
  4. https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/
  5. Research and Equity Scholarship Institute, San Diego State University
  1. Aileen Cerrillos
  2. ED-SYSTEMS: Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success
  3. https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/
  4. Research and Equity Scholarship Institute, San Diego State University
  1. Felisha Herrera Villarreal
  2. http://res-iste.sdsu.edu
  3. Assistant Professor & RESISTE Director
  4. ED-SYSTEMS: Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success
  5. https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/
  6. San Diego State University, Research and Equity Scholarship Institute
  1. Gabriela Kovats Sánchez
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gabriela_Kovats_Sanchez
  3. Senior Research Analyst
  4. ED-SYSTEMS: Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success
  5. https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/
  6. San Diego State University, Research and Equity Scholarship Institute
  1. Briana Marquez
  2. Undergraduate Research Fellow
  3. ED-SYSTEMS: Settings Yielding Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Success
  4. https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/
  5. Research and Equity Scholarship Institute, San Diego State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:30 a.m.

    Funded by the National Science Foundation (ED-SYSTEMS, DUE-1644990), the Research & Equity Scholarship Institute investigates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pathways for students who began at community colleges. More specifically, we study how students move and transition across multiple institutions, and the role of minority serving institutions, which are important for students of color in STEM. We are examining these trajectories at the national and regional level with student data, and locally within the San Diego/Imperial County region through interviews with successful students who have navigated community college STEM pathways.


    This video focuses on one of our major findings, which centered on the experiences of women of color in STEM. Participant narratives presented here draw attention to inequities that women of color continue to confront within STEM. Further discussions with participants demonstrated the potential for transforming disciplinary and institutional contexts, particularly at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) where STEM undergraduates established strong support networks of women both within and outside of STEM. Building connections with other women of color in STEM, including key mentors in the field, was integral to successful navigation of STEM higher education across multiple institutional contexts among women of color in our study. In our newest project, HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528), we are continuing to deepen our understanding of these critical networks of support at HSIs through interviews with faculty, staff, and administrators directly involved in supporting STEM students of color.

  • Icon for: Sue Jacobs

    Sue Jacobs

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 11:26 a.m.

    Thank you for your research and sharing the narratives. Some of the Native American Engineering students who we interviewed in our study reported  similar experiences. Both Native American engneering students and faculty talked about important supports needed and/or experienced across multiple institutional, family and community contexts.

  • Icon for: Briana Marquez

    Briana Marquez

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:58 p.m.

    Thank you for your response! The RES Institute’s local and national projects have explored topics such as student mobility; community college pathways; minority serving institutions; and underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). If you want to learn more about our research on Women of Color in STEM and our other projects, we invite you to check out our website https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/

     

  • May 13, 2019 | 02:35 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project and the narratives of the women. Very powerful! I am wondering how you are working on the idea of the 'critical networks of support' towards developing tools/supports etc?

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 11:55 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing these powerful stories. Can you share more about strategies for overcoming such biases?  Is there a plan in your project to disseminate these stories to assit faculty in recognizing and overcoming bias?

    What are some of the factors that contribute to student success?

    Does your project hope to encourage these successful young people to persue graduate programs?

    Can you tell us some tips on changing instituional culture.

    I'd love to share your stories.

  • Icon for: Aileen Cerrillos

    Aileen Cerrillos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:04 p.m.

    Hi Patricia! Yes, a part of our project is sharing our findings through digital narratives which you can find on our website here including an extended version of our Women of Color in STEM video as well as other digital narratives that touch upon the role of institutional agents and support programs that help students of color persist and succeed in academia. We have also begun designing professional development for faculty and administration informed by our findings on all of our projects. Our project emphasizes on student trajectories from community college to four-year universities, so our focus is not necessarily on graduate programs. Further, we have an additional digital narrative that actually shares our finding on STEM disciplinary and institutional culture which you can find here. Thank you!

  • Icon for: Aileen Cerrillos

    Aileen Cerrillos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:00 p.m.

     Hi, Angela thank you for your comment! In our data, our participants shared that both women and women of color mentors were easier to build relationships with and were helpful in matters of transitioning from community college to four-year universities; showing how women and women of color in STEM positively impacted the trajectories of our participants. Also, While this project focuses on the experiences of Women of Color in STEM, in our ED-SYSTEMS (DUE-1644990) project we have also been analyzing data on the importance of campus support programs and institutional agents in building critical networks of support. You can check out our digital narrative here were participants share how certain people and/or programs have been a key part of their support networks across different institutional contexts.  Additionally our next project, HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528), we will be collecting data through interviews with faculty and staff to get a better understanding of how they directly support STEM Students of Color.

  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins

    Stephen Alkins

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 02:59 p.m.

    Thank you for this video.  Unfortunately these experiences are far too common.  We do know that representation matters, so as an intervention are you able to find women or women of color working in the field or in academia to create a small mentoring network or seminar series that increases representation for your students? One place to to connect with is definitely UCSD on this front.  Also, since this issue is directly related to the causes of organizations like SACNAS, do you intend to disseminate your findings there and consult some of the experts there for advice on interventions?

    On a separate note, the biases that these students experience is subliminally reinforced in students and other faculty due to a lack of culturally inclusive pedagogy.  Did you interview students about ways they would improve the curricula and the professional development of faculty in this regard?

  • Icon for: Aileen Cerrillos

    Aileen Cerrillos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 11:28 p.m.

    Hi Stephen, thank you for your comment! Our participants have definitely echoed that women and women of color faculty mentors were a key part of their journey, but we haven't necessarily connected with them to create a seminar series or mentoring network. However, we are designing and implementing a faculty and administration professional development informed by our findings. We have presented at SACNAS before and we look forward to the next time we participate, they have been a great partner in disseminating our findings on our other ED-SYSTEMS projects! 

    We didn't interview the students specifically on what they would improve in curricula and professional development, but in our next project HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528) we will be interviewing faculty and staff on how they directly support students which should inform our future professional development.

  • Icon for: Alex Rudolph

    Alex Rudolph

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:27 a.m.

    Very powerful video! I love how you humanize what can seem to be a very abstract (and often hidden) problem not only of underrepresentation but of culture in STEM which makes women of color feel unwelcome. I would like to know more about how such women can be supported in our fields to make them successful. The answers may be uncomfortable for some, involving changing the disciplinary culture, but need to be heard. What is next for your project?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Gabriela Kovats Sánchez
  • May 15, 2019 | 06:06 p.m.

    Hi Alex, thank you so much for your comment! The women in our study relied heavily on institutional agents like faculty for support in these spaces. Some women also identified support groups outside of their STEM discipline, like ethnic organizations on campus. You bring up a great point about the disciplinary culture and the difficulty to make these institutional changes. We are currently working on a manuscript that addresses just this. You can find a sneak peak on our digital narratives "Redefining STEM Disciplinary Culture" on our website https://res-iste.sdsu.edu/index.php/digital-nar...

    We are also initiating a new stage of our project that includes interviewing STEM faculty, staff, and administrators to understand their experiences and the ways they support their underrepresented students. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Alex Rudolph
  • Icon for: Alex Rudolph

    Alex Rudolph

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 11:01 p.m.

    Hello Gabriela,

    You might be interested in the Cal-Bridge program, a CSU-UC partnership started 5 years ago to engage and support students underrepresented in physics and astronomy to obtain their Bachelor's degree and go on for a PhD in those fields. We have had 59 scholars in our first 5 cohorts and just over 1/4 (15) are underrepresented women. One of our long-term goals for the project is to change the culture in the departments where we send our scholars to make them more welcoming to both women and underrepresented minority students.

    If you are interested, we had a video in last year's NSF showcase: https://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentations/1277. I would be curious to know what you and your colleagues think. Maybe you would like to study our scholars?

  • Icon for: Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 02:55 p.m.

    Alex, thank you for sharing this information with our team! It’s great to see how various programs and partnerships are working to meet the needs of underrepresented students in STEM. Our newest project, HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528), focuses on understanding how community college faculty, staff, and administrators support women and other underrepresented students in STEM, particularly at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. We look forward to learning more about the Cal-Bridge program, and how it fits with our current and future research projects.

  • Icon for: Regina Werum

    Regina Werum

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2019 | 02:55 p.m.

    Thank you for posting this great video -- the women you interviewed just nailed what it means to work in a hostile climate.  I am a trained social scientist -- and we can certainly echo many of those experiences, even though our field is now female dominated.  I am wondering what advice you would give young women contemplating entering a (male-dominated) STEM field -- especially in light of the emotional labor it requires, and even was mentioned by one of your interviewees.  As we strive to recruit more women into STEM in a way that broadens participation rather than segregates them in particular fields (e.g., medicine), what does the research tell us about the extent to which disciplinary and organization al cultures actually change when the demographic makeup of practitioners changes?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Gabriela Kovats Sánchez
  • May 15, 2019 | 07:32 p.m.

    Hi Regina, thanks so much for your comment. Based on our findings, the participants identified institutional agents, particularly faculty, as integral to their persistence in STEM. This aligns with other studies that highlight student-faculty relationships as important predictors for STEM persistence (Byars-Winston et al., 2011; Hurtado et al., 2011; Ong et al., 2011; Ovink & Veazey, 2011). Faculty that fostered collective learning and validated their students’ identity were also instrumental in encouraging the participants' STEM persistence.

    You make a great point about STEM disciplinary and organizational cultures. There are a handful of studies that are beginning to address the value in disrupting and shifting the historically isolating and competitive nature of STEM disciplinary culture. In addition to changing the faculty demographics in STEM as you mentioned, curricular adjustments are also incredibly important. There is a recent article by Saetermoe, Chavira, Khachikian, Boyns, & Cabello (2017) that described the intentional use of critical race theory (CRT) curriculum to train and empower undergraduate URM STEM students at CSU Northridge.  Their program explicitly linked biomedical research to social justice issues and the health disparities within different communities, which led to a greater retention rate for their underrepresented students. I hope you find this article as useful as we did! 

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:37 a.m.

    Hi Gabriela and all

    I'd love to see these references distributed to all grad and undergrad programs. I especially like the BUILD PODER one.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC57...

     

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:39 a.m.

    Tell me more about your project with faculty?  Do you show them these videos before interviewing them?  Seems like it might be a powerful tool.

  • Icon for: Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 03:15 p.m.

    Patricia, thank you for engaging in this conversation with our team! Part of our project involves dissemination of information to faculty through professional development workshops. We’ve found that sharing our digital narratives serves as an effective starting point to engage in dialogue about the ways in which we can work to improve the experiences of underrepresented students in STEM.

  • Icon for: Marc Lesser

    Marc Lesser

    Chief Learning Officer
    May 20, 2019 | 03:17 p.m.

    Victoria / Gabriela / All - Thank you for your work. I'm grateful to have stumbled on the video as a I was browsing. Our project deals directly with youth of color earlier in their learning trajectory, and also is about transforming what institutional supports we can build for helping build STEM identity and stronger cultures in k12 for broadening participation.

    I found myself wondering whether you all ended up distilling best practices for cultivating successful experiences that resulted in transfer for the young women you worked with? I think that if we can make the case that these things make a difference, then programs in the K12 space could also be replicating and supporting them.

    Thanks again!

    Here's a link to the project in case you want to take a look:-) 

  • Icon for: Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Victoria Rodriguez-Operana

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 07:12 p.m.

    Marc, thank you for watching our video! The powerful stories shared by our participants underscore the inequities faced by many underrepresented students in STEM, while shedding light on the critical support provided by institutional agents and campus programs that helped facilitate their successful transfer to four-year institutions. A major component of the ED-SYSTEMS project involves holding professional development workshops for community college institutional agents (faculty, counselors, program directors, administrators, etc.). During these sessions, students’ narratives are the focal point of our conversations, and have been effective tools to discuss the importance of transforming institutional supports for underrepresented students of color in STEM throughout their educational trajectories. Our newest project, HSI-STEM (DUE-1832528), will further examine these critical networks of support at Hispanic-Serving Institutions through interviews with institutional agents who support STEM students of color at the community college level.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.