Creating a Better Summer Experience: A DEI Workshop for REU Directors and Faculty Mentors

Workshop Date: May 22nd, 2021

Registration Deadline: May 9th, 2021


Research experiences for undergraduates have become ubiquitous in mathematics and participation in such programs is used as a tool to measure graduate school readiness by many graduate programs.  Yet many programs have not addressed the needs of students who have been historically excluded from mathematics so that they may thrive in these summer programs. This workshop will provide the tools to assist with mentoring underrepresented and minoritized students in mathematics. We invite REU directors and faculty research mentors, preference will be given to faculty teams involved in summer 2021 summer research programs, to attend the sessions where we discuss building supportive communities of scholars, the science of mentoring, as well as a summary of lessons learned from NSF CORE grant on supporting students of color in the mathematical sciences. 

A certificate of participation will be provided for those attendees completing pre-workshop and post-workshop reflections. Participation is limited.


This workshop is organized by Dr. Pamela E. Harris and sponsored by the Center for Minorities in the Mathematical Sciences.


Carol Bennett

Carol Bennett has 20 years of experience in higher education working primarily with underrepresented minoritized students.  She currently holds the position of assistant provost at Youngstown State University.  She holds degrees in African and African American Studies and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri in the Education Leadership Policy program. Carol Bennett is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority.

Dr. Pamela E. Harris is a Mexican-American mathematician and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. Her professional mission is to develop learning communities that reinforce students’ self-identity as scientists, in particular for women and underrepresented minorities. In support of this mission, Dr. Harris has advised and mentored over 90 student researchers whose work has culminated in dozens of publications. Work which has been recognized with multiple awards including the 2020 the MAA Northeast Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, the 2019 MAA Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, and the 2019 Council on Undergraduate Research Mathematics and Computer Sciences Division Early Career Faculty Mentor Award. She was also selected as a 2020 Inaugural Class of Karen Uhlenbeck EDGE Fellows. Dr. Harris co-founded, a platform that features the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic scholars in the Mathematical Sciences, she cohosts the podcast Mathematically Uncensored and co-authored the book Asked And Answered: Dialogues On Advocating For Students of Color in Mathematics.

Dr. Pamela E. Harris
Dr. Abbe Herzig

Dr. Abbe Herzig is the Director of Education at the American Mathematical Society (AMS), providing programs and resources for teachers and students at all levels, with a focus on equity in post-secondary mathematics. She leads AMS efforts to support mathematics departments in building inclusive cultures where women, minorities, and people of other minoritized identities can thrive. While a member of the faculty at Rutgers University and the University at Albany, she investigated equity and diversity in graduate mathematics, supported by a Career grant from the NSF. Her classroom teaching and professional development work emphasized equity, diversity, and social justice in mathematics education for K-12, college, and graduate students and instructors. Dr. Herzig is recognized as a Trained Facilitator of the Entering Mentoring curriculum through the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). In addition to her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Herzig has graduate degrees in both statistics and mathematics.

Dr. Alicia Prieto-Langarica is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Youngstown State University. She received her Undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2008 and her PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2012. Prieto-Langarica’s research is in the intersection of mathematics and biology, specifically problems related to the medical field. Recently she started conducting research in data science and public policy.

Dr. Alicia Prieto-Langarica
Dr. Sarah Sword

Dr. Sarah Sword is a Principal Research Scientist at Education Development Center. She is Principal Investigator for Center for Inquiry and Equity in Mathematics, which focuses on the question, “who gets to ask question in mathematics?” She is co-Principal Investigator on the research project Studying Successful Doctoral Students in Mathematics from Underrepresented Groups  (Principal Investigator, Michael Young), and co-Principal Investigator of the project Research on the Impact of Inviting Early College Students to be Mathematicians (Principal Investigator, Terrance Pendleton). As Principal Investigator for the Center for Scholarship of School Mathematics, she created a model for fellowships for university faculty who wished to deepen their practice of mathematics. As Principal Investigator for Assessing Secondary Teachers’ Algebraic Habits of Mind, a collaborative project with St. Olaf College and Boston University, she co-created a suite of assessment tools for measuring teachers’ use of habits of mind for themselves and their practice. As co-director of research for Designing for Equity by Thinking in and about Mathematics, she has studied how professional development can shift secondary teachers’ thinking about mathematics and equity. Dr. Sword has worked on numerous professional development and school curricula, including CME Project, a four year high school curriculum organized around mathematical habits of mind. Her PhD is in Commutative Algebra from Michigan State University, and she did a post-doctoral fellowship in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Maryland. She is  co-author of the book Mathematical Learning and Understanding in Education, in the Routledge Insights in Education series. She has recently joined the editorial board of the AMS Blog On Teaching and Learning Mathematics. Sarah lives in Northfield, Minnesota, with her husband Ryota Matsuura, who is in the mathematics department at St. Olaf College. They have two daughters, ages eight and eleven, and a very sweet dog. 


May 22nd, 2021 (All times posted are in EST)

9:30-9:50: Meet and greet (Dr. Pamela E. Harris)

9:50-10:00: Official welcome (Dr. Michael Young)

10:00-11:30: Building an inclusive community through mentoring students of color (Carol Bennett)

11:30-11:45: Break

11:45-12:30: Lessons from the CORE project (Dr. Sarah Sword)

12:30-1:30: Lunch break

1:30-2:00: Discussion on the CORE project (Dr. Sarah Sword)

2:00-2:30: The science of mentoring (Dr. Abbe Herzig)

2:30-2:45: Break

2:45-4:15: Mentoring to address stereotype threat (Carol Bennett)

4:15-4:30: Break

4:30-5:00: Co-mentoring experiences (Dr. Pamela E. Harris and Dr. Alicia Prieto-Langarica)

5:00-5:10: Closing remarks


Below you can find recordings of the workshop sessions.