The goal of the paraDIGMS initiative is to create channels of communication, spaces for reflection, opportunities to collaborate, and a greater sense of collective responsibility for the well-being of the profession at the graduate level. Graduate directors and graduate committee members, as well as department chairs and others invested in graduate education, often work in relative isolation. The activities of paraDIGMS are designed to help build a professional community among these faculty and to provide professional resources to support their work.
In addition to serving as support and professional development for individual graduate program leaders, the activities of paraDIGMS aim to energize systemic changes in graduate education by enacting policies and practices that provide equitable opportunities for all students, with a particular focus on students belonging to groups historically marginalized in the mathematical sciences.
This conference is the first event of the AMS paraDIGMS initiative. The AMS is pleased to have the support of the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI) to host the paraDIGMS Fall Conference on November 20-23, 2020.
Leading voices will highlight the work of organizations to build a diverse and equitable profession through graduate education, while challenging us to see how far we still have to go. The conference will spread awareness, build support, and establish accountability for the ongoing work of improving graduate education. Conference sessions include plenary talks by Dr. Raegan Higgins (Texas Tech University), Dr. Ebony McGee (Vanderbilt University), and Dr. William Yslas Velez (University of Arizona). We welcome all members of the mathematics community to participate; in addition, graduate program leaders will have the opportunity to engage in initial working group meetings and a focused workshop.
Visit the paraDIGMS Fall Conference webpage at IMSI for more details and to register for this free, virtual conference.
Graduate program leaders can register for paraDIGMS working groups. These small collaborative groups will provide opportunities for members to identify common challenges, develop solutions, share successful practices, and build a supportive community with a shared sense of purpose. Members will work together to implement effective and equitable policies and practices for recruiting, admitting, retaining, and supporting students in their programs, especially students from groups traditionally underrepresented in mathematics. Working groups will also have access to structured discussion prompts and questions to lead them to reflect on strategies shared in the ongoing paraDIGMS Workshop Series.
Each working group will include up to six graduate program leaders from different institutions with shared interests and concerns. Following initial working group meetings during the fall conference, the groups will continue to meet for an hour at least once a month through April 2021. Scheduling is flexible and will be coordinated by working group members.
Graduate program leaders who are unable to participate in paraDIGMS activities this year can join the paraDIGMS mailing list.
paraDIGMS will offer a series of virtual workshops throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, covering a variety of topics in education and equity. The first paraDIGMS Workshop will be held on November 22nd as part of the Fall Conference. Facilitators Dr. Julie Posselt and Dr. Casey Miller will lead their workshop Fundamentals: Equity in Graduate Admissions, in which they will present data and research about the role of typical admissions criteria and practices in maintaining racial and ethnic inequities in graduate education. Additional workshops in the 2020-21 series will be announced on a rolling basis.
Check back this winter for more information about our Spring conference.
Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions.