Icon for: Meagen Pollock

MEAGEN POLLOCK

The College of Wooster
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 9, 2022 | 05:02 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video! Our research team is interested in your feedback, especially in regard to the following questions:

    1. We are shifting to a model of long-term peer mentoring and career experiences during the academic year. What suggestions do you have for creating a sustainable and supportive environment for our students and peer mentors (or pitfalls to avoid)?
    2. How do you nurture relationships with community partners in the early stages of development?
    3. What strategies do you recommend for assessing STEM identity and self-efficacy for small populations?
  • Icon for: John Kaup

    John Kaup

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 9, 2022 | 05:43 p.m.

    Enjoyed the video.  We are running a S-STEM program focused on cohort building and also assess STEM identity and self-efficacy and likewise struggle to some extent with small populations (just 12 in our cohort and two cohorts will be impacted).  Will touch base with our internal assessment co-PI and share our strategy later in the week.  

  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 10:38 a.m.

    Thank you. We have been using a single-item measure for assessing STEM identity by McDonald et al. (2019), but some students show a decrease in their alignment with geoscience professional identity despite reporting stronger geoscience identities in their qualitative responses. It seems that increasing awareness of extensive geoscience careers, varied professional skills, and other valued aspects of their identities results in choosing less overlap on the single-item measure. We think this is an important finding for those using identity-centered pedagogies.

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer
    May 11, 2022 | 04:06 p.m.

    This is a needed project.  In high schools Earth Science courses are not considered to be as rigorous as other science courses, but this should be an advantage for attracting more student into the study of Earth Sciences.  In addition, as you point out, there are jobs and will be an increasing number of jobs as climate change is taken seriously by policy makers.  Are you evaluating which activities or types of activities are most impactful in encouraging students to decide about the career for them?  Have you considered ways of reaching a broader audience with your ideas and methods?  Several projects in this Showcase are looking at different methods for encouraging diverse groups to become educated in some field.

  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 09:14 a.m.

    Thanks for the comment, Gerhard. We are assessing the program through surveys and qualitative analysis of reflective activities associated with the interventions. Our numbers are small and we're only in year two of the project, but we're starting to see that the combination of professional/identity development and the authentic community partner project are helpful for our advanced students. For our beginning students, mentoring seems to be most important. Because of the findings of our program assessment, we'll be expanding the mentoring aspect of our program in year three. As for reaching a broader audience, we have some plans. We invite all beginning students interested in STEM, not just the geosciences because we know that many students discover the geosciences in college. We are also working on publishing our professional and identity development activities to SERC in the next year. What suggestions do you have about assessment or reaching a broader audience?

  • Icon for: Margie Vela

    Margie Vela

    Facilitator
    CEO & President
    May 11, 2022 | 10:32 p.m.

    Diversifying Earth science is such a needed effort. As you work to provide access and train BIPOC students in Earth science, have you had an opportunity to work with allies to strengthen inclusion in the space? What type of training should programs prioritize for the community to become more inclusive?

     

    Awesome project!

  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 09:53 a.m.

    I love this question, Margie! Yes, we have worked with allies to strengthen inclusion within our department. I'll tell you about our success and areas that we continue to work on.

    Our department is a pod in the URGE (Unlearning Racism in Geoscience) program. Through URGE, we've been learning about racism, how to be more inclusive, and how to translate our learning into policy and action. Our URGE deliverables include a policy for working with communities of color, a field and lab code of conduct, and an asset map of resources, which are all helpful for strengthening inclusion in our program. Our department also participated in Dr. Chavella Pittman's course on Classroom Incivilities, which has been helpful for navigating challenges outside of the classroom as well. Within campus, we are actively involved in Wooster' STEM Success Initiative, which is our internal program to promote the academic, professional, and personal success of underrepresented students in STEM. As a result of all of our efforts toward creating a more inclusive environment, student organizations have helped us to further strengthen inclusion, including GeoClubMiSTEM (our Minorities in STEM student organization), and our campus Posse program. We can see changes on our campus as a result of our program. For example, our summer research program changed their team-building activities to be more culturally sensitive and instituted a bias-in-the-workplace workshop in recognition of Juneteenth.

    One place that we know we can do better is with our peer mentors. So far, our student peer mentors have been trained with the STEM Success Initiative and our Center for Diversity & Inclusion. We plan to use what we're learning in the STEM for All showcase to help us strengthen our support for peer mentors throughout the academic year. 

    Another place that we can improve is with our community partners. We've always made sure to communicate clearly that JEDI is central to our work, and our community partners hold the same values, but we have not completed any formalized training with them yet. We think we have a good idea about successful training on the academic side, and we're in the process of learning about successful types of training from the informal education community. Please, if you have suggestions about ways to move forward, we'd love to hear them!

  • Icon for: Tim Podkul

    Tim Podkul

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Advisor
    May 13, 2022 | 03:15 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing a bit about your project! This is certainly needed, and the dearth of geoscientists from all backgrounds is something that needs to be addressed. With that in mind, I am curious if there has been any consideration or focus on accessibility issues and increasing the representation of students and professionals with disabilities? If not yet, how might you suggest others in the geoscience spaces learn from your efforts to pivot and expand the definition of inclusion in this field to include those with disabilities?

    Thanks!

  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 02:38 p.m.

    Thanks for the question, Tim! You’ve hit on an important question for the geosciences, given the field-intensive nature of some of our work. Although our program has focused more on other aspects of inclusion, we’ve employed practices recommended by IAGD, who is responsible for great advances in making the geosciences more accessible for those with disabilities. One thing we could do at our next conference presentation is highlight the IAGD practices that we used that strengthen inclusion for everyone. 

  • Icon for: Tim Podkul

    Tim Podkul

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Advisor
    May 17, 2022 | 07:48 a.m.

    That is great to hear, Meagen! It sounds like you have connected with the right resources. IAGD has done some great work over the years and really advocated for a more inclusive definition of broadening participation. Learning more about which practices help which underrepresented groups in the field of geosciences would be a great contribution. Thanks again!

  • May 16, 2022 | 01:23 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this project. It's great to hear the perspectives of your participants and peer mentors!

    My collaborators and co-presenters have led the STEM identity research side of our project that focuses on intergenerational learning in an informal STEM program. Here are a few of their publications:

    Conservation science and technology identity instrument: Empirically measuring STEM identities in informal science learning programs

    Intergenerational community conservation projects, STEM identity authoring, and positioning: the cases of two intergenerational teams

    Assessing STEM identities in Intergenerational Informal STEM Programming

     

     
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    Meagen Pollock
  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 02:40 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing these resources, Nicole! I’m looking forward to doing a deep dive. I may be in touch in the near future - we’re starting our next participant cohort tomorrow!

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