Dear 2022 Faculty Fellows, our very first cohort.
We are so thankful for the success of our first Community of Practice. THANK YOU, for trsuting us enough to stick with us as we began this journey. You trusted us enough to put into practice new structures of support for your writing. You actually wrote for at least 15 minutes M-F. You joined in the contemplative pracices, breathing and moving in order to be mindful and aware . You truly brought your best-self to the writing task. Then after six months you joined us for a 3 day intensive in-person writing retreat in July. The result is this joint publication.
While we appreciated the trust you placed in this brand new effort, you also gave us the gift of knowing you and growing with you in community. Not only have we gained experience in being highly productive during the school year, we all have benefited from grower deeper relationships. Our lives are richer for it.
We will be calling on you to help facilitate building community with the next cohort as you help guide them through their writing projects.....but before I go asking you for something, let us first just celebrate our accomplishment.
We did it. We wrote a paper in six months by writing 15 minutes a day,
An Innovative Faculty Intervention at HBCUs: Self Care, Writing as a Practice and Building Community Gail Hollowell#1, Lauren Kendall Brooks2, Malik Malik3, Jessye Talley4, Lisa Zheng3, Michelle Chatman5 and Cheryl Talley6 1 North Carolina Central University, 2 Assessment for Good, 3 University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 4 Morgan State, 5 University of the District of Columbia, 6 Virginia State University #corresponding author ABSTRACT The HBCU STEM Undergraduate Success (STEM-US) Research Center, funded in 2020 by the National Science Foundation, was created to gain an understanding of what types of academic interventions work at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and why they work. For all of us in higher education, teaching, research, and scholarly production have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. The response to the new normal has been particularly taxing for faculty at HBCUs. Recent public displays of blatant anti-black sentiment not only adds to our own stress load but has served to exacerbate the emotional needs of our students. The additional strain of the pandemic response added to already stressed organizational systems at HBCU’s. All of which has compelled HBCU faculty to re-examine how we relate to our work, our families and ourselves. The value of ‘sharing our stories’ lies within the deep relationships fostered among the HBCU faculty that are in partnership with the STEM US Center’s research arm, the Analytic Hub. By supporting Communities of Practice, the Hub provides the opportunity to share information on aspects of the Science of Teaching and Learning that are applicable to HBCUs in an open and transparent manner. One of the Hub’s faculty development initiatives is called the CareFull Scholars Program which seeks to encourage adoption of practices that provide exceptional productivity while at the same time emphasizing enhanced health and well-being. This model is based on the premise that we can be scholarly and productive in a healthy and generative way while also centering self-care and collaborative relationships within our working lives. This paper is a reflective account of the inauguration of the CarFull Scholars community of practice. This post-pandemic intervention for faculty productivity promoted self-care through daily writing. We learned that by creating mental, emotional, physical and technical structures of support, daily writing could be easily adopted and with accountability from a caring community be sustained over time.