In the tradition of Carl Brändén, pioneer in structural biology, co-author of the seminal text Introduction to Protein Structure, and leader of the world-class synchrotron facility at Grenoble, the Carl Brändén Award, sponsored by Rigaku Corporation, honors an outstanding protein scientist who has also made exceptional contributions in the areas of education and/or service.
Specific Requirement: Sustained, high-impact research contributions to the field and additional contributions to education/service.
Members of the HSTEM team shared their experiences of participating in the Being Human in STEM course with members of the Physics department at Bridgewater State University. We had a lively conversation and discussed the potential of BSU adopting an HSTEM course, possibly partnering with their strong teacher education program to bring HSTEM to STEM K-12 teachers.
Members of the HSTEM team shared their experiences participating in the Being Human in STEM course with members of the Biology department at Pomona College. We enjoyed our engaging conversation with biology students and faculty, and discussed the possibility of the department adopting an HSTEM course.
As indicated in this email from AAAS, the grassroots organization #shutdownstem has organized a nation-wide event this Wednesday, June 10th. This event urges all STEM community members in academia to stop business as usual during this unprecedented moment and commit to antiracist practices.
Amherst Astronomy faculty member Kate Follette has canceled the usual meetings and work with her ten students for Wednesday, and instead worked with members of her group to put together this plan to help her group discuss anti-Black racism in our country and in academia and STEM specifically. She has generously shared the document, which includes a variety of resources for us in STEM to advance our anti-racist education, with all STEM faculty supervising summer researchers at Amherst College, and has made it completely accessible to anyone. Her plan includes an exercise drawn from this workshop on Race-Privilege from the Bonner Curriculum.
For Amherst-specific resources from Being Human in STEM students, excerpts from the statements from the STEM departments after the 2015 Amherst Uprising sit-in are available here, the results of interviews with >40 students about their Amherst STEM experiences in 2016 here, collections of ~40 annotated readings on STEM and diversity here, and case study #3 in the link here is a STEM-specific scenario. One of this spring's HSTEM projects was developing a workshop series centered around experiences in STEM at Amherst and what the students learned in HSTEM that they felt could be addressed to enhance inclusion in STEM. Although we haven’t yet updated www.beinghumaninstem.com with the materials from this spring’s HSTEM class, here is the draft of their HSTEM workshop proposal, and the collection of HSTEM student work as a Zine.
We encourage everyone to join the Follette lab, HSTEM students, staff and faculty, and STEM community members everyone in committing to take Wednesday, June 10th to consider how we will change ourselves as individuals, our departments, our disciplines, and our countries to fight racism every single day.
Photo credit: www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/cnw-tv/talkup/talkup-how-did-the-killing-of-george-floyd-make-you-feel/attachment/george-floyd-mural/
Being Human in STEM (HSTEM) is a growing community of students, staff, and faculty in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that fosters inclusion and equity in STEM. HSTEM originated in the aftermath of the student-led Amherst Uprising sit-in at Amherst College on November 12th, 2015. The student organizers were inspired to speak out and show solidarity with student protesters at University of Missouri and Yale University protesting incidents of racial disrimination on their campuses. These students were carrying on the important national conversation sparked by police brutality against black communities encapsulated by the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Today and every day, HSTEM stands in solidarity with the Black community. Silence about racism perpetuated on Black and Brown communities by the police and institutions everywhere is complicit with oppression. We honor George Floyd and remember everyone that came before him. We will continue to lead the STEM community in fighting for action and accountability on higher education campuses and beyond. Visit www.beinghumaninstem.com for more information and resources, and https://500womenscientists.org/updates/2020/6/1/take-action to learn about specific actions to take in support of #BlackLivesMatter.
Check out Surya Adams (HSTEM '18) on the cover of the Winter 2019 Issue of AACU Diversity & Democracy and highlighted in editor Emily Schuster's issue introduction, along with our story of how the Amherst Uprising in November, 2015 catalyzed the collaborative academic experiment by students and chemistry professor Sheila Jaswal, resulting in the first "Being Human in STEM" course at Amherst College in the spring of 2016. Spring semester of 2020 will be our 8th iteration of the course and the initial launch of HSTEM courses at University of Utah, Mt. Holyoke, and Davidson Colleges, joining Yale University & Williams College as sites of non-Amherst HSTEM courses!
From March 25th to the 29th, we attended the AAC&U Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Sarah Bunnell, Bonnie Lin, and I (Michaela Ednie) prepared and presented a poster during this conference. Dr. Bunnell currently works at Amherst College as the Associate Director and STEM specialist in our Center for Teaching and Learning and actively supports the HSTEM initiative. Bonnie (class of 2019) took the HSTEM course in the spring of 2018 and remains an active participant in the initiative. I began my involvement in HSTEM by co-facilitating the summer condensed course in 2018 after graduating from Amherst and continued on as the HSTEM post-bac fellow, assisting with the overall initiative and co-facilitating the spring 2019 course.
I'm confident that Dr. Bunnell and Bonnie would agree with me that the conference was a lot of fun! Due to travel restraints, Bonnie and I didn't make the keynote address the first evening, so our first event was the poster session where we were presenting. Our poster detailed some of our findings on the impact of incorporating HSTEM practices in classrooms. (Check out the full poster below!) At first, both Bonnie and I were slow and/or a little clumsy at explaining the poster to visitors. It was very early in the morning, after all. Once we got the hang of things, however, we were engaging the audience beyond just the information on the poster. Almost everyone wanted a copy of the poster and business cards. We also had the HSTEM brochure for folks to look through, but we didn’t have copies to give out. A few times during workshops or meals after the session, people who came to the poster recognized me and asked a few more questions. There were also times when the poster session in general came up and that led to more people asking questions (luckily, I was carrying more copies of the poster to give them!), so there was lots of interest in our work. I loved getting to talk about it so much!
There were so many sessions that I was interested in, it was hard to settle on just one for each timeslot. I feel I learned a lot from the sessions I attended, and I met a lot of great people. I attended sessions on microagressions, inclusive classroom practices, program planning, and serving disadvantaged students. The closing plenary on disabilities was absolutely incredible; I really wish there was a video of it on the site! Amanda Kraus from the University of Arizona was such a great speaker and really kept the audience engaged. The thing that sticks out for me most was when I realized halfway through the presentation that Amanda was describing the location and contents of any images or figures that came up on the slides. She did it so naturally, and it’s definitely something I plan on doing in my future presentations. I consider myself to have great vision (with my glasses), but even so, I couldn’t tell what some of the pictures were from my position in the crowd. I was grateful for her descriptions, and I bet many others were as well. She pointed it out near the end of her talk as one of a few simple ways to make presentations more accessible. The presentation she used at the conference is included on the AAC&U website.
Overall, I absolutely loved this conference. I learned a lot and got to connect with people and share stories. The conference was such a great experience for me and exposure for HSTEM. I’m excited at how much interest HSTEM is generating!
We were at the 2018 Massachusetts PKAL Regional Meeting! Emily Ma '20, a student in the 2017 Fall HSTEM course, presented at the student panel on HSTEM and interventions at Amherst College to promote inclusion in STEM.
Here are some pictures from the meeting!