ABI Faculty Development Program Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter
Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter

Call for Applications – Summer 2022 Seminar Series

Mental Health, Wellness, and Identity in the Classroom (Hybrid)

Hosted by the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative

This June, the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI) invites BMCC and Hunter colleagues from all disciplines to participate in a hybrid seminar series focusing on student wellness and mental health, and thoughtful ways to consider and incorporate students’ racial/cultural experiences in our classrooms. After two years of teaching in a pandemic, what are our roles as instructors when it comes to our students’ well-being and mental health stressors?  How do we address this in our in-person, online, large lecture, and/or small seminar classrooms? Moreover, research has demonstrated the powerful connection between positive student outcomes (i.e. GPA, retention, and graduation times) and college teaching activities that connect to students’ identities, race, purpose, and sense of belonging, particularly for first-generation college goers, BIPOC students, and students from immigrant and otherwise underserved communities. In what ways can we cultivate a mental health supportive classroom and integrate meaningful teaching activities, while working to meet our own professional and personal demands?

We begin by focusing on Asian American identities in the U.S. and accompanying mental health stressors, and connecting these stories with our students’ experiences in the classroom. Specifically, the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP) has developed a model centering Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) student mental health, identity, and purpose; we will share information about this model throughout the seminar series. Through guided discussions, guest speakers, and breakout rooms, participants will learn, discuss, and reflect on their students’ experiences, as well as how they can support their students through various teaching interventions that consider identity, race, and purpose. Then, as a final project, participants will apply what they learned by creating and sharing their own teaching innovation (e.g. class activity, assignment/project, teaching tool, etc.) for a course they plan to teach in Fall 2022 or later. Program staff will be available to discuss various teaching tools to support participants’ projects as well. This project will ultimately become part of a public database of teaching resources that incorporate student identity, race, and purpose. 

Participants who attend all sessions and complete a teaching innovation for a future course will receive a stipend of $500. This series is held twice a year, in the Winter and Summer sessions, and sponsored  by the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP) and the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI) at BMCC.

You can view examples of projects by participants in previous seminars on our faculty projects page.

Why should I participate? 

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

  • learn more about the stressors and backgrounds of students at their CUNY institution;
  • learn evidence-based teaching practices to support students of Color;
  • practice new tools that improve learning outcomes and cultivate a mental health supportive classroom;
  • engage in professional development with their colleagues across disciplines and institutions.
When is it and how will it work?

We will meet a total of six times: four times online and twice in-person.  Lunch will be provided for our in-person meetings.  We begin with a kick-off and introduction in May on Zoom. Then we will gather in-person at Hunter for our first session, online for two sessions, and conclude in-person at BMCC for our final session. Later in the Fall, we’ll meet for a Reunion. 

Session topics will include student classroom experiences, student mental health and wellness, cultural humility, setting boundaries, and inclusive teaching practices. In between sessions, participants will have opportunities to engage with each other through an online discussion forum.  We will then meet again during the Fall semester for a reunion and check-in on Zoom to share our projects and innovations. Details below.

Wednesday, May 2511 – 12:30 pmKickoff and Introduction (Online)
Wednesday, June 112:30 – 3:30 pmSession 1 (In-person @ Hunter, Lunch Provided)
Wednesday, June 81 – 3:30 pmSession 2 (Online)
Wednesday, June 151 – 3:30 pmSession 3 (Online)
Wednesday, June 2212:30 – 3:30 pmSession 4 (In-person @ BMCC, Lunch Provided)
Late October/Early November TBDMid-semester Reunion and Check-in
What am I expected to do?

Seminar participants will be expected to: 

  • Identify and reflect on various student stressors in the classroom, especially with respect to differences in racial and cultural experience, immigration stress, and financial need;
  • Reflect on one’s own racial and cultural background, as it relates to one’s identity and purpose as an instructor;
  • 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; 
  • Participate in small-groups discussion, provide/receive feedback for incorporating student experiences into the classroom;
  • Attend all 4 seminar sessions in June, an introductory Kick-Off Session in May, and a Reunion Session in October/November.
How do I apply?

If you are a full-time faculty or an adjunct faculty at Borough of Manhattan College or Hunter College, you are eligible to participate! You do not have to be assigned to teach in Fall 2022, 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 this form.  

The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, May 6. We will accept up to 20 participants for this seminar. We hope to create a cohort from a diversity of disciplines, teaching experiences, 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 at Hunter (ML2138@hunter.cuny.edu) or the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative at BMCC (abi@bmcc.cuny.edu) if you have questions.

Who is organizing the BMCC-Hunter ABI Faculty Seminar Series? 

This seminar series is part of the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI), 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 BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative seeks to foster a greater sense of belonging for the BMCC and Hunter AAPI student community, while increasing understanding of AAPI student needs amongst faculty and staff at both colleges.   

The Seminar Series will be led by HCAP staff, members of BMCC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS), as well members of Hunter’s Academic Center for Excellence in Research and Teaching (ACERT).  

Faculty Seminar Series Planning Committee

Marcia Liu, Asian American Studies (Hunter), HCAP Mental Health Specialist
Gina Cherry, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS), BMCC
Paul McPherron, English (Hunter) and HCAP Co-PI

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