Our Mission is improve the mental and physical health, accessibility and disability rights with the CS department on an individual and systemic level, as well as increase the sense of departmental community. We connect students with campus resources that are relevant to the issues or pressures they may be facing. Additionally, we collaborate with department to develop better policies and function as a facilitator between students and faculty. If you would like to talk to one of us, we hold office hours upon request and can be reached at
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Cristian Loor: My project is to revamp the UTA Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility training modules, according to the CS DDIAP Phase II Section 8.4.A TA Training Enhanced Actions and Goals and Priorities. I began partial revisions in the fall of 2022 with a full synchronous training session redesign according to the themes of “setting boundaries and preventing burnout.”. Additionally, I helped redesign the New TA Training module 3: accessibility & universal design on Canvas by incorporating a self-reflection prompt, giving it parity with the other two. Preliminary feedback assessments suggested that these revisions were effective. Next steps for the project will be to collate and analyze survey responses from different iterations of the training to produce a succinct report. In combination with any departmental climate data, this report will inform precise changes to ALL and NEW TA training occurring in fall 2023 and later. I will also revise module 3 quiz for spring 2023 New TA training by replacing inaccessible materials, editing quiz questions, and updating the UDL presentation. By the end of spring 2023, the Health and Wellness portion of the ALL TA training should have at least two swappable versions addressing distinct themes derived from previous iterations' content. I will enlist Professor Christina Smith's help in designing these versions. Revisions to the Health and Wellness HTA training are also in the pipeline.
Kiran Rodrigues: My project goal would be to assist in the creation of course material that can be used for a Race Power, and Privilege (RPP) designated CS course. With the release of the DIAP II Plan in the coming months, the department is in a unique position to critically evaluate existing practices and devise ways in which the department can build upon its practices. Brown University’s Seminar for Transformation Around Anti-Racist Teaching (START) provides an opportunity to improve upon the existing Socially Responsible Computing content by laying the groundwork for the creation of a RPP course to acknowledge the social and political impacts of computer science. What perspectives and voices have been historically excluded from computer science? How has it participated in and enabled systems of oppression? How can we think holistically about the legacies of technology? In a theoretical course we would recognize that computer science is not an innocent endeavor.
Shravya Sompalli: My project is to create a zine that acts as a central base for navigating the computer science department at Brown, particularly through a wellness lens. Students often rely upon word of mouth and connections to upperclassmen in order to obtain information needed to navigate department resources. This zine will centralize essential information about the department that students may need to thrive here Furthermore, this zine could serve as another form of communicating important information on the department’s progress on D&I goals and receiving feedback from the community, as noted in section 9.4 E of DIAP II.
Cristian Loor: [project continuing in 2022-23 academic year] My task is to revamp the UTA Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DIA) training modules, by assessing the modules' effectiveness. This will include reviewing feedback surveys and holding TA focus groups to identify attitudes toward the trainingprogram. I hope the resulting data will help me design interventions for Spring 2023's course iteration. I would then assess their effectiveness by correlating them with departmental climate data changes. Before I graduate, I hope to establish data collection and evaluation standards my successors will find robust and easy to implement as they assess the ongoing impacts of UTA DIA training in the CS department.
Anna Ohrt: I propose working with Kathi Fisher to ensure that their new intro course- CS200, is UDL centered. Because course planning has already taken place, this involves providing feedback on assignments and lecture materials. At the same time, researching what CS UDL guidelines already exist through sources like AccessComputing and leveraging other universities’ best practices. From there, this effort would serve as a pilot for integrating health & wellness consultation support into CS accessible course design.
David Moon: The goal of this project is to investigate mental health policy and best practices in two ways: (a) Intra-university investigation: connect with other departments at Brown to learn about how they approach mental health and what we could take away from them, send out survey to assess current state of mental health in CS department; (b) Inter-university investigation: connect with other universities’ CS departments to learn about how they approach mental health and what we could take away from them. The data collected will inform a mental health best practices document. Interviews of best practices can be found here.