Symposium Session - Student Self-Perception Workshop

Workshop Title: Using Data Tasks to Increase Students' Self-perception as Capable STEM Learners



The overall goal of our work is to disrupt pervasive narratives about what it means to be “good at chemistry," specifically in the introductory chemistry classroom. The traditional design of STEM courses perpetuates the narrow view that intelligence is characterized by innate talent, knowing lots of information, and being quick and correct. This approach can disproportionately impact students historically underserved in STEM rather than creating a classroom where learners feel empowered and thrive.

This workshop will focus on using data-driven instructional tasks to directly engage students in scientific practices. These tasks value examining and identifying trends and patterns in data in order to make sense of it. Evidence will be presented from community colleges and universities on how student and faculty mindsets have been shifted as a result of this approach. Workshop participants will have access to a library of tasks that are customizable for level, format, and other instructional needs.

Author Bios: These are kinda long, especially since there are so many of us. Let me know if you want me to reduce:


Cory Antonakos, Diablo Valley College, CAntonakos@dvc.edu


BS in Chemistry, George Washington University

PhD in Chemistry, UC Berkeley


Biosketch (she/her/hers)

Dr. Antonakos found her love for education in graduate school where she sought out teaching opportunities and first connected with many of her co-PI's through the chemistry education research group at UC Berkeley. In addition to her graduate research in thin films, magnetism, and materials chemistry, she also studied methods of measuring knowledge transfer in undergraduate chemistry students. She has taught chemistry and physics at San Quentin State prison through the Prison University Project, where her students were some of the most motivated and engaged she has ever encountered. Dr. Antonakos joined the DVC chemistry department in 2015, when she both re-learned and taught organic chemistry (sometimes simultaneously). At DVC, she has also taught introductory chemistry and lead programs in faculty professional development. She has participated in efforts to support formerly incarcerated students and served on the MESA program's steering committee to support first-generation and low-income STEM students. Dr. Antonakos thoroughly believes that anyone can learn anything, as she has experienced first-hand through her own non-linear journey doing research and teaching in different fields of chemistry and physics.


Ellen Beaulieu, Diablo Valley College, LBeaulieu@dvc.edu


BSChem in Chemistry, The University of Georgia

Ph.D. in Chemistry, UC Berkeley


Biosketch (she/her/hers)

Prof. Beaulieu began her career as a medicinal chemist at SRI International where she led a variety of project teams in discovering new diagnostics and treatments for infection. Since joining the chemistry faculty at Diablo Valley College in the Fall of 2013, she has dedicated her work to building greater community and collaboration of all STEM faculty and students at the college. She was a key faculty member in the establishment of our Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) learning community at DVC serving on their steering committee for two years. She was a founding member of DVC's STEMovation team, a network of faculty and staff dedicated to improving equitable outcomes in STEM through data-driven initiatives. Prof. Beaulieu has been the acting STEMovation coordinator on campus since the Spring of 2018. In this role, she organizes and annual STEMovation Retreat of all faculty and staff in STEM and building new STEM-specific equity training opportunities at the college. Professor Beaulieu has taught throughout the DVC Chemistry curriculum from Introductory Chemistry, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. In her experience witnessing the struggle of students with poorly scaffolded prerequisite concepts, she has a deep commitment to developing new, free, accessible resources for STEM students to build their skills and see the interconnectedness of the skills and concepts within and beyond her chemistry classroom.


​Paul Daubenmire, College of Marin, pdaubenmire@marin.edu


BA Chemistry, Harvard College

MS Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology

PhD Science and Math Education, UC Berkeley


During the last 15 years, Paul has taught chemistry at all three levels of the California Higher Educational system. Since joining the College of Marin (COM) faculty in 2017, he has participated in initiatives to increase open-access educational resources and led the formation of the Chem Avengers team, whose goal has been to bring equitable curricular resources and faculty training to introductory chemistry courses.  He serves as a coordinator for the STEM Learning Community at COM and is always to looking to match students with resources that will make them more capable and prepared scientists.

Paul's interest in mentoring began all the way back with his own award-winning high school chemistry teacher. In addition to formal training in chemistry, he has earned a secondary school teaching credential, attended a two year Bible college, studied paper-making and designed safer chemistry laboratories.  After completing his Ph.D. in chemistry education, he spent two years at the Lawrence Hall of Science designing middle school digital science curriculum for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). His background in science and math education allows him to connect with traditionally-trained chemists as well as teacher-practitioners and administrators.


Jennifer Lillig, Sonoma State University, whilesli@sonoma.edu


BS Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College

PhD Chemistry, UC San Diego


Biosketch (she/her/hers)

Dr. Lillig has been at SSU since 2003 and her research activities focus on antibiotic structure and mechanisms, curriculum development efforts, and projects to support equity in STEM.  Her efforts have been funded by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), Research Corporation, the National Science Foundation, and Agilent (Keysight) Technologies.  She was a member of the Faculty Learning Program pilot through the UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science which focused on educating STEM faculty in student metacognition and strategies for the development and implementation of effective flipped-classroom pedagogies.  She has incorporated these strategies across the chemistry curriculum from large-lecture general chemistry courses to small upper-division special topics courses.  She has also partnered with PI-Works in development of a project-based capstone experience for BS Biochemistry majors, a Freshman Learning Community for Sonoma State chemistry and biochemistry  majors, and development of a summer research academy for local community college MESA students.

Dr. Lillig has served as the Chair of the chemistry department and university-wide curriculum committee and has been a leader in campus general education and assessment reform.  She was the Faculty Fellow for the Online and Blended Teaching Excellence Program to improve educational access and success through online/hybrid learning.  She also served as the Faculty Fellow for Curricular Redesign as part of a Teagle Foundation and CSU Chancellor's Office grant program to support curricular redesign for student success across six CSU campuses.  At the CSU level, Dr. Lillig serves as a member of the CSUPERB Strategic Planning Council, working most recently to organize symposium workshops and draft a CSUPERB Code of Conduct and Statement of Principles and Values focused on anti-bullying and sexual harassment in STEM to create inclusive learning environments for faculty and students. Dr. Lillig currently serves as the Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.


Hien Nguyen, College of Marin, hdnguyen@marin.edu


BS in Mathematics, Sonoma State University

MA in Curriculum and Instruction, University of the Pacific

MS in Applied Statistics, California State University Long Beach



Hien's first experience in teaching was through serving inner city high school students under the charter school model.  He also enjoyed serving students under the Waldorf school model.  Hien's currently teaching at College of Marin since 2018.  His main interests are making videos to replace direct instruction and trying different ways to engage students in learning, helping students explore things that they're already interested in and develop habits that are good for learning and living well.


Erin Palmer, Diablo Valley College, epalmer@dvc.edu


BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona

MS in Education, CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College

MS in Chemistry, UC Berkeley

PhD Science and Math Education, UC Berkeley


Biosketch (she/her/hers)

Dr. Palmer began her career in education as a high school chemistry teacher in the South Bronx of New York where experienced firsthand the inequity that exists in the US system of schooling. She returned to graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley in the Graduate Group for Math and Science Education, a program designed to produce doctoral graduates who have advanced expertise in a scientific discipline as well as in educational theory and research methodologies. Her doctoral research examined how narrow and exclusive notions of who and what counts as competent in chemistry show up as barriers to equity in an undergraduate general chemistry course, and how these barriers can be undone through course redesign. Dr. Palmer joined the DVC chemistry department in 2018, when she  taught general chemistry and implemented new curriculum developed during her doctoral program.  She holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona, a master's degree in science education from Lehman College, CUNY and a master's in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.


Angy Stacy, UC Berkeley, astacy@berkeley.edu


B.A. LaSalle College

Ph.D. Cornell University



Prof. Stacy from UCB has been working on developing equity-minded curriculum for over 3 decades. Stacy also leads a research group in the interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education.The program is designed to produce doctoral graduates who have advanced expertise in a scientific discipline as well as in educational theory and research methodologies. This graduate group produces scholars who can communicate effectively with scientists and engineers as well as with educational researchers and practitioners. Stacy has led two large grants (several million dollar) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to transform the undergraduate chemistry curriculum and to develop a high school chemistry textbook. The former involved an intersegmental collaboration with California community college and state universities, and the latter with California high school teachers. Stacy has published a high school chemistry textbooks called "Living by Chemistry," and offers workshops for high school chemistry teachers, including at the recent California Science Teachers Association meeting. She participated in creating the Next Generation Science Standards and the AP Chemistry redesign. For her work, she has been honored with a number of awards, including the NSF Distinguished Teacher Scholar Award, the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence, and the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award.


Carmen Works, Sonoma State University, works@sonoma.edu


B.A. Chemistry and Psychology San Francisco State University

Ph.D. Chemistry UC Santa Barbara


Biosketch (she/her/hers)

Dr. Works is a Professor of Chemistry at Sonoma State University and is currently serving as the Interim AVP of Academic Programs .  Dr. Works is a proud LatinX, first generation college student and successfully maneuvered inner city public schools. She has been an advocate for social justice, inclusion and anti-racism her entire life.   Dr. Works found educational opportunities through the community college system in California where she has first hand experience with remedial STEM courses and failure. After transferring to SFSU as a psychology major, she found supportive faculty that helped guide her to become a successful chemistry major and supported her to attend graduate school in chemistry.  This journey inspired her to become a faculty member at a CSU to help students like her find a passion for general education, learning and STEM.  When she started at SSU in 2001 she was the first hire in over 17 years, the first woman and the first person of color to join the tenure ranks of the chemistry department.  She became a leader early in her career at SSU and shepherded the rebirth of the chemistry department which included redesign of the curriculum and creation of a biochemistry degree program,  implementation of high impact practices such as undergraduate research, learning communities and development of critical thinking courses based in STEM.  Dr. Works is a daring educator willing to adopt new pedagogies and technologies into her classroom and she has been recognized with SSU's Excellence in Teaching Award. 

Dr. Works has served in a number of leadership roles including co-chair to develop a Strategic Plan for SSU that created core values including diversity and social justice. Dr. Works has also served as Chair of the Chemistry Department, the university curriculum committee, the Academic Senate, the University Accreditation Committee, and has contributed to review, reform and assessment of SSU's general education curriculum.  Dr. Works brings a lifetime of personal experience advocating for inclusion, sense of belonging and anti-racism which has built a resilient supporter of the teacher-scholar model and lifelong learning  grounded in the arts and sciences.



Alexis Shusterman is a lecturer in the department of chemistry at UC Berkeley teaching introductory chemistry, general chemistry, and organic chemistry laboratory courses for non-chemistry majors, utilizing active learning pedagogies throughout the curricula. Alexis completed her PhD research on atmospheric pollutant monitoring techniques at UC Berkeley as well, so she is a golden bear through and through!

Chase Clark

Michelle Douskey

Jennifer Claesgens