Faculty and Staff

Title: Winter 2021 Hunter/BMCC Faculty Seminar Series

Theme: Identity and Purpose: Student Lived Experiences in the Classroom

As the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact communities of color, integrating identity and purpose into our teaching and creating a sense of belonging for our students in our classrooms is more important than ever. This January, we invite Hunter and BMCC colleagues from all disciplines to participate in an online seminar series that focuses on how to integrate students’ racial and cultural experiences and educational motivations into our online teaching practice.

Through guided discussions, guest speakers, and breakout rooms, participants will learn, discuss, and reflect on their students’ learning experiences. Program staff will be available to discuss teaching tools to support participants’ projects. As a final project, participants will apply what they learned by creating and sharing a teaching innovation (e.g. class activity, assignment/project, teaching tool, etc) for a course they plan to teach in spring 2021 or later.

Participants who attend all sessions and complete a teaching innovation for a future course will receive a stipend of $500.  This series will be held twice a year, in the Winter and Summer sessions, beginning January 2021.


Recent research has demonstrated the powerful connection between positive student outcomes (i.e. GPA, retention, and graduation times) and college teaching activities that connect to a student’s identity, race, and purpose. These activities and interventions are particularly important for high-need students – including first-generation college goers, BIPOC students, and students from immigrant and otherwise underserved communities. Having previously applied these classroom interventions with high-need Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP) has developed a model centering student identity and purpose that will be shared throughout this seminar series.

Why should I participate? 

The Hunter/BMCC Faculty Seminar Series offers busy faculty a jump-start in creating or re-creating activities and materials for future courses. More specifically, faculty will:

1) learn more about the backgrounds of students at their CUNY institution;

2) learn evidence-based teaching practices to support students of color;

3) practice new technology tools that improve learning outcomes and student engagement;

4) engage in professional development with their colleagues across disciplines and institutions.

When is it and how will it work?

The Seminar Series will meet entirely online for a total of six times. We will start with a kick-off and introduction and then gather on four Thursdays in January. Readings will be assigned between sessions, and participants will have opportunities to engage with each other through an online discussion forum.  We will then meet again during the spring semester for a reunion and check-in to share our projects and innovations. Details  below.

  • Tuesday, December 15, 12-1pm: Kickoff and Introduction to Identity and Purpose in the Classroom
  • Thursday, January 7, 1-3:30pm: Hunter and BMCC Demographics: Getting to Know Your Students
  • Thursday, January 14, 1-3:30pm: Creating Assignments that Incorporate Identity and Purpose
  • Thursday, January 21, 1-3:30pm: Identity and Purpose in Testing and Assessment
  • Thursday, January 28, 1-3:30pm: Putting it all Together: Developing Your Own  Inclusive Teaching Practices
  • Late March/Early April, TBD: Mid-semester Reunion and Check-In
Format for January sessions:

1pm – 2pm- opening presentation and discussion

2pm – 3pm- group work and individual consultations

3pm – 3:30pm- full group reconvene for final discussions and presentations.

What am I expected to do?

Seminar Participants will be expected to:

  1. Identify and reflect on various student needs in the classroom, especially with respect to differences in racial and cultural experience, immigration stress, and financial need;
  2. Reflect on one’s own racial and cultural background, as it relates to one’s identity and purpose as an instructor;
  3. Create/Design one or more teaching interventions (e.g. class activity, assignment/project, teaching tool, etc)  for a specified course that incorporates culturally relevant pedagogies and student racial/cultural identities;
  4. Participate in small-groups discussion, provide/receive feedback for incorporating student experiences into the classroom;
  5. Attend all 4 seminar sessions, an introductory Kick-Off Session in December, and a Reunion Session in March/April.
How do I apply?

If you are a full-time faculty or an adjunct faculty at Hunter College or Borough of Manhattan College, you are eligible to participate! You do not have to be assigned to teach in Spring 2021, but you should plan to work on a course and teaching activities that you expect to teach at Hunter or BMCC in the future.

To apply, complete the form here.

The deadline to apply is Monday, December 7th or until all spots are filled.  We will accept up to 25 participants for this seminar and will keep a waitlist. We hope to create a cohort from a diversity of disciplines and a mix of part-time and full-time faculty. All applicants should demonstrate an interest in the themes of identity and race as they apply to teaching. We will be offering similar opportunities in the future as part of a 5-year grant.

Please email Dr. Marcia Liu (ML2138@hunter.cuny.edu) if you have questions.

Who is organizing the Hunter/BMCC Faculty Seminar Series? 

This seminar series is part of the Hunter/BMCC Bridge Initiative, a collaborative program focused on high-need AAPI college students. The program is funded by a five-year U.S. Department of Education / Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) / Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Title III Part A Cooperative grant. This work builds from the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), a program also supported by AANAPISI grant funding. Our work conceptualizes the student experience as essentially motivated by personal identity, including racial and cultural identity, as well as students’ sense of purpose and meaning.  The Hunter/BMCC Bridge Initiative seeks to foster a greater sense of belonging for the Hunter and BMCC AAPI student community, while increasing understanding of AAPI student needs amongst faculty and staff at both colleges.

Specifically, the Seminar Series will be led by HCAP staff and members of BMCC’s Center for Ethnic Studies (CES) and Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS) as well members of Hunter’s Academic Center for Excellence in Research and Teaching (ACERT). We hope the Seminar Series will continue ongoing conversations about how to best provide for AAPI students and Students of Color broadly, who are often overlooked, underserved, and regarded as on the margins of the college experience. By centering their stories and lived experiences, and by encouraging self-reflection of one’s own identities, we hope to enrich and inspire faculty with the theoretical and practical tools for inclusive and culturally sustaining learning environments.