1 November 2022

AAS EPD Mini-Grant Offers Free Mentoring Course to AAS Members

Nicole Cabrera Salazar Movement Consulting

Mentoring students is an integral part of the professional academic experience. Although we enter the role with good intentions, we are often expected to jump in without any training. Implicit and explicit bias can strain our relationships with mentees, leading to disillusionment, burnout, and eventually attrition.

To create a solid foundation for academics mentoring marginalized people, Dra. Nicole Cabrera Salazar and her team at Movement Consulting are offering eight free registrations to their Spring 2023 mentoring course thanks to the AAS EPD Mini-Grant program

Irene Nava and Asia Bright of Movement Consulting. Image credit: Zachary Gardner / chillz-media.com


Intent to Impact (I2I) is a 13-week course that prepares academics to mentor people of historically marginalized identities through emotional, relational, and collective work. For the past two years, this course has encouraged participants to dig past their intentions to center the impact of the mentor-mentee relationship.

I2I participants engage with pre-recorded videos and written materials alongside accountability partners before attending discussion-based live sessions. Classes are held biweekly on Zoom, including an orientation to set group norms. Office hours are provided on the weeks between sessions so participants can ask questions about pre-work, course concepts, or any mentoring issues they have.

I2I centers curiosity and vulnerability over shame and judgment, collaboration over competition, and community knowledge-building over individualism. We work through real-life mentoring challenges from the literature and the personal experiences of facilitators and participants. 

I2I at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)

Many students of marginalized identities attend MSIs and often report having a supportive mentor as their reason for persisting in their field. Around 40% of physics bachelor’s degrees earned by Black students are awarded by Predominantly Black Institutions or Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and 20% of physics degrees earned by Hispanic or Latine students are awarded by Hispanic Serving Institutions. 

Faculty at MSIs often earn less than their counterparts; for instance, faculty at HBCUs are paid an average of $18,000 less than faculty at Predominantly White Institutions. Access to professional development can depend on the ability to pay upfront costs, causing a large barrier to access to these opportunities. Yet faculty at MSIs have the largest impact when it comes to mentoring marginalized people.

Thanks to funding from the AAS EPD Mini-Grant program, Movement Consulting is offering FREE registration to our Spring 2023 I2I course to eight astronomers. The application is open to all AAS members and affiliates, with preference given to astronomers at MSIs.

The application includes only four short essay questions and is open from 7 November 2022 to 2 January 2023. We will score application questions based on candidates’ ability to demonstrate: 

  • Curiosity and a willingness to learn
  • Openness to receiving feedback
  • Awareness of systemic issues
  • Understanding of positionality and power

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

We look forward to welcoming you to the classroom!