Burgasser publishes on issues of inclusion in Nature Astronomy

Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser recently published two Comments in Nature Astronomy, in a special issue focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in physical science.

The first Comment, “Why I Teach Growth Mindset“, led by Adam, discusses the concept of mindset, and how fixed mindset can amplify the struggles of marginalized students, mentees and peers in Astronomy and Physics. He describes how he addresses fixed mindset in workshops and in the classroom, and provides a toolkit for hosting a Growth Mindset workshop.

The second Comment, “Toward inclusive practices with indigenous knowledge“, led by Aparna Venakatesan, describes models of partnership with indigenous communities that integrate collaboration with integrity. Inspired by the 2015 Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Education conference, examples featured include Cosmic SerpentA Hua He InoaEnVision MaunakeaNative Universe, and Maunakea Scholars. This comment is based on a more detailed white paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Review.

The Comments and Perspectives contributed to the Nature Astronomy issue are free to read and download until early January 2020; copies of these articles are also available on request to Adam.

Cool Star Lab hosts Cal-Bridge Workshop on Growth Mindset

The Cool Star Lab hosted the first workshop for the Cal-Bridge program in 2018-2019 on the topic of Growth Mindset. This is the fourth such workshop on this topic hosted by Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser, and the third workshop overall hosted at UCSD.

UCSD is one of the founding of the Cal-Bridge program, based at Cal-Poly Pomona and run by CPP faculty Alex Rudolph and UCI faculty Tammy Smecker-Hane. The purpose of Cal-Bridge is to create a pathway for underrepresented minority students from CSU campuses to matriculate into PhD programs in physics and astronomy. A recent $5M NSF grant has allowed Cal-Bridge to expand statewide, and to support up to 50 students, who benefit from financial support, research opportunities, and professional development workshops.

Growth mindset is the concept that intelligence, talent, and even personality can be changed and developed as a strategy for persistence in challenging academic programs. Developed by Carol Dweck and collaborators, growth mindset is now regularly taught in schools and universities to encourage positive psychological development. Adam has been teaching Growth Mindset for over 6 years with various student groups.

In addition to the workshop, the 20 Cal-Bridge scholars in attendance had a panel discussion with UCSD graduate students (including Cool Star Lab’s newest graduate member, Roman Gerasimov) and toured the Cosmology Lab.  Adam will also be hosting a workshop later in the year on effective writing techniques for graduate school applications statements of purpose.

Read more in the UCSD News report.

UCSD Hosts 2016 SoCal Physics Graduate Admissions Bootcamp

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UCSD hosted the 2016 SoCal Physics Graduate Admissions Bootcamp this year at on August 13-14, 2016. The two-day intensive workshop, developed by members of the California Professoriate for Access to Physics Careers (CPAPC) and organized this year by Adam Burgasser and members of the Cool Star Lab,  is designed to help students, particularly those from underrepresented minority groups, plan for application to Physics graduate programs. This includes strategies for choosing programs, how to produce the best application, and how to succeed in the Physics GRE Subject Exam. Bootcamps are held in Southern and Northern California each year.

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Cool Star Grads Share Advice & Experience at Cal-Bridge Workshop

On Saturday May 21st, UC San Diego and the Cool Star Lab hosted students participating in the Cal-Bridge program for a Workshop titled “What is Graduate School?” The purpose of the workshop was to introduce students the idea of graduate school and why graduate study (Master’s or PhD) might be an good option for future career aspirations.

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Cool Star Lab students participate in Physics GRE Bootcamp

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Cool Star Lab undergraduates Ivanna Escala and Rosalida Lopez were among 100+ students who participated in the Southern California Physics GRE Bootcamp at CSU Long Beach August 22-23.  Supported by the California Professoriate for the Advancement of Physics Careers (CPAPC) and funded by UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, APS Bridge Program, and the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and the Physics department at CSU Long Beach, this is the 3rd year of the SoCal Bootcamp, and the largest to date.  Its purpose is to provide test preparation for students planning on taking the Physics GRE for graduate school, particularly those underrepresented in the sciences. It is timed to occur a few weeks before the first testing date in September.

PI Adam Burgasser also attended the camp on Saturday to talk about the Physics graduate program at UCSD and answer students’ questions about graduate school. Three UCSD Physics graduate students were also in attendance as Teaching Assistants and to talk about their graduate experience. Morehouse-UCSD Physics Bridge Fellow Julian Pilate-Hutcherson attended the Northern California BootCamp held at UCSC that same weekend.

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