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Faculty luncheon to address support for graduate students

NDSU faculty are invited to a luncheon featuring Erika Marín-Spiotta, professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Prairie Rose room. 

Faculty are asked to register online.

Marin-Spiotta is set to present “Building Intentional Communities of Practice with a Focus on Supporting All Graduate Students.” The interactive session will discuss evidence-based practices for mentoring and supporting more equitable and inclusive research environments for graduate student growth from research funded by the NSF ADVANCE program and recent reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on mentoring and workplace climate. 

According to Canan Bilen-Green, vice provost for faculty and equity, recent attention has raised concerns about academic workplace climates that may threaten the success and well-being of graduate students. She said NDSU administrators became aware of Marin-Spiotta’s work when she was quoted in an Inside Higher Ed article, “Too Little, Too Late,” that discussed a graduate student’s suicide.

In addition to the faculty luncheon, Marin-Spiotta will meet with various groups on campus including graduate students and graduate leaders. The meetings are being organized by Claudia Tomany, dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Kristine Paranica, NDSU Ombuds. 

Marín-Spiotta leads the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Biogeochemistry and Biogeography Lab. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award, Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring from the American Geophysical Union, and President's Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists.

She currently is a diversity liaison faculty fellow, working with the university’s vice provost and chief diversity officer and vice frovost for faculty and staff. She was a 2019 Feminist Scholars Fellow at the Center for Research on Gender and Women. 

Marín-Spiotta also leads ADVANCEGeo, a national program funded by the National Science Foundation to transform workplace climate in the geosciences and other scientific fields through the development of bystander intervention and research ethics training in partnership with professional societies.

Faculty Luncheons are sponsored by the Office of the Provost. Marín-Spiotta’s visit is sponsored by several offices, including the Graduate School and Office of the Ombuds.


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