27 March 2024

Register Today for Two Virtual Workshops on Equity in Graduate Admissions

Tom Rice

Tom Rice American Astronomical Society (AAS)

NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network
Join the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) for a two-part online workshop series. Grounded in research and designed to empower you to advance equity and inclusion, this immersive experience will guide you through insightful reflection, foster productive dialogue, and equip you with concrete action steps to cultivate a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for all.

Register Today

Workshop 1: Fundamentals of Equity in Graduate Admissions (2 hours)
Thursday, 25 April, 12:00–2:00 pm PT | 3:00–5:00 pm ET

Rooted in data and research, this foundational session provides a comprehensive overview of the role of typical admissions practices in maintaining racial/ethnic inequalities in graduate education, as well as strategies for more equitable processes and outcomes.  

Workshop 2: Strategies for Equity-based Holistic Review (2 hours)
Thursday, 2 May, 12:00–2:00 pm PT | 3:00–5:00 pm ET

Building upon the foundational knowledge established in Workshop 1, this session equips participants with practical tools and actionable strategies for implementing equity-based holistic admissions practices within their specific programs. Through facilitated discussions, participants will articulate and assess their current admissions practices, begin to develop an evaluation rubric that can be put to use and engage in discussions that will help anticipate common challenges that may arise in shifting admissions practices.

We strongly encourage departments to participate in both workshops as a collective unit (4-6 members). This collaborative approach fosters shared understanding, strengthens departmental commitment to equity, and facilitates the development of coordinated implementation strategies.

These interactive workshops are designed to be accessible and relevant to a broad audience across diverse academic disciplines. Whether you are an admissions officer, faculty member, or graduate student, this program offers valuable insights and actionable tools to contribute to a more equitable and inclusive graduate education experience.

If you have questions or concerns, please email Stephanie Santos or Tom Rice.

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Facilitator Bios

Dr. Nadine Kabengi (she/her/hers) is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School and associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University (GSU) where she has been since 2012. Dr. Kabengi’s research expertise is in experimental thermodynamics and with her group investigates the fate and transport of contaminants from the nano- to the macroscale. Dr. Kabengi received her BS and MS in Agricultural Engineering and Soil Science from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, where she was born and raised. She later moved to the United States where she earned a PhD in Soil Physical Chemistry from the University of Florida. Her research has garnered more than $2.6 million in extramural funding, including the prestigious US Department of Energy — Office of Basic Energy Sciences — Faculty Career Development (CAREER) program award in 2014. Dr. Kabengi commitment to increasing representation in STEM is inspired from her lived experiences. At GSU, she created an Honors seminar course entitled “Underrepresented Minorites in Science: Why so few?”  designed to debate that exact question by delving into various literatures on retention and attrition of URMs from STEM fields and careers. She teaches the “Women Lead in Science” section of this award-winning program at GSU and is the faculty mentor of STEMulate, a student club formed by her students with the goal of empowering URMs and women in STEM. Dr. Kabengi had served as the Graduate Director for Geosciences, an MS program that enrolls a majority of students (57%) from underrepresented groups. Under her leadership, the program was named a Bridge Program by the American Geophysical Union in 2019.
 
Dr. Roman Liera is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Montclair State University. He is a qualitative researcher who studies organizational change and racial equity in higher education. As a critical scholar, he draws on organization, sociocultural, and race theories such as organizational culture, institutional theory, racial capitalism, critical race theory, and cultural-historical activity theory to examine racism in doctoral student socialization, the academic job market, faculty hiring, reappointment, tenure and promotion, presidential hiring, and racial equity professional development.  
 
College Futures Foundation has funded Dr. Liera’s work and has appeared in American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record, among others. As a public scholar, he has published reports on racial equity in faculty hiring at community colleges and equity-minded presidential search processes. He regularly advises administrative and faculty leaders at elite four-year universities, public four-year universities, community colleges, and Hispanic Serving Institutions on equity-minded practices in evaluation contexts like faculty hiring, faculty retention, and graduate admissions. He has also been recognized as an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellow.