Broader Impacts and Submitting HSI Track 1 or 2 Proposals – Providing Clarity and A Quick Tip for HSI Integration

– By Dr. Michael Thompson aka “The Broader Impacts Guy”


Those who plan to submit a grant application to the Track 1 or 2 National Science Foundation (NSF) Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Program must address two criteria. One of these criteria is called broader impacts (BI).

NSF defines its BI criterion as “encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes”. An outcome is defined as a benefit resulting from specific inputs, activities, and outputs.

NSF states that “BI may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project”.

What does this really mean? In short, NSF requires you to ensure that whatever project you are undertaking will benefit some aspect of society in “real time”. It also means that you must assess what you are doing to determine if the proposed benefit is happening or happened during the grant award period.

Common practice is the use and integration of activities designed to bring about the desired benefits or outcomes during the awarded proposal period, – with high hopes of sustainability post proposal sunset. There are several ways and methods that can be used to first determine and then integrate the type of broader impacts that will align with your program or project. Below I briefly provide and describe two ways BI can be used to enhance your proposal and work.

Two Ways For Enhancing Your Proposal and Work Through Broader Impacts (BI)

There are three priority areas for HSI Track 1 and 2 NSF proposals. They are: Critical Transitions, Innovative Cross-Sector Partnerships, and Teaching and Learning in STEM. Regardless of what HSI track is chosen, a logic model must be included to ensure the overall impact of your work. While there are many variations, the image below provides the standard logic model (LM).

Image: The Standard Logic Model (LM)1

The first way is to use “the research itself” function. This can be done by determining, showing, and evaluating how the research will benefit a group over time. For example, if your proposal will last for five years first determine what the benefit of the proposed research activities will be for each year.

Next, set up a five-year assessment BI rubric that aligns with the proposed research. It is also important to contextualize this with your long-term research goal and outcome beyond the proposed endeavor.

The second way is to provide activities that would be “complementary to the project”. For example, if you are proposing an HSI critical transitions project, use the development of an innovative cross-sector partnership as one of your broader impacts focus areas. In this example be sure to showcase, determine, and assess how this would be a benefit.

Also, providing a LM with BI visual in your proposal is an excellent way to showcase your plan!

Best of luck on your proposal submissions!

1.-© Developed by the Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center (MC3), The University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education, Division of Public and Community Services, 2007.

Michael Thompson aka “The Broader Impacts Guy”

Michael Thompson an Academic – Industry Impact Professional is currently the Head of Research Impact Enterprises (RIE): A Research Impact Accelerator for Academic Institutions. RIE is the first hybrid non-profit like and academically based business ecosystem entity that functions as a conduit and facilitator between the Academy and the Rest of Society. RIE achieves this by working in collaboration with others to provide initiatives, services, and products that help individuals, faculty, businesses, institutions, and other organized units manage, maximize, and accelerate their impact. Website:

Before serving as Head of RIE, Michael was the Founding Director of the Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) organization, on the Senior Staff of the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), member of the Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment (CRPDE), and Affiliate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma (OU). He also served on the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) Working Group, which developed the Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Proposals. For more broader impacts information and resources please visit,

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Pragmatic Strategies for Becoming an Ally for the Black Community

–Kimberly D. York

In the throes of the worldwide Corona Virus pandemic, Blacks in America are simultaneously contending with the longstanding impact of racism. A resounding 71% of Americans identify police brutality against people of color as a major source of stress[1]. While many citizens report feeling bombarded with the graphic images of brutality against black men, blacks have the inescapable drudgery of these life span experiences as the assaults extend to woman and children as well[2]. According to the American Psychological Association (APA)[1] a recent Civil Unrest Survey administered to over 2,000 American participants (18 and over) revealed that stress among blacks has escalated from 42%in May 2020 to 55% in June 2020. Racially motivated discrimination is the primary culprit. The collective work of the American College of Physicians (ACP)[3] urges that the invasive impact of this phenomenon has far reaching implications on the health and wellbeing of the African American community. Similarly, there is mounted evidence about the detrimental psychological consequences of racism. Suppressed racism encounters is directly linked to high anxiety among black students[4]. To this end, there are collaborative efforts to acknowledge hate crimes as a public health crisis[3].

Drawing from over 20 years of experience as a clinical therapist and nonprofit leader, the compilation below serves as pragmatic strategies for being an ally for black students.

  1. Beyond affirmative statistics, students of color should be visible representations as valued members of their campus and greater community. Re-evaluate program and organizational material to identify language that may depict blacks and other students of color in a negative connotation. A simple question is to ask: Do students of color positively see themselves reflected in and on your organizational/departmental documents?
  2. Introspection! One of the most common challenges associated with combatting racism is self-awareness. From organizational leaders to ancillary staff, we all hold worldviews that are influenced by culture, media, and lived experiences. It takes courage to be honest about our own biases (and we all have them) but this internal work is a crucial catalyst to bringing about systemic change that is needed to effectively support staff and students of color.
  3. Seek to Understand. Actively engaging in activities and events that provide opportunities to learn about the rich history and culture of students of color can serve as a meaningful way to build relationships and set the stage for honest dialogue.
  4. From theory to practice. Minority serving colleges, universities and community organizations serve as incubators of future professionals therefore there is a strong need to intentionally develop, implement and most importantly commit to ongoing departmental efforts to prevent and combat practices that create barriers for minority students. Educators are in a position to help students understand theoretical frameworks and policies that reinforce racial injustices. Added measures can include assessment of curricula to ensure cultural inclusiveness. The following resources can provide insight about best practices for supporting students of color in higher education:
  5. Access is Key! Whenever possible ensure that black students have access to psychological supports, both on campus and in their communities. The American Psychological Association has a list of resources to help address the emotional toll of racism, including access to therapists of color
  6. Demand Policy Reform! Policy reform is a vital step in eradicating practices that create barriers for minority students. The resources below offer valuable insight to consider:

As educators, student success is at the center of our efforts. As such, many of our campuses are actively taking measures to diversify our student populations because our students need our active support to fully realize their potential and success

[1] American Psychological Association (2020). Stress in America: Stress in the time of Covid-19 (Vol. 2). Retrieved from:

[2] Jones, S.C., Anderson, R.E., Gaskin-Wassan, A., Sawyer, B.A., Applewhite, K., and Metzer, I.W. (2020). From Crib to coffin: Navigating coping from racism-related stress throughout the lifespan of black Americans. Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(2), 267-282. doi:10.1037/ort0000430

[3] Serchen, J., Doherty, R., Atiq, O., and Hilden, D. (2020). Racism and health in the United States: A policy statement from the American College of Physicians. Retrieved from

[4] Jones, S.C., Anderson, R.E., Gaskin-Wassan, A., Sawyer, B.A., Applewhite, K., and Metzer, I.W. (2020). From Crib to coffin: Navigating coping from racism-related stress throughout the lifespan of black Americans. Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(2), 267-282. doi:10.1037/ort0000430

Kimberly D. York, is an Independent Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Supervision designation (Ohio and New Mexico) with a blended career of over 20 years of non-profit leadership experience and clinical practice. She is a widely requested consultant in the areas of nonprofit management, training facilitation, program development, strategic planning, strategic alliances, research, self-care, youth development, and mentoring. Her clinical competencies include mental health assessments, treatment plan development, conducting trauma-informed individual, family & group cognitive behavioral therapy, prevention, and resilience. She has extensive experience in the faith based, community, and education sectors.

Prior to her current appointment as the Interim Director of Black Programs at New Mexico State University, she served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work at the same university. Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Capital University. She earned dual Master of Social Administration and Master of Nonprofit Organizations with Nonprofit Management certification from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She is a doctoral student at Grand Canyon University completing a Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She is a National Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner. She is most proud to be a National Resiliency Trainer.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Perspective on the LGBTQ+ experience in academia: A code-switching experience

– By Edmundo Medina, M.S. – Introduction by Margie Vela, Ph. D. – Edited by Monica Torres, Ph. D.

As students navigate academic spaces in science and medicine, their sense of belonging plays a significant role in retention, persistence, matriculation, and graduation rates[1]. Some of the interpersonal factors affecting this sense of belonging for underrepresented students include feeling respected, feeling supported, and engaging with role models that they feel are like them[1]. Harvard Business Review[2] defines code-switching as the practice of “adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities.” The act of code-switching is emotionally taxing and has lasting effects on many areas of life. The reflections and experience of a current Ph.D. student affirms the findings of many studies regarding code-switching and student belonging, which merits our attention for improving student success:

It took me a while to notice it, but I was a child when I started compartmentalizing different parts about myself. This practice continued throughout my adolescence and early adulthood. During medical school in clinical rotations it was hammered on us, naïve medical students, that our appearance was critical for accurate diagnosis, since it was central to gaining patients’ trust. Although the professional “advice” was new, it was not a new concept for me. For years, I found myself adapting my speech, message, posture, and conversation topics to avoid making others “uncomfortable.” It had become second nature to me, as natural as breathing. I recently learned this kind of behavior has a name, code-switching. When applied to linguistics in the 50s, this term was used to describe people who knew more than one language and how their speaking patterns change when using different languages[3]. Since the 70s, it has been used as an example of how people of color change their behavior and speech in white-dominated spaces[4],[5].

As a cis-gender Mexican in the LGBT spectrum pursuing a Ph. D. in the United States, code-switching frequently happens for me. It happens when my Mexican classmates make casual comments about working on my accent if I want to be treated fairly by other professors; and then I find myself spending time practicing my American accent. It happened when past advisors and professors made homophobic and tone-deaf comments and my automated response was a smile. It also happened when surgeons only offered the “manly enough” students the opportunity to participate in surgeries. Relationships at school and work are essential, and as someone who tries to make connections and strengthen those relationships, I soon realized that my identity was and still is a burden that has no place at work. Unfortunately, I do not find myself alone in this thought. According to the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 46% of LGBTQ+ workers are closeted at work; 20% are told that they should dress more masculine or feminine; 53% report hearing gay jokes; and 31% feel unhappy or depressed at work[6].

I have witnessed microaggression at LGBTQ+ superiors by their colleagues and I have seen them struggle with hateful comments made behind their backs. There is even a study that assesses the microaggression at LGBTQ+ people in the workplace[7]. There are reports of how out physicians experience discrimination in the workplace[8]. But LGBTQ+ STEM scientists are still the minority with less representation in academia[9] and their experience can vary wildly due to multiple factors[10]. For thousands of people, these experiences have cemented the notion that it is best to hide parts of yourselves that may make those around you uncomfortable. This way of living can be unjust and unhealthy. A role model or a mentor can relieve the burden LGBTQ+ people have in the workplace and in a school setting[8], but that is easier said than done.

LGBTQ+ representation in academia is rarely a priority since: 1) being out has been said to be unnecessary in science and 2) it shouldn’t matter because all kinds of people are accepted in the sciences. Albeit, these are lies. The sense of belonging for students grows when they perceive friendliness to LGBTQ+ themes[11]. However, there are substantial differences in educators’ comfort level when confronting bullying due to sexual orientation compared to when it is based on race or religion[12].

As educators, this space can be difficult to navigate, but if you’re able, sharing your story appropriately can have an overwhelming impact on your students. The more stories we share, the more paths we open for discussion and expression. We know we should be more inclusive and empathic, and that we should provide safe spaces; but how does this translate to the classroom? The first step is to become informed. Empathy and inclusion start with knowledge. Be inclusive in your classroom; include positive representation from underrepresented and LGBTQ+ scientists in the curriculum. Acknowledge and stop anti-LGBTQ+ behavior outside and inside the classroom. Offer your support to students who come out. Revisit the school policies if you notice your institution can do more. Having a more inclusive classroom, can start with you.

[1] Vela, M. (2020). Student Belonging and Peer Mentoring. HSI STEM Resource Hub Newsletter: April 2020. Retrieved from

[2] McClunny, C.L., Robotham, K., Lee, nS., Smith R. & Durkee, M. (2019). The Cost of Code-Switching. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

[3] Butzkamm, W. (1998). Code-switching in a bilingual history lesson: The mother tongue as a conversational lubricant. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1(2), 81-99.

[4] Ray, G. B. (2009). Language and interracial communication in the United States: Speaking in Black and White (Vol. 1). Peter Lang.

[5] Harris, I. (2019, December 17). Opinion: Code-Switching Is Not Trying to Fit in to White Culture, It’s Surviving It. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from

[6] Fidas, D., & Cooper, L. (2018). A workplace divided: understanding the climate for LGBTQ workers nationwide. Human Rights Campaign.

[7] Resnick, C. A., & Galupo, M. P. (2019). Assessing experiences with LGBT microaggressions in the workplace: Development and validation of the microaggression experiences at work scale. Journal of homosexuality, 66(10), 1380-1403.

[8] Eliason, M. J., Dibble, S. L., & Robertson, P. A. (2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) physicians’ experiences in the workplace. Journal of homosexuality, 58(10), 1355-1371.

[9] Freeman, J. (2018). LGBTQ scientists are still left out.

[10] Barres, B., Montague-Hellen, B., & Yoder, J. (2017). Coming out: the experience of LGBT+ people in STEM. Genome biology, 18(1), 1-4.

[11] Aerts, S., Van Houtte, M., Dewaele, A., Cox, N., & Vincke, J. (2012). Sense of belonging in secondary schools: A survey of LGB and heterosexual students in Flanders. Journal of homosexuality, 59(1), 90-113.

[12] Greytak, E. A., Kosciw, J. G., Villenas, C., & Giga, N. M. (2016). From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited. A Survey of US Secondary School Students and Teachers. Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). 121 West 27th Street Suite 804, New York, NY 10001.

Edmundo Medina holds a medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), where he found a passion for understanding different biological mechanisms. For his Master’s thesis, he directed a project in the characterization of an ion channel in a heterologous expression system where he developed expertise with neural cell culture and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate at New Mexico State University, focused on projects that combine his clinical knowledge with muscle cell culture and cannabinoid pathways for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases.

Resources for COVID-19

Quality Management Systems helpful during COVID 19

-Nicolas Mendez

Covid-19 separated employees from their colleagues and workspaces, exacerbating issues with the ways workgroups access and share information.  Quality Management Software (QMS) is one solution for addressing processes for remote teams.  QMS provides systems that document files and standardize processes[1].  QMS can be utilized to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any type of workgroup. By using QMS, teams can better meet their objectives improving communication and management of work tasks and duties, facilitating a mechanism for monitoring progress towards the completion of team projects.

Faculty members, administrators, researchers and project investigators involved in a workgroup or a laboratory will find these management systems useful because these resources allow collaborators to manage and access files from an online cloud for immediate use.  These systems can prove helpful for writing collaboratively or tracking performance metrics or collecting data.

However, using these new technologies can prove challenging for many work teams as it may require changing established processes that have been engaged years. As such, four challenges for implementing a QMS have been identified[2]:

  • Culture: A well-established team will likely have well-established processes. A growth mindset and adaptability for changing processes should be a value of the work environment and culture for the successful implementation of QMS.
  • Technology Resistance: Some work team members will experience steep learning curves with technology. This could slow the process of transitioning to a QMS. Additionally, when team members resist using technology, the investment in this software can result in loss.
  • Lack of resources: QMS cannot take the place of resources required to complete daily tasks. It is important to provide adequate resources for completing the job.
  • Complexity of process: Executing a process can require additional time and resources. It is important to keep process design as simple as possible and try to avoid

Team leaders should consider and respond to the challenges posed above before choosing a QMS.  Some available QMS[3]:

  1. MasterControl is an electronic quality management software (eQMS) system compliant with FDA regulations and ISO quality standards.
  2. Trackmedium is a cloud-based quality management system (QMS) software designed to help small-to-medium-sized teams automate quality management & compliance processes.
  3. Intelex EHS Management is a web-based software for the environment, health, and safety that optimizes team performance.
  4. GlobalVision is an automated quality control platform that inspects and verifies text, graphic, barcode, Braille, and spelling, to eliminate errors.
  5. Cority offers a web-based environment, health, safety, and quality management software solution to enhance environmental sustainability, occupational health, safety, and quality.

[1] ASQ. (n.d.). ASQ. Retrieved from American Society for Quality:

[2] Vrable, M. (2019). iBase. Retrieved from Solve Four Common Quality Management Issues with QMS:

[3] GetApp. (n.d.). Nubera eBusiness S.L. Retrieved from Top System Software:

Nicolas Mendez is a Master student in Industrial Engineering. He is from Bogota, Colombia and completed his Bachelor’s degree at La Salle University in 2018. During his professional career, he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry performing quality control, process analysis and cost evaluations. He is a member of the Recruitment Team for the Department of Industrial Engineering at New Mexico State University, working with middle and high school students to pursue a career in engineering. For his academic program he is working on research composites that will help to reduce waste in industry and re-use of environmental contaminant materials.


Community-based Research: An Effective Research Method for Working with Underrepresented Populations

– Margie Vela, Ph. D.  & Paul Gutierrez

Community-based research (CBR) also called community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative research approach that engages researchers and community members to effect change regarding the issue being studied[1]. This method provides unique opportunities to engage community members in discovering and effecting social change.  This approach began as a research method in healthcare and socio-environmental work and is currently expanding into various disciplines.  As such, this method has potential to make substantial contributions to many fields in STEM, including STEM education studies.

Three levels of community engagement and partnership have been identified[2]:

  1. Community-targeted research: Researcher selects topic; community involvement includes recruitment of participants and dissemination of findings.
  2. Community-based research: Researcher seeks community input; community decides on research topic; community involved in many aspects of research.
  3. Community-driven research: Researcher seeks community input; there is shared decision-making; community selects focus area for research; community fully involved in research process.

Researchers can also approach their studies through hybrid models of CBR that fit the parameters of their research. Senturia describes the levels of community partnership as a spectrum, allowing the researcher flexibility and adaptability of the approach[3].  Time, funding, scope, community incentives and objectives are factors to consider when deciding the research approach. Whichever level of community engagement and partnership, CBR is challenging, adding another level to the process. However, through community-based participatory research, citizens engage in affecting change and guiding the direction of their communities. Community researchers – especially those experiencing poverty or who are otherwise disadvantaged – can gain knowledge and experience that changes their perceptions and the perceptions of professionals and decision-makers with whom they share their findings. Furthermore, the skills and the self-confidence that are acquired through community-based participatory research can translate into other areas of life, positioning citizen-researchers to assume agency for influencing and directing the forces that affect them. Research proficiencies and analytical aptitudes often translate into competitive, marketable job skills for participatory action researchers. For some who have seen themselves as bystanders, this experience develops their capacity to become advocates who can transform lives and communities.

Considering the potential benefits of CBR, it is not surprising that many STEM education studies involved in targeting diverse youth populations generally adopt a Youth Participatory Action Research (Y-PAR) approach, engaging students in various levels of research. The Y-PAR Hub at Berkeley defines Y-PAR as “an innovative approach to positive youth and community development based in social justice principles in which young people are trained to conduct systematic research to improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them[4].” Among other benefits, this approach develops the capacity for students to conduct research, redefines experts from those who study the topic to those who experience and study the topic, and effects social change through principals of social justice empowering community/institutional members with empirical information and avenues for effecting change. Additionally, the intentional integration of STEM education studies and Y-PAR can support innovative Y-PAR research that can help anchor evaluation and practice in a meaningful theoretical framework of community change that articulates specific and concrete evaluative benchmarks, such as recent by Vela et al.[5],[6].

[1] Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2012). AHRQ Activities Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Address Health Care Disparities. Retrieved from

[2] Wells, K., Miranda, J., Bruce, M. L., Alegria, M. & Wallerstein, N. (2004). Bridging community intervention and mental health services research. American Journal of Psychiatry161(6), 955–963 [Article] [PubMed]

[3] Senturia, K. (2014). Community Based Participatory Research: Is It for You?  CREd Library. Retrieved from

[4] YPAR Hub. (2015). Young People Empowered to Change the World: What is YPAR? Retrieved from

[5] Vela, M., Lind, S., Vela, E. & Gutierrez, P. (2020). Exploring the Pathway Model Connecting Water and Education for Youth Living in the Colonias of the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Statistical Analysis. In Review.

[6] Vela, M., Silver, R. & Gutierrez, P. (2020). Using Photovoice to Explore the Pathway Model Connecting Water and Education for Youth Living in the Colonias of the U.S.-Mexico Border. In Review.

Margie Vela holds a Ph.D. in Water Science and Management from New Mexico State University and is a USDA NIFA Fellow. Dr. Vela has devoted her career to diversifying STEM through supporting and training underserved students. Her contributions to broadening participation of underrepresented groups in STEM include serving Delaware State University as the Assistant Director for the Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enrichment; performing analysis on broader impacts as a National Science Foundation Summer Scholar;  and serving Child, Youth, and School Services for Fort Lee, Virginia as the Project Director for the HIRED! Program. She has also designed and lead workshops for college students and researchers on various topics including interdisciplinary research, complex socio-environmental problems, and college success. As a researcher, Dr. Vela has successfully engaged community-based research focused on the relationships of water inequity and educational attainment for communities on the Southern U.S. Border while mentoring and supporting three undergraduate researchers during her doctoral studies. Margie has served as a USAID volunteer consultant for rural organic farmers in Colombia for water use and organizational development.

Dr. Gutierrez is a Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Economics at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Born and raised on a ranch near Grants, New Mexico, Dr. Paul has served at three land grant universities, Colorado State University, Washington State and University and New Mexico State University.  Dr. Gutierrez is one of twelve children.

Over 30 years of experience with Extension, at three Land Grant Universities—including 12 years Extension Administration and 18 years Extension Faculty/Specialist. Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Gutierrez served as Vice Provost for NMSU University Outreach and Engagement, and Associate Dean and Associate Director of New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension. As Director of Cooperative Extension at New Mexico State University, Dr. Gutierrez focused leadership on evolving NMSU Cooperative Extension into a highly accessible and responsive organization reflecting the diversity of the communities that it serves while remaining cognizant of distinct social and cultural diversity that characterizes New Mexico.

Dr. Gutierrez research and extension areas of concentration include curriculum and educational development in agriculture, business, and applied community economic development. The primary focus of research and extension programs include applied community development and agricultural and business management and beef cattle production economics. Specific teaching and learning goals included developing the student’s/communities critical thinking and analytical skills, both as individuals and as teams. At every opportunity students/clientele are encouraged to take on a greater responsibility for their learning by providing critical evaluation of their performance in the class or community. The ultimate value that guides my extension work is the belief in the development of people.

The HSI STEM Hub prioritizes the health of our staff and the communities we serve. In an effort to maintain social distancing, the Hub is transitioning our grantsmanship trainings to online trainings, webinars, and certification programs. We are excited to be a part of the development of HSI STEM faculty all over the country. We will keep you informed as we release thesetraining materials and begin registration for our webinars.
If you have any questions, pleasecontact us at [email protected].