Resource Library

IGEN and our partners are developing and collecting resources to support individuals and institutions that are interested in equity and inclusion in graduate education.

Type
Audience
  • Journal Article

    Trust Networks: A New Perspective on Pedigree and the Ambiguities of Admissions

    Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Published in The Review of Higher Education, Volume 41, Number 4, Summer 2018, pp. 497-521,

    Abstract

    Privileging elite academic pedigrees in graduate admissions preserves racial and socioeconomic inequities that many institutions say they wish to reduce. To understand this preference, I integrate across perspectives on trust in rational choice, social capital, and social network theories, and use the resulting framework to interpret 68 interviews with faculty reflecting on graduate admissions. Individual and institutional trust networks enable faculty to invest in students' uncertain futures, with trust especially important for interpretations of transcripts and letters of recommendation. I discuss trust networks' consequences for admissions, how they can be expanded, and their relevance for future higher education research.

     

  • Journal Article

    Framing Diversity: Examining the Place of Race in Institutional Policy and Practice Post-Affirmative Action

    Kristen M. Glasener, Christian Martell and Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Published in Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, July 2018 Volume 12, Issue 1,

    Abstract

    The University of Georgia has operated under a voluntary “race-neutral” admission policy for the past 2 decades. Using frame analysis theory, we examine university documents and interview data from 11 campus administrators responsible for diversity efforts to understand how diversity is framed at the institutional and individual levels post-affirmative action. We compare our findings to the broader sociolegal discourses around diversity to present points of convergence and divergence among frames. We find official university framing of diversity has broadened over time to include numerous characteristics, while administrators hold divergent frames depending on their functional area, philosophy, and personal experience. We conclude that divergent frames may reflect and contribute to the challenge of advancing a coherent set of diversity efforts in a post-affirmative action context, where the place of race in institutional policy is muted. As more institutions consider admissions policy devoid of race to avoid protracted legal struggles, it may be especially important for institutions and administrators responsible for diversity efforts to be explicit with one another and with those whom they hire about how they will continue seeking racial equity.

     

  • Journal Article

    Burdens and benefits of diversity work: emotion management in STEM doctoral students

    Kamaria B. Porter, Julie R. Posselt, Kimberly Reyes, Kelly E. Slay and Aurora Kamimura
    Details
    Published in Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Volume 9, Issue 2, 2018-11

    Abstract

     

    Purpose

    As part of the broader effort to diversify higher education in the USA, many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) doctoral programs are deeply engaged in diversity work – an array of formal activities and practices meant to boost the representation of women and students of color. This paper aims to examine how underrepresented doctoral students in high-diversity STEM PhD programs contribute to diversity work in their programs.

     

    Design/methodology/approach

    A case study approach was used to understand the nature of diversity work in four STEM doctoral programs that have enrolled and graduated women and/or underrepresented students of color at rates significantly higher than their disciplines, despite being located in states with affirmative action bans. This study analyzes qualitative data from 24 semi-structured interviews and four focus groups with students from across the four departments.

     

    Findings

    Data reveal that underrepresented students are simultaneously positioned as representatives of progress and uncompensated consultants in their departments’ ongoing equity and diversity efforts. As a result, student contributions to diversity work are experienced as an ongoing process of emotional labor in which institutional ethos and/or feeling rules in the department shape how students manage their internal and external emotions.

     

    Originality/value

    Although diversity-related work is widespread and growing within colleges and universities, this study shows how student engagement in diversification efforts can lead to significant emotional burdens that go unnoticed and uncompensated. In highlighting the invisibility of emotional labor and the skew of its distribution toward minoritized groups, this research calls attention to how tacit feeling rules can undermine the ultimate goal of diversity initiatives within graduate departments and programs.

     

  • Journal Article

    Metrics First, Diversity Later? Making the Short List and Getting Admitted to Physics PhD Programs

    Julie R. Posselt, Theresa E. Hernandez, Geraldine L. Cochran and Casey W. Miller
    Details
    Published in Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Volume 25, 2019 Issue 4,

    Abstract

    Recent research suggests that faculty reliance on graduate record examination (GRE) scores early in the graduate admissions review disproportionately limits access to doctoral education for women, Black, Latinx, and Native American students. However, some faculty do engage in more holistic review−and in so doing, weigh diversity−when evaluating applicants on a short list. This paper has three objectives: to test the prevalence of this two-stage review process; to examine whether the factors associated with an applicant's selection to a short list differ from those associated with receiving an admission offer; and third, to assess implications of admissions preferences for equitable access. We conducted fixed-effects logistic regression using application-level data from six large, selective physics programs who participated in a project piloting means to increase diversity in physics. We found that faculty in these programs indeed placed a premium on standard evaluation metrics in the first round of review. Women are more likely than men to both make the short list and be admitted, whereas Black and Latinx applicants do not have significantly higher odds than white students of moving forward in the admissions process, all else equal. Our findings add weight to a rising tide of evidence that faculty must revisit the narrow framing they have traditionally used in the admissions process to increase diversity in their graduate programs.

     

  • Journal Article

    Bait and Switch: Representation, Climate, and Tensions of Diversity Work in Graduate Education

    Kelly E. Slay, Kimberly A. Reyes and Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Published in The Review of Higher Education, Special Issue 2019, Vol. 42, Supplement, pp. 255-286,

    Abstract

    We present findings from a case study of a psychology department that has graduated a significantly higher share of underrepresented doctoral students than national averages for its discipline. Using the campus racial climate framework, we found that organizational/structural diversity initiatives (recruitment and admissions practices), presented a positive image of the department's commitment to diversity to prospective students that diverged considerably from the climate and mentoring relationships students experienced once they matriculated. We compared this to a "bait and switch" phenomenon and considered the consequences for students' success and wellbeing, as well as the ability to sustain diverse student enrollment.

     

  • Journal Article

    Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion

    Casey W. Miller, Benjamin M. Zwickl, Julie R. Posselt, Rachel T. Silvestrini and Theodore Hodapp
    Details
    Published in Science Advances Vol. 5 No. 1, 2019-01

    Abstract

    This study aims to understand the effectiveness of typical admissions criteria in identifying students who will complete the Physics Ph.D. Multivariate statistical analysis of roughly one in eight physics Ph.D. students from 2000 to 2010 indicates that the traditional admissions metrics of undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Quantitative, Verbal, and Physics Subject Tests do not predict completion as effectively admissions committees presume. Significant associations with completion were found for undergraduate GPA in all models and for GRE Quantitative in two of four studied models; GRE Physics and GRE Verbal were not significant in any model. It is notable that completion changed by less than 10% for U.S. physics major test takers scoring in the 10th versus 90th percentile on the Quantitative test. Aside from these limitations in predicting Ph.D. completion overall, overreliance on GRE scores in admissions processes also selects against underrepresented groups.

     

  • Journal Article

    Incidental Racialization: Performative Assimilation in Law School by Yung-Yi Diana Pan

    Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Published in American Journal of Sociology Volume 124, Number 5, 2019-03

    Abstract

    A third of U.S. college graduates go on to graduate or professional education of some sort, with 9% of Americans earning a master's degree or higher and 0.5% becoming lawyers. For this reason and others, studies of becoming a lawyer contribute to our knowledge of elite formation. As with most ad­vanced education, socialization is central to learning in law school, and it has been documented extensively. One not only learns the law in the three years it takes to earn a juris doctorate. That person also comes to love the law, live by the law, and think like a lawyer. And although we know some­thing about the gender and class dynamks of socialization to the legal pro­fession, until now evidence has been sparse about em bedded racialization in what "becoming a lawyer" means. In Incidental Racialization: Performative Assimilation in Law School, Yung-Yi Diana Pan uses the experience of Latinos and Asian Americans becoming lawyers as a window into these processes, as well as others of in­terest to stratification scholars: ethnoracial formation, assimilation, and the reproduction of inequality to name three. The focus on Latino and Asian American students is fresh, opening space for the analysis of immigrant ex­periences and identities within the book's broader task of understanding racialization within a particular professional context. Indeed, the experiences of these"new" immigrant groups are what racializes identity formation in law school. Professions serve as a key mechanism for integration of Asian Amer­icans (who may be subject to model minority stereotypes) and Latinos (who may be subject to stereotypes about legal status) into society's economic mainstream. 

     

  • Journal Article

    Advancing inclusion in the Geosciences: An overview of the NSF-GOLD program

    Julie R. Posselt, Jason Andrew Chen, P. Grady Dixon and Jerlando F. L. Jackson
    Details
    Published in Journal of Geoscience Education, 2019-09

    Abstract

    Here we report on five pilot projects working to develop effective professional development aimed at improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the geosciences. All five projects were funded by the NSF GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD) program, which was designed to bring together geoscientists and social scientists to create innovative pilot programs for preparing and empowering geoscientists as change agents for increasing diversity. Each project has different objectives and applies different combinations of methods, but focuses on professional development, bystander intervention training, and the formation of new networks in the pursuit of systemic, institutional change. This article describes the origins, aims, and activities of these projects, and reflects on lessons learned to date. These projects are still ongoing, but in their first two years they have received more interest than anticipated and more demand than can be fulfilled, suggesting an unserved need in the field. We have also found that teams with varied backgrounds, experiences, and expertise are vital to overcoming common struggles in facing inequalities. Coaching from experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion keeps the teams motivated, particularly when many team members are accustomed to typical scientific research. Finally, institutional change requires time to catalyze, develop, and institutionalize, highlighting the importance of sustained effort over years.

     

  • Report

    The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Policy and Global Affairs; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Committee on Effective Mentoring in STEMM; Angela Byars-Winston and Maria Lund Dahlberg, Editors
    Details
    Published in National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Consensus Study Report, 2019-10

    Abstract

    Mentorship is a catalyst capable of unleashing one's potential for discovery, curiosity, and participation in STEMM and subsequently improving the training environment in which that STEMM potential is fostered. Mentoring relationships provide developmental spaces in which students' STEMM skills are honed and pathways into STEMM fields can be discovered. Because mentorship can be so influential in shaping the future STEMM workforce, its occurrence should not be left to chance or idiosyncratic implementation. There is a gap between what we know about effective mentoring and how it is practiced in higher education.

     

  • Journal Article

    PhD bridge programmes as engines for access, diversity and inclusion

    Alexander L. Rudolph, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann & Julie Posselt
    Details
    Published in Nature Astronomy, 2019-12

    Abstract

    The lack of diversity in physics and astronomy PhD programmes is well known but has not improved despite decades of efforts. PhD bridge programmes provide an asset-based model to help overcome the societal and disciplinary obstacles to improving access and inclusion for students from underrepresented groups and are beginning to show some success. We describe several well-known PhD bridge programmes in the United States and discuss lessons learned from their experiences. Many of these lessons can be extended more broadly to physics and astronomy PhD programmes to increase access, diversity and inclusion.

     

  • Journal Article

    Response to comment on “Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion”

    Casey W. Miller, Benjamin M. Zwickl, Julie R. Posselt, Rachel T. Silvestrini and Theodore Hodapp
    Details
    Published in Science Advances Vol. 6 No. 23, 2020-06

    Abstract

    We provide statistical measures and additional analyses showing that our original analyses were sound. We use a generalized linear mixed model to account for program-to-program differences with program as a random effect without stratifying with tier and found the GRE-P (Graduate Record Examination physics test) effect is not different from our previous findings, thereby alleviating concern of collider bias. Variance inflation factors for each variable were low, showing that multicollinearity was not a concern. We show that range restriction is not an issue for GRE-P or GRE-V (GRE verbal), and only a minor issue for GRE-Q (GRE quantitative). Last, we use statistical measures of model quality to show that our published models are better than or equivalent to several alternates.

     

  • Blog Post

    Congratulations to @WestEd partners in the #NSFINCLUDES Alliance

    WestEd
    Details

    Congratulations to @WestEd partners in the #NSFINCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) on new award! We are pleased to serve as lead evaluator in support of the Alliance & the @NSF commitment to #equity. http://ow.ly/FlNH30lIqae  @I

  • Blog Post

    #NSFINCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) awarded $10M to boost opps for underrepresented students in grad physical science programs.

    WestEd
    Details

    #NSFINCLUDES Alliance: Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) awarded $10M to boost opps for underrepresented students in grad physical science programs. WestEd is pleased to have served as lead evaluator in this major step forward. http://ow.ly/FlNH

  • Resources for supporting grad student wellbeing

    Details
    Published in 2019 IGEN National Meeting,

    Resources for supporting graduate student well-being

  • Presentation Materials

    Practicing Equitable Admissions through Holistic Review

    Julie R. Posselt
    Details
    Published in 2019 IGEN National Meeting, 2019-12 Presented at
    Heads and Chairs of Earth and Space Science Departments, AGU Fall Meeting
    , 2019-12

    This presentation will draw from a decade of research that 1) critically analyzes common systems of admission to doctoral programs and 2) develops a case for holistic review, including caveats about design and implementation. Dr. Posselt will present admissions from decision makers' point of view, including thought-provoking episodes of committees grappling with borderline cases. To promote equity, transparency, and legal safeguards, Posselt shares concrete strategies and places admissions within a system of practices that collectively shape student and program outcomes.

  • Presentation Materials

    Using Self-Efficacy to Address Imposter Syndrome

    Erika Brown
    Details
    Presented at
    2019 IGEN National Meeting
    , 2019-10

    What is Imposter Syndrome? What is self-efficacy? How can we build self-efficacy in ourselves AND others? 

    This presentation defines and articulates what self-efficacy is and its four sources, articulates your role in your own self-efficacy, identify signs of self-efficacy that resonate when conducting research/classroom related tasks, assess the influence of others on their research self-efficacy and devises strategies for supporting others’ self-efficacy in research.

  • Presentation Materials

    Minority Stress in Academia: Identifying and supporting students in distress

    Jennifer Crofts
  • Presentation Materials

    Balancing Wellness with Work, Life and Academics

    Sheri Waddill
  • Presentation Materials

    Creating a USEFUL Individual Development Plan

    Bill Lindstaedt
  • Presentation Materials

    A Crucial Conversation: Talking with your mentees about their future

    Bill Lindstaedt
  • Presentation Materials

    The Diversity Umbrella: What is Underneath it?

    Geraldine Cochran