In the recent webinar, Strengthening Capacity to Implement Culturally Responsive Practices, members of the NSF INCLUDES National Network explored issues related to the intersectionality of social, economic, and environmental dynamics, and culturally responsive practices effective for broadening participation in STEM.
This Network Spotlight highlights one of the presenters, Sarah Riley of the First2 Network. The First2 Network aims to improve the college enrollment rate and success of undergraduate STEM students, with an emphasis on rural first-generation students in West Virginia though their first 2 years of college. Learn more about First2 Network’s work through this video.
During the webinar, Sarah discussed building the First2 Network, and challenges her team faced along the way. Keep reading below to learn from Sarah more about the importance of building a collaborative culture, and the need to keep student voice at the center of this important work.
Contributed by Sarah Riley
Building our collaborative culture
While building our network, we found ourselves faced with the challenge of channeling high passion and high engagement into effective and efficient collaboration. In order to build a grassroots movement across a large network, we needed to look at how to build the culture of the network itself, including determining our values and learning how to make decisions together. Through the process, we learned how much time you have to invest to build trust and relationships.
Thank you to Sarah Riley for sharing some of the challenges of the First2 Network and ways they are working to address those challenges. Connect with Sarah through the member directory so that as the NSF INCLUDES National Network, we can continue to learn and work together.