Reflections from the 2019 ACSP Committee on Diversity Jr. Faculty of Color Workshop
Monday, July 15, 2019
Posted by: Michelle Thompson, University of New Orleans
The 2019 Committee on Diversity for the Association for Collegiate Schools of Planning Junior Faculty of Color workshop began with Co-workshop Leader, Dr. Lois Takahashi (ACSP immediate past president), describing very "serious" workshop goals and ending the two and a half days with memorable advice, “keep your cool.”
The workshop was again hosted by Dr. Ann Forsyth at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Co-Workshop Leader Dr. Abel Valenzuela Jr. joined the sessions virtually, including 1:1 12 month planning advice, this year. The first two CoD workshops (held in 2015 & 2017) have focused on ways to advance Assistant Professors of Color to Associate Professor with tenure by providing many of the known, and lesser known, secrets for success.
“The faculty coordinators walked us through taking an honest look at our progress, while helping us craft plans to enhance our research and writing productivity. Perhaps more importantly, they encouraged us to make this improvement in ways that are consistent with our personal values and goals,” said workshop attendee Dr. Miriam Solis from University of Texas at Austin.
Another participant Dr. Emmanuel Boamah, University of Buffalo, mentioned, “The networking opportunities were enormous. It's also comforting to know that we are not alone: we have senior colleagues who will do all they can to help us succeed in our academic career.”
The workshop topics included the tenure & promotion file, developing your personal mission statement, collaboration vs. single author, teaching strategies and work life balance. A special session on developing journal articles, specifically with the American Planning Association, was provided by current JAPA editor Ann Forsyth.
The workshop is one of the initiatives by the ACSP Committee on Diversity. This year Dr. Michelle Thompson (CoD Secretary), Dr. Jeffrey Lowe (CoD immediate past Chair) and Dr. Cecilia Giusti (CoD Chair) also collaborated in the workshop.
Dr. Cecilia Giusti suggested, “This is a unique way to support faculty of color within the academia bringing networking and research opportunities among junior and senior faculty; an inclusion climate enhances this approach that I hope continues during the successful academic careers of past, present and future participants!”
The 12 Junior Faculty of Color prepared a guided summary of accomplishments and their teaching, service and research goals from years 1-3 from ACSP sister institutions. Dr. Danielle Rivera from University of Colorado, Boulder said, “Participating in ACSP's Faculty of Color workshop was a lovely opportunity to meet my peers at other institutions and learn from their experiences. As a whole, the workshop helped me build the confidence to positively assert myself as a leader and contributor in my research community.”
The ACSP2019 breakfast celebrating our past graduates, and supporting our current group of participants, will be held Friday October 25th, 7:00am – 8:15am, at the ACSP Annual Conference.
Dr. Jeffrey Lowe, immediate past chair, reflects on the success of prior Junior Faculty of Color Workshop alumni, “The Junior Faculty of Color Workshop is having positive impact on the planning academy. Workshop attendees have formed writing groups, developed strategies for work-life balance and initiated what will probably be career-enduring or life-long relationships. Of the attendees that have submitted their dossiers, all have earned tenure with promotion.”
The CoD welcomes all to attend our forthcoming 2019 ACSP Conference workshop that will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 4:15pm – 5:30pm.
Quotes from workshop attendees:
“Participating in ACSP's Faculty of Color workshop was a lovely opportunity to meet my peers at other institutions and learn from their experiences. As a whole, the workshop helped me build the confidence to positively assert myself as a leader and contributor in my research community.” -- Danielle Zoe Rivera, University of Colorado Boulder
“The entire experience was motivational. The faculty coordinators walked us through taking an honest look at our progress, while helping us craft plans to enhance our research and writing productivity. Perhaps more importantly, they encouraged us to make this improvement in ways that are consistent with our personal values and goals.
I was also moved by the workshop because fellow participants and I became part of a bigger legacy. Senior scholars shared anecdotes about the professional challenges they experienced coming up in the planning field. The workshop signaled that those who have blazed the trail welcome us into the field with open arms and are invested in our long-term success. It is exciting to think that my peers and I may also be in positions to pay it forward someday.” -- Miriam Solis, The University of Texas at Austin
First row (left to right): Santana Contreras, Mariam Solis, Ann Forsyth
Second row (left to right): Debra Wendel, Andrea Roberts, Danielle Rivera, Keven Fay, Jesus Barajas, Marccus Hendricks, Lois Takahashi, Cecilia Giusti
Third row (left to right): John Arroyo, Michelle Thompson, Alaina Thomas, Emmanuel Boamah,
Fourth row (left to right): Jeffrey Lowe, Joel Mendez