SF BUILD Interventions

SF BUILD aims to reduce the impacts of stereotype threat and increase cues affirming social inclusion in our classrooms and research environments. To achieve this aim, Dr. Avi Ben-Zeev and his team have developed and tested a stereotype threat intervention at SF State. The Speaking Truth to EmPower (STEP) intervention is a brief online psychosocial intervention that both increases knowledge of the phenomenon, and enables students to leverage their lived experiences to overcome it. With findings just published (Ben-Zeev et al., 2017), SF State intends to institutionalize STEP. Meanwhile, SF BUILD will continue to develop and to test other psychosocial and science education interventions to create affirming and inclusive classroom and research environments:

 

Completed Evidence-based Intervention:

 

Interventions that are Currently being Investigated:

 

STUDENT LEVEL

  • Enabling Peer Learning Facilitators: Dr. Alegra Eroy-Reveles has led efforts to enable advanced undergraduates to become effective peer learning facilitators for supplemental instruction (SI) courses. Ongoing analyses of the results obtained show that both the undergraduates enrolled in SI, and their peer learning facilitators benefit academically and socially from this activity. 
  • Utility Values (UV) at SF State: The UV intervention was developed and studied at the University of Wisconsin (Harackiewicz et al., 2016) and showed that student interest in science grew when they were given the opportunity to connect class content to everyday examples. This intervention has been adapted by Drs. Alegra Eroy-Reveles and Mica Estrada (in collaboration with the U of Wisconsin group) for implementation and study at SF State.
  • Journaling to promote resilience and persistence in STEM students: A group of undergraduates working with Dr. Alegra Eroy-Reveles are investigating the impact of reflective journaling and “sharing your story” to promote resilience and sense of belonging in science classes. In this intervention, students are asked weekly to write for 5 min about their purpose for attending college and studying science, as well as identify sources of strength they carry with them into the classroom. After journaling, students reflect on their experiences in small groups.  

FACULTY LEVEL

  • Faculty Agents of Change at SF State: Dr. Alegra Eroy-Reveles and Dr. Audrey Parangan-Smith lead a faculty learning community that reads, shares, and discusses social science literature that provides evidence for why and how students in the same classroom can have dramatically different classroom experiences. These papers inform and change, "how we see our students, how we interact with them, and how we teach them."  Faculty participants draw from various departments including Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Health Education, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology.   
  • Development and Implementation of Social Justice Pedagogy: Led by Assistant Dean for Research Michele Eliason in the College of Health and Social Sciences, a group of multidisciplinary faculty were awarded an SF BUILD mini-grant to investigate the use of social justice pedagogy to mitigate stereotype threat. They aim to test the hypothesis that the use of social justice pedagogy in research skills courses that emphasize quantitative analyses will overcome underperformance and increase sense of belonging of historically underrepresented students compared to research skills courses taught using traditional approaches.