Increasing the Diversity of Your Graduates

Friday 1:30pm-4:00pm CIRES Fellows Room
Mini Workshop


Ashanti Johnson, Cirrus Academy Charter School

This interactive workshop draws on broadening participation research and literature to introduce the many positive factors that reduce barriers to participation and support success in STEM pathways, enabling diverse students and early career professionals to succeed and persist in STEM fields. The goal is to provide participants the information they need to begin formulating personal action plans for cultivating, implementing, and facilitating positive factors of change in their own graduate level programs. Participants will be assessed on their ability to articulate an understanding of the positive factors presented, identify those factors that most supported them on their own STEM pathways, and explain how the positive factors may be most effectively leveraged for students in their environments through the implementation of practices that cultivate those positive factors in the student experience.


The goals of this workshop are

  1. to increase participants' understanding of the role of positive factors that can support success in STEM careers and reduce barriers to participation,
  2. highlight and increase participants' understanding of strategies and practices for creating those positive factors in work, personal, and/or academic environments.


1:30 PM Settle in and complete questionnaire

1:40 PM Welcome and Intro to the workshop

1:45 PM Positive Factors and Concept mapping

Help participants explore/understand 1) the positive factors that supported them in their own science pathways, and 2) communicating science in inclusive ways.

Objectives: For participants to recognize and identify with positive factors that supported you in your own science pathway.

2:00 PM Deconstruct Your Science Using Concept Mapping

The speaker will share their own concept map career pathways, and image-based presentations, illuminating the impact of positive factors and barriers on their personal journey, and give background on concept mapping including a brief exercise .

Objective: for participants to "see" and understand how positive factors shaped and supported the in-real-life career pathways of two successful scientists in-person.

2:30 PM Telling Your Science Story

The speaker leads discussion about storytelling more generally, and then about science storytelling in particular. Participants share about the value of packaging science into stories for public dissemination. The speaker shares a few science stories to highlight examples of effective storytelling. The speaker leads the group in a discussion of how to unpack and repack a particular science example.

Objective: for participants to "hear" and understand how positive factors shaped and supported the in-real-life career pathways of two successful scientists in-person.

2:45 PM Group Sharing: Participants work in pairs to figure out how to tell stories about their own science.

3:00 PM Research-Based Evidence

The speaker will introduce the research-based evidence on positive factors that support success in STEM pathways. Link the in-real-life experiences with the theoretical foundation that often provides the underlying basis for strategies and practices demonstrated to be effective in improving outcomes of underserved communities through individual and institutional commitments, and which is espoused for broadening participation and increasing diversity in STEM. Offer up certain study examples.

Objective: for participants to see how the personal examples of the workshop are echoed in research-based evidence; for participants to see more examples of positive factors derived from the research basis.

3:20 PM Small Group Discussions

What are the parts that apply and can help you implement change in yourself and your institution? How can you envision creating the presence of some of these positive factors in your work and academic environments? What can you do within the scope of what you can change? Ask small groups to pick one insight or idea to share with whole group.

Objectives: for participants to consolidate understanding through listening and reflecting; envision context-based strategies for implementing; be inspired and gain motivation to act.

3:50 PM Group Sharing: Each group shares one idea or insight from their discussion.

4:10 PM Thank you, wrap up, and workshop evaluation.

4:15 Adjourn