SACNAS 2018

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Wow, where do I begin? This was my first time attending SACNAS and it was lovely. I’m thankful to Ximena Cid, who invited me to come. She organized a session on Indigenous Physicists. Corey Gray, Ximena, and I all gave talks in this session that centered culture and family stories. Corey was part of the discovery of gravitational waves. His mom actually translated the LIGO gravitational wave announcement into the Siksika language. He shared a video of her reading the announcement. Here’s a photo of Corey, Ximena, and I at the SACNAS Pow Wow.

I told folks who attended our session that I would try to put together a few resources here.

If you’re interested in learning more about my tribe, The Chinook Nation, there’s a few resources you can look at. We have an instagram account, @everydaychinook. There is also a new-ish documentary, Promised Land, that follows our fight and the Duwamish Tribe’s fight for federal recognition. An anthropologist, Jon Daehnke, has had a long-term partnership with our tribe that resulted in a 2017 book called Chinook Resilience: Heritage and Cultural Revitalization on the Columbia River. I mentioned how important canoe culture is to our tribe and many Pacific Northwest Tribes. There’s a whole chapter in the book about that. Chapter 5 is titled, “There's no way to overstate how important Tribal Journeys is": The Return of the Canoes and the Decolonization of Heritage. In 2015, we sent a letter a day to President Obama for 80+ days to argue for our federal recognition. In these 80+letters, we share a lot of our history and culture. For instance, below is an excerpt from one letter about a 1999 canoe naming ceremony I was able to attend. I love the meaning behind Skakwal’s name.

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Our tribe has just started a renewed push through the court system for federal recognition. We are hopeful about this, but it is a long process. Other northwest tribes have been showing up outside of the Washington State courthouse, standing in support of our cause. You can read more about that here.

In terms of the work I shared on supportive communities, I encourage you to read the blog post below this one. In that post, I share some of the best resources I’ve written with colleagues on these topics.

I raise my hands to Ximena and SACNAS for their hard work in creating supportive spaces for marginalized folks in physics and science more generally.

Intentional Design Toward Supportive Communities in Physics Education

Today, I'll be at Stanford to give the Physics Department Equity and Inclusion Seminar. I'm looking forward to talking with folks about intentional design of supportive communities. At the end of a talk, I like to refer people onto further resources. Here, I've collated some relevant resources.

(1) A 6-page general audience article that I wrote about designing educational experiences with the goal of supporting students to do things that they are proud of.

(2) A 4-page general audience article that I wrote with Gina Quan: "Creating Together in Compass: Strategies to Support Participation." We discuss the jargon buzzers idea as well as other strategies toward creating a community where we hear everyone's voice.

(3) A 15-minute podcast episode and 2-page general audience article about making research groups productive and supportive spaces.

Then, I also wanted to link to this Physics Teacher article by Johnson et al. (2017) titled, "Common Challenges Faced by Women of Color in Physics, and Actions Faculty Can Take to Minimize Those Challenges." In this article they describe, "the characteristics of a department where women of color report that they are thriving."

Designing Educational Experiences for Proudness

Today, I'm excited to be the speaker for DePaul University's Physics Department Colloquium. I'm going to talk about my research on students' experiences with challenge in college physics. I always try to share some practical resources at the end of my talk for people who are interested in further information. In this case, I wanted to share with folks this 6-page general audience article that I wrote about designing educational experiences with the goal of supporting students to do things that they are proud of. Soon, I'll also be able to share a full journal article on the research side of things!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Research Group Experience

I wrote a really short and readable two-page article on the following topic: how do we make research groups supportive spaces for feedback on work-in-progress? The article focuses on some principles that the presenter can keep in mind to get useful feedback. Below is an excerpt, or you can click here to get the full two pages. This article was originally published in the Physics Education Research Consortium of Graduate Students (PERCOGs) Newsletter. PERCOGs puts a lot of awesome things into the world - check them out!

 "Flower" by Flickr User solarisgirl. CC BY-SA 2.0

"Flower" by Flickr User solarisgirl. CC BY-SA 2.0

Piecing Together Podcast: Inaugural Episode

The very first episode of the Piecing Together Podcast is here! In this episode we talk to the Functions Research Group, a mathematics education research group at the University of California, Berkeley. The group discusses some of the hard work involved in creating a supportive space where people can receive feedback on work-in-progress.

 The Functions Research Group in action.

The Functions Research Group in action.

Like what you hear? Support the Piecing Together Podcast by giving us positive feedback in the comments, below, or on Twitter @PiecingAudio. You can also donate here. We're primarily a volunteer effort, so donations help a lot!

Vocalo Storytellers: Partnership Between the American Indian Center of Chicago and Northwestern University

Last Spring, I was a part of storytelling program through Vocalo, a local radio station here in Chicago. My piece was about a partnership between the American Indian Center of Chicago and Northwestern that involved tapping maple trees on campus. It was also more generally about what it means to keep culture alive while living in a city like Chicago. Last Fall, Vocalo played clips from our pieces on air. You can listen to an interview with my fellow storyteller, Ayinde, and me, here. Ayinde's piece is also really interesting and has some related themes, but if you want to skip to my part it's at 9:50.

You can also listen to the full piece here: