Presentation on theme: "Have they got the fever? Is it part of the fabric? Institutional transformation in STEM from “Pioneers’” perspectives Sylvia Hurtado Gina Garcia Josephine."— Presentation transcript:
Have they got the fever? Is it part of the fabric? Institutional transformation in STEM from “Pioneers’” perspectives Sylvia Hurtado Gina Garcia Josephine Gasiewski Bryce Hughes UCLA National Conference on Race and Ethnicity New Orleans, LA May 2013
Warm up What are examples of programs that successfully support students of color in STEM? MARC MBRS RISE TRiO EOP What are characteristics of these programs that make them long-lasting?
What’s a “pioneer”? Institutional Agents (Stanton-Salazar, 2011) Occupy one or more high-status position(s) within an organization Accustomed to managing resources and exercising power Act to transmit or negotiate resources on behalf of another Provide direct and integrative support, develop programs and systems, and link networks for others
What’s a “pioneer”? Tempered Radicals (Kezar & Lester, 2011; Meyerson & Scully, 1995) Resisting quietly and staying true to one’s self Turning personal threats into opportunities Broadening the impact through negotiation Leveraging small wins Organizing collective action
Our “pioneers” Purposeful sampling, sampling criteria: longevity and success in STEM national recognition historical underrepresentation in their field evidence of a long-term commitment to diversifying STEM Identified through: professional organizations lists of awardees receiving national recognition for their diversity efforts National Institutes of Health funded programs focused on improving minority access to research careers snowball sampling
Narratives Dr. Andrews Female, African American, administrator Dr. Barrera Male, Latino, chemistry professor Dr. Cooper Male, Native American, administrator
Methodology 32 semi-structured, in-depth interviews: 9 biomedical/behavioral sciences, 12 physical sciences/engineering, & 11 program administrators. 50% women 9 Black, 14 Latina/o, 3 American Indian, 4 White, 1 Biracial, and 1 African Coding: open coding for emergent themes axial coding inter-coder reliability development of coding architecture in NVivo9 coding to nodes
Findings: “Pioneers” as Institutional Agents Institutional Agency Level 1: Being mentored Level 2: Self empowerment/advocacy Level 3: Mentoring others Level 4: Developing programs within institutions Level 5: Developing programs outside of institutional setting Level 6: Sitting on national committees/national offices “The important thing to realize is that you have at every point, times when you need help. Someone has to appear at that critical moment when you are doubting yourself or getting ready to turn away because you don’t think you can do it or you are confused —at some point, you need someone.”
Senior Administrative Support Again, you have to remind the institution that these are institutional grants. Whenever I write these grants, I’ll give a pretty early draft to the dean and to the department chairs of the affected department, say, “Okay, does this make sense?” And I don’t just want you to say, “Yes, it’s wonderful, but make changes. How is this going to make sense for your department or your college? How is this going help meet your strategic goals for the college or the department? How can we change these programs and also how can we change the department so that both of those things, both the department and these programs, are working towards meeting the goals that we have for the University?” (Dr. Barrera)
Collaborative Leadership Having other people to work with, like an assistant or a number two or somebody, you have to have more than one person to continue, and then having built-in people and built in money. (Dr. Andrews) The issue of how do you get to people who make decisions. How do you affect the decision making process? So many of us when we first start, we are outside of that process. Even worse than that, we don’t even understand it. (other participant)
Robust Design We’ve changed the mission statement of the organization to reflect our goals of giving high and equal—high levels of equal access to all students, of closing the achievement gap, of changing public policies. That’s in our mission statement. (Dr. Cooper) While I've been there, we developed a vision for the next ten years, which is based on that strategic plan. What we've created in the strategic plan is a plan for reaching out to a larger fraction of that population that's already majoring in science, because we think we have things that are important to them. (other participant)
Staff Development There's a staff of five, so if I leave there are four other people who have an idea of what went on and how to continue that. They would be able to tell the next person or incorporate-they might modify what you do, but that's helpful. (Dr. Andrews) Another one is working with colleagues, because who is going to take over these programs when I retire? Nobody lasts forever, and unless you’ve deliberately made a succession plan, of course it will go away. (Dr. Barrera)
Visible Action Again, that, for example, the creation of the of the MORE Program, so that it was not my grant but that these institutional grants were of great value to the university, and reminding the institution that this is their responsibility… Institutionalization, yeah, reminding them they have a responsibility. I ask for as much money from them as I can, and I know that it's never very much, mostly because I want them to understand that they have a responsibility. That these are not my grants that I'm doing and when I retire it's okay if they go way, but these are opportunities that are absolutely necessary. For example, we moved out of the physical sciences building and they rehabbed a very nice area for our new office that we’re moving into on Friday. (Dr. Barrera)
Financial Support / Endowments I’m a strong believer in endowments, because we always depend on funding, the good graces of grants and corporations and so on. I’m a strong believer in—the future, to me, of these programs is that I think they should be endowed so that the laws change where this becomes illegal for the university to do it. A private endowment, you can continue to take care of the folks who need the services. (Dr. Andrews)
Divergence from Kezar and Eckel (2002) Emphasis on endowments and financial support Institutionalized racism and sexism Like, they’re not intentionally designed to keep people out, but there’s an inherent something in there that does keep people out. It doesn’t say, no women, no black or brown people, no people who are pink or neon, it doesn’t say that, but when you see how it operates, it’s designed for all those things, that is the inherent outcome. (Dr. Andrews)
Divergence from Kezar and Eckel (2002) Subversive action Invisible Action Plan Utilizing networks of women and URMs If I could I would channel every damn student to a place like that…When you channel these kids to those kind of institutions, you gotta make sure that they’re picked up by the right people. I would study all the faculty…I would make sure in my mind that those faculty were gonna be very supportive of this kid and not stick him in there to wash dishes. Because those kids get—as soon as they get intimidated…they drop science.
Can a regular mortal do this work? The thing is that, I believe that there’s a lot of efforts of people that you would call pioneers, and one of the things that I think about a lot is whether those efforts can be duplicated somewhere else or not or if they can continue to exist when that person who leads them is no longer there, because there are lots of people that are very special people that do great things but it’s very unclear any regular mortal can do it.
Conclusion and Future Research Thinking about succession strategies before pioneers retire to sustain transformation activities How to extract the practical wisdom from Pioneers or other institutional agents Tacit knowledge interviewing technique(Peet, 2010) How to best capture stealth activity that goes on under the radar, change that occurs with an “invisible” force of networked individuals