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The NSF-AGEP RUA Professional Conference 2022 at Caltech!

The NSF-AGEP RUA Professional Conference is held every year and is hosted by one of the participating institutions.

The conference will feature opportunities for cross-institutional exchange and professional development between doctoral students, alumni, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and professional scientists from the participating universities.

The goal of the 2022 conference is to create a vibrant, connected community of RUA grad students and postdocs and provide safe spaces to discuss and learn about tough topics facing underrepresented academics. Topics we expect to address include managing service and outreach as faculty, dealing with the URM tax, being the only one in your department, building a support network, etc. Each of these learning spaces will be built to maximize interaction among participants and opportunities to build mentoring networks. We have experienced, engaging facilitators from multiple RUA institutions.

Photo from 2018 AGEP Conference

2022 RUA Professional Conference Details

Date: September 12th and 13th

Location: Caltech, Pasadena California

— Keynote presentation

— Community networking

— Panel talks from AGEP alumni

— Professional development  

 

Limited NSF Funding will be available to eligible participants. Additional funding may be available from your home institution. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Harvard RUA Coordinator, Jina Kim, via email at jina_kim@g.harvard.edu.


Breakout Sessions

The Art of Talking Science

This virtual pre-conference workshop will guide you through the process of creating a successful research talk. Topics will include strategies for organizing your ideas, tailoring content for specific audiences, developing effective slides, and speaking in an engaging way. All conference participants are welcome to attend.
Session Date, Time and Location:
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | 11 am - 12:30 pm PT / 2 - 3:30 pm ET (via zoom)
How to Register:
Click the link in the travel logistics email you received to register for this pre-conference workshop.
Speaker:
Robyn Javier
STEM Communication Specialist & Lecturer
Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science

 

 

Communication for Identity-Conscious Mentoring

Faculty, postdocs, and graduate students often provide mentorship to others in their career, but rarely receive training around supervision and mentorship. Professional development focuses on skill-building in functional areas yet often ignores lived experiences of bias and hostility in the professoriate that prevent learning and growth. This session advocates for an original approach by presenting nine core strategies of identity-conscious mentorship practice, including both traditional and innovative approaches.
Speaker:
Rob Brown
Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach
Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications

Creating a Lab Culture that Aligns with and Perpetuates Your Values

Research plays an integral role in our work as scholars in the academy. As researchers we can significantly influence what future researchers, also known as our students and postdocs, perceive their roles to be as scholars, the type of research they engage in and pursue, and the impact they would like to make on and in communities. It also has a profound impact on others’ experiences e.g., their students. This experience starts with you and the lab culture and environment you cultivate and foster. In this workshop we will journey through the process of cultivating a laboratory environment grounded in your values.

 

Speaker:
Fatima Alleyne
Director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Practices
UC Berkeley College of Engineering

A Courageous Call: Allyship is a Journey

Session Description: Coming soon
Speaker:
Felicia Benton-Johnson
Assistant Dean & Director
Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED)
Georgia Tech College of Engineering

Strategic Service in Service of Your Career

Performing service and outreach activities can be very fulfilling and impactful on institutions and communities, but it's important to take on diversity, equity, and inclusion service work in a way that aligns with professional development goals and leads to equitable career advancement. This workshop will utilize a series of reflective and collaborative activities, rooted in design thinking, to help attendees tie service and outreach opportunities into their professional identity and aspirations for career growth. 
Speaker:
Caleb Mckinney
Associate Professor
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine


Featured SpeakerS

Fatima Alleyne

Director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Practices
UC Berkeley College of Engineering

Fatima Alleyne, Ph.D., is the director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Practices in the College of Engineering (COE) at UC Berkeley. She brings her passion and love for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and education into her work to develop programs that promote equity; foster a positive, inclusive culture; and increase access and opportunities to those who have historically been underrepresented in STEM. She also led a strategic planning process to guide programs and priorities to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the College. A core component of her work, Fatima engages diverse members of our campus community on the topic of DEI. Her work has been lauded by UC Berkeley’s chancellor with recognition as a Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award recipient as well as Advising and Student Services as an Equity Champion Award recipient in 2022.
Prior to this role, Fatima started her own consulting business and served as the director of COE faculty engagement, consultant for the Center for Restorative Solutions, research general engineer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and education and outreach coordinator at an NSF-funded research center and research specialist, both at UC Berkeley. Her commitment and passion for STEM education has led to her service on a range of committees on campus and in her community, including the development of STEM programs in K-12 schools. Fatima earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in materials science and engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in chemistry from City University of New York, Hunter College.

Session Title:
Creating a Lab Culture that Aligns with and Perpetuates Your Values
 

Felicia Benton-Johnson

Assistant Dean & Director
Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED)
Georgia Tech College of Engineering
Speaker Bio:
Dr. Felicia Benton-Johnson is an assistant dean in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). She has established herself as a national, leading practitioner in developing and implementing, and enhancing diversity and inclusion collaborations and programs that broaden participation in STEM fields. Her areas of expertise are development, implementation, and evaluation of practical strategies in the areas of cultivating an inclusive organizational culture, broadening participation in STEM fields at the undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, and faculty levels, fostering impactful collaborations with minority serving institutions, as well as establishing successful transfer articulation agreements that expand access to post-secondary engineering education. At Georgia Tech, she is the founding director of the Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED) where she created successful programs focused on outreach, recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities and non-traditional students in STEM.

She oversees pre-collegiate development, recruitment, transfer programs and diversity initiatives as they relate to attracting, empowering, and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff in engineering and technology. Dr. Benton-Johnson collaborates with a variety of constituencies across the nation, such as, national, federal, local organizations, as well as with corporate entities, universities, and research centers to foster a culture of inclusion. She is responsible for all undergraduate engineering transfer programs, provides guidance to students to assist them with their academic, social, and professional success, and works with development directors to secure funding for the College. Moreover, she is responsible for the management of four institutional programs – The Research University Alliance – AGEP at Georgia Institute of Technology (RUA- AGEP @ GT), National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM) and the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PSLSAMP). Since 2016 she has been a Co-PI or PI where she has successfully secured over $10,000,000 from the National Science Foundation, corporations, and foundations. She has received awards at the National and Institutional level for her contributions to broadening participation in STEM fields.

Dr. Benton-Johnson received the Mentor of the Year Award, Vice President for Institute Diversity, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015. In 2016, CEED received the Recruitment Program Award from the National Advocates for Minority Engineering Program Administrators (NAMEPA). Additionally, CEED was recognized by Georgia Tech for its commitment to diversity in 2017 when receiving the Diversity Champion Unit Award. Dr. Benton-Johnson serves as Vice Chair for the Executive Board of Directors for the National GEM Consortium, servers on the National Materials and Manufacturing Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and a member of the 50K Coalition Community Linkages Committee, of the National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, and Women in Engineering Proactive Network.
Session Title:
A Courageous Call: Allyship is a Journey  

Rob Brown

Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach
Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications

Robert Brown (he, him, his) serves as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach in the Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he works alongside students, faculty, and staff to reimagine pedagogy, policy, and programs. Previously, he served as the inaugural Director of Social Justice Education at Northwestern, where he led several curricular and co-curricular institutional social justice education initiatives. He also provides organizational development consultation and training with a focus on social justice, leadership, and organizational change. His work centers on dismantling systems of oppression through critical dialogue and reflection intertwined with theoretical concepts. Prior to joining Northwestern, Rob held professional roles in Residence Life and Multicultural Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis and University of Wisconsin –Madison.

 

Robert has presented and facilitated regionally and nationally on topics related to social justice education, racial justice, inclusive pedagogy, identity-conscious supervision, assessment & evaluation, college men & masculinities, and civic engagement. Rob is an alumnus of the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI), a past faculty and intern with SJTI, Lead Facilitator with LeaderShape, and has held leadership roles in NASPA and ACPA. Robert holds a BS in Finance and Community Service Studies from DePaul University, MA in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University. He was honored to receive the 2020 DePaul University Distinguished Alumni Award for his commitment to the Vincentian mission through his leadership on equity and social justice issues. Robert’s research interests explore topics related to equity and inclusion in higher education; faculty development and critical pedagogy; and identity-conscious supervision and management. Most recently, he co-authored Identity-Conscious Supervision in Student Affairs: Building Relationship & Transforming Institutions, which was published by RoutledgeHe is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and enjoys traveling, golfing, binge watching TV shows, cooking, watching sports, and spending time with his wife, son, and friends and family around Chicago! Rob works diligently to bring his professional experiences, research interests, and passion for social justice to life through his work as a social justice educator always seeking to create space for community building, healing, and liberation.


Session Title:
Communication for Identity-Conscious Mentoring 

Scott K. Cushing

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Speaker Bio:
Coming soon
Session Title:
Coming soon

Robyn Javier

STEM Communication Specialist & Lecturer
Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Robyn Javier is a STEM Communication Specialist & Lecturer in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech. Her background includes a PhD in Neuroscience, an MS in Biomedical Engineering, and more than 15 years of technical communication experience in both academia and industry.
 
Pre-Conference Session Title:
The Art of Talking Science

Caleb McKinney

Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Training & Development for Biomedical Graduate Education
Georgetown University Medical Center

Caleb C. McKinney, Ph.D., M.P.S. is an associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and associate dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Training & Development for Biomedical Graduate Education (BGE) at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). He is committed to advocacy and career formation of graduate students, and postdoctoral and clinical research fellows. Dr. McKinney is also a principal investigator and co-director of the NIH/NIGMS-funded Georgetown University Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), a predoctoral T32 training program that provides interprofessional and interdisciplinary training and student development activities focused on enhancing biomedical workforce diversity. Moreover, as a GUMC co-investigator for the NIH-funded Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) Data Science Training Core, he designs programs for academic and community stakeholders to build workforce development initiatives that curate a pipeline of diverse individuals into data science research focused on mitigating health disparities. Dr. McKinney is also Treasurer and chair of Finance for the Board of Directors of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), having previously served as a diversity officer and board liaison for Diversity Affairs for the NPA. Dr. McKinney graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Applied Economics and Management. He then completed his PhD in microbiology from New York University, a Master’s in Professional Studies in Design Management and Communications at Georgetown University, and the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in the Health Professions.

Session Title:
Strategic Service in Service of Your Career

Chukwuebuka (Buka) C. Nweke

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California Viterbi College of Engineering
Speaker Bio:
Coming soon
Session Title:
Coming soon 

Participating Universities

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Building over time

Seven Years of Annual Retreats

2014
California Alliance Inaugural Retreat The California Alliance hosts the first national research conference for the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)at Stanford University in Spring 2014.
2015
Caltech hosts Second Annual California Alliance Retreat The Next Generation of Researchers
2016
Research Exchange is Created The California Alliance develops a national Research Exchange program.
2020
The Research University Alliance (RUA) is Officially Launched Nine universities partner together to create the the Research University Alliance. Alliance universities include Caltech, Georgia Tech, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin and University of Washington.
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