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September 2021 NIST Newsletter

Spotlight: Why pronouns are important for you and your students

Stating our personal pronouns is a way for instructors to build inclusivity and trust in the classroom, and facilitate conversations about gender and privilege with students and colleagues. Sharing pronouns is good practice for everyone, even if you feel that you have a visible gender identity.  It normalizes the practice of not making assumptions about gender based upon appearances.
 
You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Adding them to your display name in virtual meetings
  • Including them next to your name in e-mail signatures and syllabi (e.g., John Smith, they/them)
  • Using them in introductions (“Hi, I’m John and I use he/him pronouns, my research explores…”)

 
Providing an opportunity for students to share their pronouns with others helps to avoid misgendering mistakes, which can lead to discomfort, embarrassment, or trauma.  This is especially important since many government and academic administration systems do not allow students easily update their personal information.  However, you should never force someone to share their pronouns, as that may force them to choose between revealing a part of their identity they do not wish to share or misgendering themselves.  When instructors model inclusive practices, many students will follow their example.  If it is not safe to do this overtly, you can ask students to write how they wish to be addressed on a notecard instead.
 

You may already be someone who has been sharing pronouns for some time, or someone who isn't sure about sharing pronouns. Whatever your perspective is, it is the perfect opportunity to communicate via Twitter. Here's our handle:

@NISciTeaching

 We would love to hear from you and keep this conversation going!

 

NIST Communications Coordinator Position
Interested in working to help NIST get their message out, or know someone who does? This may be the perfect opportunity.

The Executive Committee of the National Institute on Scientific Teaching is seeking a part-time coordinator/assistant to support the activities of the organization. It is an administrative role that helps the officers of the organization plan, execute, and monitor organization-wide activities.

As our Coordinator, you will work remotely with members of the Executive Committee as well as members of the NIST Community to raise public awareness of our organization through online and offline channels, and support an array of NIST programs.

This means that you get to:
● promote and support NIST with various social media channels and through other advertising.
● assist with planning and execution of NIST workshops/meetings.
● use Wix Website Builder to update NIST website content to match requested text, imagery, and functionality.
● use MailChimp with a template to enter content into Newsletters and email campaigns.
● use Canvas LMS to assist in the preparation of materials for assorted workshops.
● use standard office software to create print and/or electronic documents, brochures, etc.
● solicit specific content from members of the NIST Community when needed.
● assist with planning and execution of FALCoN (Happy Hours).
● assist with the SLACK channel (uploading content).
● assist with other duties as needed.

This job might be for you if:
● You have 1-3 years of communications experience – creating and implementing strategies and developing online content. A bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing or PR is preferred.
● You have graphic design skills and enjoy the creative process in developing marketing or PR documents.
● You’re a communications wonder! You can crank out a press release, Facebook update or newsletter article without even trying. You’re willing to share your ideas with others.
● You have the ability to collaborate with several teams at once, and you have no problem managing multiple initiatives simultaneously.
● Computers do what you say. You are confident with the office suite, website content management, email marketing and social media applications.
● You are excited about the prospect of being the first person in a newly designed role, working with an evolving organization with many moving parts.
● You have a track record of effectively working independently, and you can set boundaries where needed and ask questions when you get stuck. 

Interested applicants should send their CV and cover letter to communications@nisthub.org.

 

Newsletter Contents
NIST Programs & Announcements Recommended Reading & Listening, Special Events, and Job Opportunities
Continuing with instruction or just getting started, what does September hold for you? 

For semester based schools, you have already been going for a few weeks. In the quarter system? You are just getting started. 

The new semester or quarter is always a time for reflection, course transformation, maybe making one small change, and just being excited about meeting all of the new students who will be fortunate to have you as an instructor, mentor, and guide as students navigate through this academic year. For many of us, this year means returning to a new normal, with in person instruction but different from what we experienced pre-COVID. It might be a good time to sit down and write out a list of things you would like to accomplish this term and use that when making decisions about your course and the student experience during your course.

As always, we at NIST are doing our best to provide resources and information that helps all of us grow in both personal and professional contexts. We hope the month of September has begun with a great start, and look forward to the next time we see you in one of the workshops and Falcon events hosted by NIST.


AAC&U Institute on ePortfolios  

AAC&U institute provides an ongoing opportunity for teams from campuses and/or state systems to develop and implement ambitious strategies for broadening student engagement with ePortfolios. Led by AAC&U in collaboration with AAEEBL and NASPA, the 2022 Institute will provide a full year of direct support and engagement via in-person and virtual interactions as participating teams develop ePortfolio implementation plans and then put them into practice.

See the full description and link to register here.


Inclusive STEM Teaching Project 

Registration now open for October!
This NSF-funded initiative holds a six-week course through EdX. Participants will engage in reflection and discussion of topics related to equity and inclusion across many contexts. The course offers a unique opportunity to reflect in a meaningful and productive way on DEI issues relative to your classroom, and then guides faculty through different exercises to help with classroom transformations that help in achieving an inclusive classroom.

Register at this link for the session beginning October 13th.


Teaching Evolution Through a Culturally Competent Lens

An in-person HHMI-funded workshop HHMI-funded workshop hosted byBrigham Young University that has been designed to build and maintain bridges between Evolutionary Science and Religion by practicing Cultural Competence!

Many students struggle with the scientific information presented to them as it may appear confrontational to their religious beliefs. Well-meaning scientists have approached the intersection between faith and science in ways that lengthen the divide between these two ways of interpreting the world. Ultimately, our goal is to replace these approaches with a ‘Reconciliatory Model’. To reconcile is to “cause to coexist in harmony”; to “make or show to be compatible”; or to “restore friendly relations between” (Oxford Dictionary, 2017). We believe that by involving theologians, scientists, and clergy in a combined effort toward a solution, we can create a mutually respectful and highly effective method to help students reconcile these two ways of knowing toward a more scientifically literate society.

When: October 27th (5pm welcome reception) – 30th (10am conclusion)

Where: Hobble Creek Canyon, Springville, Utah (we will also have asynchronous digital assignments prior to the workshop)

Who: We invite any faculty members from an institution where students face conflict between religious influences and learning evolutionary science. We require that participants attend in teams of three:

1) A faculty member from a Biology-related discipline who teaches undergraduate students in Biology and teaches at least some aspect of evolution

2) A faculty member from a theology-related discipline who can speak to the predominant faith traditions of students from an academic standpoint

3) A local minister or pastor representative of the majority of the student body

Details: We are offering FREE travel and accommodations for each participating member of the team. Additional stipends may be available for follow-up activities related to research. Attendees will be co-authoring a set of learning materials that offer students a way to reconcile faith and evolution without promoting or degrading religion and that can be shared broadly and are specific to a faith tradition. Attendees can also participate in the building of video vignettes with the same purpose (see recoevo.byu.edu).

To register, please visit https://forms.gle/majYZBcxyv6yGENg9

The goal of the workshop: 

Many students struggle with the scientific information presented to them as it may appear confrontational to their religious beliefs. Well-meaning scientists have approached the intersection between faith and science in ways that lengthen the divide between these two ways of interpreting the world. Ultimately, our goal is to replace these approaches with a ‘Reconciliatory Model’. To reconcile is to “cause to coexist in harmony”; to “make or show to be compatible”; or to “restore friendly relations between” (Oxford Dictionary, 2017). We believe that by involving theologians, scientists, and clergy in a combined effort toward a solution, we can create a mutually respectful and highly effective method to help students reconcile these two ways of knowing toward a more scientifically literate society.


NIST FALCoN 2021!




FALCoN, Faculty Learning Community of NIST, is coming your way!
New logo with dates of upcoming Friday meetings coming soon.



Featured Articles


STEM Education Job Opportunities

Questions about the National Institute for Scientific Teaching?  Contact us at  or nationalinstituteonst@gmail.com.

Suggestions or Content for the NIST Newsletter?

Please contact us at Deb Pires (debpires@ucla.edu) and Peggy Brickman (brickman@uga.edu).

     
     
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