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The SHIELD Drive Science Center: Strategic Initiatives to Broaden Participation in Solar Physics

Presentation #127.05 in the session Driving Towards a More Diverse Space Physics Research Community – Perspectives, Initiatives, Strategies, and Actions — Poster Session.

Published onOct 20, 2022
The SHIELD Drive Science Center: Strategic Initiatives to Broaden Participation in Solar Physics

The SHIELD (Solar wind with Hydrogen Ion Exchange and Large-scale Dynamics) DRIVE Science Center, now entering Phase II, will continue its’ innovative efforts to address the need to broaden participation in the field of solar physics. SHIELD is the only phase two DRIVE center led by a women who is also a non-US born citizen and who identifies at LGTBQ. Ongoing efforts will continue a campaign to bring diverse voices to STEM through You Can’t Be What You Can’t See video testimonials that collects, curates, and disseminates stories and testimonials from graduate students and young researchers on overcoming challenges and finding community. Topics covered so far have included impostor syndrome, gender fluidity, the immigrant experience, and the impact learning disabilities can have on trajectories in STEM fields. New individuals are being recruited to share their experiences, challenges and barriers they have faced and how they have persevered and found support structures.

Additional pieces of the ongoing broadening impact effort aim to increase the recruitment, inclusion, and retention of traditionally underrepresented (URM) groups (with a predominate focus on racial/ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQIA+, and first generation college students) pursuing STEM careers and entering post-secondary education. Important efforts of phase two will include a REU program drawing from URM groups with explicit and intentional support to provide ongoing skill development and community building among the REU cohort working across the United States. We are also establishing a DEIA Action Workgroup to advise the center on DEIA issues and to make recommendations on policies, procedures, and actions to bring about equitable outcomes for everyone with specific focus on early career scientists. All SHIELD students and early career scientists are being offered professional development in science communication, DEIA, professional writing, mentoring, and management to support their transdisciplinary work as part of distributed team., SHIELD will offer a Summer School with recruitment focusing on members of minority professional societies and minority serving institutions (MSIs).

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