Get the Facts Out Change Agents: What they can do for you

The Get the Facts Out (GFO) project was launched with colleagues designated as Change Agents (CAs) in each of the three focal disciplines of the project — physics, mathematics, and chemistry. The role of a CA is a dynamic and exciting one, and your chemistry CAs are here to give you some insights on what GFO CAs do and how we engage with the GFO project and broader community to help change the conversation around STEM teacher recruitment.

You might be wondering who the CAs are, and you can visit our GFO Community page to find out. Please keep in mind that you might already know one or more of the CAs. If you do not yet know any of the CAs, we can’t wait to meet you; please reach out to us. If you’d like to know what the CAs do and how we connect with other members of the GFO community, please read on.

Primary CA Duties

We lead with, and use, GFO-developed materials across institutions (including our own) to help faculty AND college and university students overcome currently held myths about the teaching profession. CAs take the initiative when opportunities arise (and create more opportunities) to help others come to the GFO-researched positions on STEM teaching. This involves extending the reach of the project to committees within professional organizations, academic advisors, and even career centers. We also participate in conferences and meetings, helping attendees to challenge their own misconceptions about the K-12 STEM teaching profession and pointing them to the rich suite of GFO resources and tools. More detail about this aspect of CAs’ work is described in this blog post by GFO’s evaluator, Stephanie Chasteen.

Supporting GFO Champions 

Recently, we’ve been engaging directly with GFO Champions to support their work by helping them to appropriately adapt materials to suit unique institutional contexts and circumstances. Backing Champions means acclimating them to the GFO resources while serving as disciplinary sounding boards. The specific needs for Champions that vary by disciplinary context are important, and it is easy to jump right into work with colleagues from our own disciplines. And there’s a bonus — it has been such a pleasure for us to grow our own professional networks through working with the GFO project.

Get to Know a CA

If you are a GFO Champion (or are thinking about signing up) and haven’t already heard from one of the GFO CAs, please reach out to a CA in your disciplinary area of expertise and/or interest. We would be happy to welcome you to the GFO community and support you. A quick meeting on Zoom can help to steer you toward resources most relevant to your work context and interests associated with GFO. Most of all, we get to meet you, learn from you, and extend the GFO connection in our disciplines.

GFO Chemistry Change Agents: Ellen Yezierski, Etta Gravely, William Hunter, Jennifer B. Nielsen; Kenetia Thompson, Jessica Grimes, Stephanie Ryan; GFO Chemistry Co-Principal Investigator: Terri M. Chambers