Graduate students can help build new 'Impacting Equality' labs in virtual workshop


Students attend workshop
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Arizona State University graduate students interested in addressing inequality through their coursework have the unique opportunity to help design the curriculum for new interdisciplinary labs focused on “Impacting Inequality.”

Interested students will help create the lab classes in a workshop with lab faculty on Sept. 29. The new Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact labs will be offered during spring 2021. 

The Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact labs model  

To encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and inspire cutting-edge learning opportunities for graduate students, the Graduate College launched the Graduate College Fellows Initiative in 2019. The two inaugural fellows — University Professor, Regents Professor and President's Professor Sally Kitch and W. P.  Carey Clinical Assistant Professor John Wisneski — collaborated to create the first comprehensive model for a new cross-campus experience: Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact (ISSI).

Rooted in team-taught, project-based learning, ISSI will support interdisciplinary laboratories that bring together faculty and graduate students exploring complex social problems. The first labs will launch in the spring 2021 and focus on the theme “Impacting Inequality.”  A number of ASU faculty members are participating in the 2020–21 lab. 

The most compelling aspect of being part of the inaugural lab experience is the opportunity of bringing like-minded faculty and graduate students from interdisciplinary fields who think about social justice on a regular basis in their research approaches and who want to collaborate to develop solutions based models,” said Rafael A. Martínez, assistant professor of Southwest borderlands. 

Participating lab faculty include:

  • Felipe Castro, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
  • David Garcia, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
  • Maria Rosario Jackson, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
  • Brendan O’Connor, School of Transborder Studies.
  • Dawn Gilpin, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Rafael Martínez Orozco, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

Graduate students can join faculty to build the ISSI labs 

The Interdisciplinary Solutions for Social Impact workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 29. In the virtual workshop, students will be expected to actively engage in dialogue with lab faculty to help build student-centered curriculum.  

The first half of the workshop will be focused on the values of interdisciplinary approaches: why they’re needed and why they’re so hard to implement. The second half will include interactive activities designed to generate productive questions and approaches around which the team-taught spring 2021 labs will be based.

Martínez said he is looking forward to learning more about the students and their interests: “What are the issues they care about? And how can the faculty members collaborate with students to think about producing ideas and solutions to those pressing social issues?”

Space is limited so interested graduate students should register for the workshop as soon as possible to reserve their place.

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