Please fill out the pre-assessment survey BEFORE the start of the Summer Institute.

TOPIC 1: Belonging & Social Skills

Monday, July 11th: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Moderator: Sangeeta Bishop


  • Jessica Summers, Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural StudiesCollege of Education, University of Arizona
  • DeLeon Gray, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology and Equity, College of Education, NC State University


9:009:45Greetings and check-in with Faculty Fellows / Community Building
9:4510:30Presentation by Jessica Summers
10:4511:30Presentation by DeLeon Gray
11:4512:30Round table discussion with all participants and wrap up


Dr.  Summers will share her scholarship on how students’ interpersonal relationships affect their motivation to learn, and relatedly, their ability to succeed in school. Prof. Gray will introduce the topic of structural barriers that create the anxiety about belonging among Black and Latinx students. These scholars will also share some strategies for fostering a classroom climate that nurtures students’ sense of belonging in the academical world.


  • The effects of students’ interpersonal relationships on their motivation to learn and succeed in school.
  • Structural barriers that create anxiety about belonging among Black and Latinx students. 
  • Strategies for fostering a classroom climate that nurtures students’ sense of belonging in the academic world.

Key questions:

  1. What can faculty do to foster a classroom climate of belonging?
  2. Why is it important to create a community of learners in the classroom?
  3. What social skills do students need to work collaboratively?
  4. How does collaborative work affect students’ motivation?

Readings for Topic 1:

Howell Major, Claire. Engaging Students Through Interactive Lecturing. NEA Higher Education Advocate.

Brooms, Derrick R. (2016) “I was just trying to make it” Urban Education.

Ledgerwood, A. (2022). Reimagining Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Tuesday, July 12th: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Moderators: Sangeeta Bishop and Monica Foust

On Tuesday Fellows and Team will continue to reflect on Topic 1 and will participate in a pedagogy workshop facilitated by Institute co-directors Bishop and Foust. Small groups will consider resources and imagine how they might incorporate them into their teaching.

Key Questions

  1. What does a sense of belonging mean to you and what does it mean to your students?
  2. Can you give some examples of how you create belonging in your classroom?
  3. How can we instill a sense of belonging in our students?
  4. What social skills do students need to thrive in your class and in STEM careers, and why?
  5. How can we promote building relationships/networks?
  6. How do you encourage students to build relationships when they feel they belong and when they feel they don’t belong?
  7. How will you assess the changes you have made to your pedagogy to instill a sense of belonging and development of social skills in your students?


9:009:15Greetings and check-in with Faculty Fellows 
9:159:45Discussing key questions – activity, video, opening discussions
9:4510:15In small groups, choose ONE change that you can make in your syllabus/course schedule.
10:3011:15Discussing syllabi changes in the large group
11:1511:45In small groups, choose a second change that you can make in your syllabus/course schedule or assignment to improve a sense of belonging and social skills.
12:0012:30General discussion/wrapping up

Bring your syllabus. Build in connections in your classrooms. Explicitly embed opportunities for connection with faculty and with students in your syllabus and curriculum. 

Readings for Topic 1:

Schreiner, Laurie. Thriving in the Classroom. Wiley InterScience.

Schreiner, Laurie. Thriving in Community. Wiley InterScience.

Schreiner, Laurie. The “Thriving Quotient.” Wiley InterScience.