Strategies to increase minority student representation in undergraduate research at Wright State University were mapped out during a workshop conducted by Buffie Longmire-Avital, a diversity, inclusion and racial equity scholar.
The half-day workshop, held Oct. 30, was hosted by the Applying Scientific Knowledge (ASK) Program in the College of Science and Mathematics. The ASK Program provides a guided path into undergraduate research, with enhanced mentoring from faculty, experiential learning opportunities and financial aid. Students in the program have gone on to Ph.D. programs and worked in the pharmaceutical, medical laboratory sciences and other scientific fields.
The workshop was designed to tap into expertise on what the ASK Program could do to enhance the recruitment and support of underrepresented minority students.
Longmire-Avital is an associate professor of psychology and coordinator of the African and African American interdisciplinary minor program at Elon University.
Titled “Engaging and Sustaining Minority Student Participation in Undergraduate Research,” the workshop drew more than 35 faculty, staff and graduate students from across Wright State. It featured breakout sessions, presentations and shared personal experiences. Discussion topics included “Positionality and Diverse Learning Environment: Identity Wheels,” “Recruitment, Engaging HURMS in Research,” and “Bias, Stereotype Threat, Microaggressions: Becoming Consciousness.”
Jason Deibel, chair of the Department of Physics, said the workshop was the start of a process for the ASK Program and the College of Science and Mathematics.
“ASK can and will work to ensure that the program is the stepping stone that it can be for all students,” he said. “To realize a program that is truly equitable, ASK will use what we learned from the workshop to begin to enhance its recruitment and mentoring practices for under-represented minority students.”