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Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2021

CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series - 'Mapping the Way to Innovative, Effective, and Equitable Policy' - November 19

Please join the Civic and Community Engagement Office for the webinar "Mapping the Way to Innovative, Effective, and Equitable Policy," presented by Will Werner from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, on Friday, November 19, at 1:30 p.m.

In 2024, the $1.7 billion “Next” National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency West (N2W) will open its new headquarters on 97 acres in historic St. Louis Place, an underdeveloped neighborhood in North St. Louis with high levels of poverty and decades of disinvestment. N2W represents the largest federal investment in St. Louis history and will complement the existing National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) campus, located just a few miles away. The establishment of N2W arrives with tremendous potential to create a geospatial innovation hub in the St. Louis region, to grow diverse talent pipelines from our most underserved communities to meet the needs of geospatial employers, to advance geospatial research and entrepreneurism, and to strengthen the neighborhoods surrounding N2W. These opportunities are interconnected. To build a geospatial innovation hub, the region must take bold steps now to address critical skill gaps, to ensure equity and inclusion in talent pipelines, and to advance community-led development work in the neighborhoods surrounding N2W. The Geospatial Collaborative at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) is poised to be a driving force in helping the St. Louis region realize its potential as the nation’s leading hub for geospatial innovation.

As a major player in the burgeoning geospatial ecosystem in St. Louis, the GEOINT Symposium is an excellent opportunity to illustrate that UMSL is exceptional in its efforts to build capacity in underserved areas of the city, while developing opportunities for the youth that will be filling those critical jobs in the future. UMSL is having an impact on the geospatial ecosystem in several ways:

  • Leading the partnership with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to develop effective K-16 educational programs.
  • Working to develop the next generation of geospatial professionals.
  • Creating research projects in diverse fields of study, illustrating the ubiquity of geospatial techniques and their impact.


Immediately following is "Leading DEI Initiatives at Departmental Levels: An NYU Example" presented by Wilnelia Gutierrez from New York University.

As the central unit responsible for NYU’s internal and external communications, community engagement, university-wide events, and government relations, the University Relations and Public Affairs (URPA) DEI Working Group collaborates to ensure that NYU’s commitment to building and strengthening a university-wide culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion is realized and supported across the division and that the values of the committee are reflected in their work.

Their work is advanced across subcommittees focused in the areas of Education and Development, Coaching and Volunteering, Communications and Storytelling, Standards and Accountability, and Hiring and Onboarding. Participation in this working is invitational, and they encourage participation from all members across the division resulting in a multiplicity of skills, perspectives, and interests. Drawing on the resources provided to them centrally by the Office of Global Inclusion, as well as external sources, they provide pathways into DEI work that feel relatable to their professional roles, remaining committed to discomfort over inaction. Their work together focuses on elevating their institutional values and expectations for engagement in an environment that promotes, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This Lightening Session will discuss how the URPA Working Group was formed, its structure, its goals and successes to date, and future plans. Participants will takeaway lessons learned on how to advance internal DEI initiatives within complex university structures to ensure systemic change is truly being integrated and realized.


The final topic is "Removing Implicit Bias in Student Evaluations of Teaching: Observations of High-Impact Classroom Practices," presented by Christopher Moore, Sarah Edwards, and Tracie Reding from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

They will present on progress made in developing a student evaluation of teaching (SET) inventory that is free of implicit bias, instructor-actionable, and reliable across student evaluators. Their approach has focused on elevating faculty doing the “invisible work” disproportionately done by minorities and/or women that evidence demonstrates is required for underrepresented student success, but is rarely rewarded by traditional university structures. In particular, SETs focused on the affective-domain have been criticized for being race and gender biased and for failing to measure the underlying construct: teaching effectiveness. For example, although research-validated high-impact teaching practices (HIPs) are more likely to be used in courses with minority and/or women instructors in a variety of fields, this population often scores lower on SETs, which are frequently used in personnel decisions. To construct an anti-racist and anti-sexist SET, we started with the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI), which is a validated instructor self-report of research-based HIPs usage. Language was modified to turn the TPI into a student observation protocol, where over the course of 15 prompts students identify HIPs used in the course. In contrast to affective-domain SETs, the student-reported modified TPI was designed to minimize subjective judgements. Either a student did or did not observe a specific practice. Initial face validity of the SET has been established via student focus groups and clarity surveys (N = 22), and reliability and congruent validity studies are ongoing. Preliminary results from faculty self-reports (N = 92) using the modified TPI show higher use of HIPs by minorities and/or women, as expected from the literature. Moving toward an anti-racist and anti-sexist SET promotes structures that incentivise the types of work that must be done to build an inclusive and diverse university and to retain top talent, especially those utilizing HIPs. Key takeaways will be a generative framework for development of a SET with significantly reduced implicit bias, and the change process being utilized at a large metropolitan research university for adoption of bias-free SETs via shared-governance.

This hour-long event is presented by the CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series and is free to members of the Buffalo State community. Please register online for this webinar and any others in the series you may be interested in.

Submitted by: Naomi W. Hall
Also appeared:
Friday, November 19, 2021