Designing a Lab-Intensive Short Course for Underserved Populations

March 31, 2022 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Presented byEli Olson, Hannah Schrader, and Sarah Steiner representing Developing Future Biologists, CEW+ 2021 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity & Social Change Award Winner

Developing Future Biologists (DFB) is an educational outreach organization led by graduate students and postdocs at the University of Michigan. Its mission is to ensure that the next generation of biologists, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status, can learn the core concepts of developmental biology and are made aware of the vast opportunities that exist to pursue a career in the sciences.

Members include:

Krista Armbruster, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Microbiology
Erez Cohen, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in CDB
Becky Glineburg, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Neurology
Francisco Gomez-Rivera, Ph.D. candidate in Immunology
Jaqueline Graniel, Ph.D. CHIA candidate in MSTP in CDB
Fatima Javed, Ph.D. candidate in CDB
Jessica McAnulty, Ph.D. candidate in Molecular and Cellular Pathology
Jacqueline Moltzau, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Microbiology and Immunology
Eli Olson, Ph.D. candidate in Immunology
Danielle Porter, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Pilar Rivero, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in CDB
Matt Schnizlein, Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology and Immunology
Hannah Schrader, Ph.D. candidate in CDB
Sarah Steiner, Ph.D. candidate in CDB
Kelsey Temprine, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Isha Verma, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Neurology

Workshop Description:

In the past two years, we’ve received almost 100 applications/year for our short course. Due to logistical and financial constraints, we are limited to only taking 25-35 students/year. The demand for more courses like this is high, and as emphasized in our lightning talk, we believe having more specialty courses like this is a great way to engage students from underserved populations. This workshop will go over the logistics of financing, developing, and conducting a course like DFB, with a particular focus on providing hands-on experience in a virtual environment. At the end of this workshop, we hope participants will have a better understanding of the needs of underserved populations, and the necessary tools to begin to design a lab-intensive short course that caters to those needs. 

Additionally, an integral part of the Inspire initiative is pairing advocacy, social change, and activism with skills that enhance a sense of well-being, focus, and interconnectedness. A short guided Mindfulness Meditation practice will be incorporated into the program.

Workshop Overview:

Introduction, Mindfulness Meditation

Part 1: Fundraising (30 minutes)

  • Lecture: Where to obtain funds
    • Department Pitches
    •  How to write a compelling education grant
    •  Fundraising events
  • Workshop: Elevator pitches
    • Work on a pitch on your own
    •  Practice pitch in small groups

Part 2: Developing the Course (20 minutes)

  •  Lecture: Developing the Course
    • Personnel
    • Course planning
    • Behind the Scenes Logistics
    • Choosing your target demographic

Part 3: Conducting the Course (40 minutes)

  • Lecture:
    • Choosing course topics
    • Designing accessible at-home labs
    • Troubleshooting from your computer
  • Group Discussion:
    • Brainstorming lab ideas
    • How to facilitate a virtual discussion for a diverse audience