The CTTL and the Puente Learning Community were honored to host a Spring 2023 hyflex (in-person and via Zoom) workshop series offered by the statewide Puente Project housed at UC Berkeley. During these three sessions, a variety of over 30 faculty members explored identity and intersectionality, reclaiming the STEM legacy, and promoting community care and wellness through referrals and weaving care into the curriculum.

Recognizing the importance of acknowledging and embracing students’ multifaceted identities, faculty members explored practical strategies to create a learning environment that values and celebrates diversity. STEM and other faculty joined the second session to address equity in STEM fields, exploring ways to dismantle barriers to success for marginalized students. Through interactive and collaborative discussions, faculty gained insights into nurturing a sense of belonging, passion for STEM, and empowering students to overcome challenges.

In the final training session, the focus shifted towards community care and addressing the basic needs of students through intentionally weaving nurturing and caring elements into content delivery while exploring specific strategies for creating a warm classroom environment that promotes mental health, access to essential resources, and cultivates a sense of belonging.

The Puente series encouraged faculty to reflect on their teaching practices, challenge biases, and embrace the diverse perspectives and experiences of their students. Thank you to the Puente Project, Lucia Lachmayr, Marisa Thigpen, and Andrea Fuentes for coordinating this effort.

Article by Marisa Thigpen & Andrea Fuentes with support of ChatGPT | Photos by Marisa Thigpen

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