Cassie Mitchell, Anna Kirkpatrick, and Kiera Patterson
The ABLE Alliance at Georgia Tech is a brand new student organization for Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff dedicated to improving on-campus disability inclusion via access & resource sharing, community & social support, and professional & career development. ABLE Alliance features a virtual mentoring program that connects students with employees who are apart of disability employee resource groups (ERGs). This program gives students the opportunity to interact with employees who have shared experiences and are champions for people with disabilities.
ABLE Alliance welcomes EVERYONE of all abilities and backgrounds, as well as all allies that support the cause.
To learn more, visit: http://pwp.gatech.edu/gtablealliance/.
Diversity in Summer
Christina's project focuses on opportunities for students in the summer session to engage with diversity. She oversees the iGniTe Summer Launch Program in Summer Session Initiatives. During summer 2019, Christina organized the opportunity for first year students to participate in two different trips as part of iGniTe's new Global Communities track - one to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the other to the Atlanta History Center. This fall, as part of the project, she will be developing plans for the future of these types of initiatives for upcoming summers.
Family Storytime at the Georgia Tech Library
Diana Roldan Rueda and Nadia Szeinbaum
Working to develop a more inclusive campus for families of students and postdocs at Georgia Tech, a student club "Student and Faculty families at Georgia Tech" was established after surverying and soliciting feedback and advice from the community. Family Storytime was created as one of the first initiatives. As a pilot during Fall 2019 semester, "Family Storytime at the Library" is being held at Crosland Tower once a week on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Family Storytime at the Library will host children of students, faculty and staff for a 30-minute reading session. The goal of the program is to be a family-friendly initiative to promote an inclusive campus. The program has been met with enthusiasm by guests and the broader GT community, and could serve as an example for continued engagement of families into the GT campus environment.
Family Storytime at the Library is an official Youth Program at Georgia Tech and parents or guardians are required to attend with children.
First Generation College Students
First Generation College & Graduate Students are the first in their families to continue their education beyond the mandated 12 years in the USA. They encountered questions and, maybe resistance, from family and friends while making the transition to the academic environment. In terms of diversity, First Generation students have had a different lived experience (from those who have many generations of attending colleges) and can provide insights to student who are now starting this process at Georgia Tech. A panel discussion was held in October of 2019 to shed light on the experiences of First Generation students.
I’m Migrant @ GT
With the aim of sharing the unique challenges and perspectives of international (or first-generation) students and staff at Georgia Tech, 'I'm Migrant @Georgia Tech' is a conservatorium in which interviews will be posted continuously. This will allow having a site where people can know more about the diversity of cultures and worldviews that enrich our community. So far, eight interviews have been conducted and a website has been set up, but this project will continue beyond this academic year.
Makerspace Culture Workshop
Claudio Di Leo
Makerspaces are becoming a central component of the undergraduate education of universities worldwide. These spaces, although physical in nature, are usually led by a group of students and as such also develop a unique culture. Developing an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming culture is often difficult and the objective of this project is to facilitate this process. To do so we have developed a workshop specifically geared towards undergraduate-run makerspaces that expose students to best practices in developing a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. The workshop engages the students in developing their own expectations for what a great makerspace culture is and identifying tangible objectives that can be employed to ensure a diverse and inclusive culture is realized. The workshop was first run at the Aero Maker Space in the School of Aerospace Engineering.
Sexual Harrassment Awareness
The goal of Stephanie's project is to help increase the awareness of Sexual Harassment on Georgia Tech's campus, with the goal of seeking to understand, being aware to prevent, and knowing how to respond appropriately to matters within the topic.
Through a panel of panel of Georgia Tech faculty and staff, the project informed staff, faculty, and students about the resources and tools on Tech's campus to be effective around the topic of sexual awareness.
Moderator: Dr. Kim Cobb, ADVANCE Professor, College of Sciences; Director, Global Change Program; Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Panelists: Marcia Bull Stadeker, Title IX Coordinator, Ethics Compliance & Legal; Dr. Janice E. Harewood, Licensed Psychologist, Assistant Director for Outreach and Wellness; Gail Greene, Director of Faculty Administration/HR Scheller College of Business; Deontez Wimbley, Health Initiatives; and Amanda Planchard, VOICE Advocate.
The Student Competition Center: Building Community & Creating an Inclusive Culture
Lorin Achey and David Smith
The Student Competition Center (SCC) offers real, hands-on, relevant experiences in designing, building, and operating complex systems through participation in national and international competitions. The purpose of this project is to investigate levels of participation at the SCC among the diverse demographic groups at Georgia Tech and to pro-actively reach out to those groups that are under-represented. The project has included demographic surveys and a student experience survey, as well as presentations to other campus organizations and the formation of an Engage Initiative to promote inclusion throughout the SCC.
This I Believe--The Atlanta Worldview Project
Religion is often considered an “off-limits” topic in polite conversation, but if we never sit down to have these serious discussions about ourselves, we’ll never really learn to be comfortable around people whose beliefs are fundamentally different from our own. True tolerance requires us to suspend our individual biases and seek first to understand what others believe and where those beliefs come from. The This I Believe podcast series highlights the beautiful breadth of religious beliefs within the Atlanta community. I hope that through providing a safe space to exchange ideas, my podcast will promote awareness of our common ground as humans and appreciation for our diverse spiritual experiences.
Translational Research in College Mental Health Systems for Vulnerable Populations
In 2017, a $1,000,000 dollar fund for mental health initiatives was created at Georgia Tech. The Mental Health Joint Allocations Committee (MHJAC) oversees this fund and has encountered difficulty in assessing how best to invest resources. A crucial aspect of population mental health is recognition of vulnerable populations, which are subpopulations adversely affected by health conditions due to socioeconomic disadvantage. Identification of vulnerable populations at Georgia Tech was achieved through statistical analysis of psychometrics of CCAPS-34 subscales. LGBT+ and financially insecure students experienced an elevation of >18% on scores of anxiety and depression. This quantitative research was supplemented by vulnerable population policies published by the Intercollegiate Mental Health Conference, the first national student conference on college mental health. Evidence of psychiatric health disparities and benchmarking of Georgia Tech’s resources against peer institutions provided the rationale to create $300,000 in MHJAC grants for vulnerable populations.
BEAM is a newly chartered Georgia Tech student organization; it originally started as a graduate student organization to help create a community and network of support for underrepresented minorities (URM), but has now expanded to include undergraduates as well- “uBEAM”. The organization aims to create a support system that fosters an affirming community for underrepresented minority (URM) Biomedical Engineering (BME) students to help them thrive and successfully matriculate through the BME graduate program. uBEAM intentionally focuses on improving URM retention, recruitment, and developing a network that supports and values racial and ethnic diversity in the department. The positive impact uBEAM has on the BME community is evident, as it helps provides URM students a safe space and sense of belonging at Georgia Tech.