Hosted by the BMCC-Hunter Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Bridge Initiative

This Series will meet on Zoom.

Asian American students make up the largest racial demographic at Hunter College (~33%) and the third largest racial demographic at BMCC (~15%). Representing a rich diversity of ethnic, religious, sociopolitical, economic, and diasporic communities, Asian American CUNY students are entering classrooms with a wide array of stressors, needs, strengths, and community identities. As instructors, how can we approach our teaching with attention to our Asian American students’ intersecting identities, sense of purpose, and belonging? How can we engage our students with cultural humility, in locating who we are in the classroom, as well as what our purpose might be as instructors?

This January, the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI) invites BMCC and Hunter colleagues from all disciplines to join us for an intermediate-level online seminar series focusing on Asian American students’ sense of purpose and belonging, and racial/cultural experiences throughout college.  For this Winter 2024 cycle of the Faculty Seminar Series (FSS), we invite former FSS participants and/or other full-time and part-time/adjunct faculty who have participated in racial justice faculty development programming (see below for more information).  In this way, we hope to expand on themes discussed in previous cohorts of the FSS, now with a deeper and more central focus on Asian American student experiences.  We continue to position these conversations as a springboard for broader reflections on pedagogy and justice-oriented teaching, especially in considering BIPOC students, first-generation college goers, transfer students, and working class student experiences.

This 4-session seminar begins by focusing on Asian American identities in the U.S. and accompanying college experiences. In contrast to previous iterations of the FSS, we will then delve deeper into Asian American student experiences in the classroom, including: Asian American racial, ethnic and immigrant experiences; Asian American mental health and wellness; and, pedagogical interventions for centering purpose and classroom engagement as informed by Asian American Studies. Through guided discussions, guest speakers, and small group discussions, participants will learn, discuss, and reflect on their own and their students’ experiences, as well as how they can support their students through various teaching interventions that consider identity, race, purpose, and belonging.

To concretize these reflections, participants will bring 2-3 elements of their syllabus they wish to enhance (e.g., an assignment they wish to adjust or add, new readings, changes in class discussion outlines, additions or adjustments to course objectives or essential course questions, changes in grading practices, changes in their approach to student-teacher relationships).  Former FSS participants will have the option to enhance previous FSS projects, or work on something new. Our goal is that these classroom enhancements build on previous reflections on racial identity, purpose, and belonging, and apply a deeper, more nuanced, and specific understanding of our CUNY classroom ecosystems. Each meeting will include a small-groups brainstorming/reflection session to discuss participants’ enhancements, and how they might practically apply the day’s topics to their teaching practice. Then, at the end of the seminar series, participants will write a short reflection piece about their enhancement and post it on our FSS Resources Website

Thus, this seminar asks us how to catalyze our Asian American and other students’ sense of connection to our course content, to their multiple identities, and to each other through meaningful teaching strategies and reflections. Our approach draws from the experiences of the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), which has developed a model of identity affirmation, personal motivation, and community building that centers Asian American students.

Stipend:  Participants who attend all sessions and complete a teaching innovation for a future course will receive a stipend of $500.

Who is eligible to apply? 

This intermediate-level seminar is open to:

  • Previous participants from our FSS Winter 2021-Summer 2023 cycles OR
  • Full-time or part-time/adjunct faculty at BMCC or Hunter who have participated in racial justice professional development cohorts or seminars
    • Examples may include: CETL’s Anti-Racist Pedagogy Events or Intensive Seminar, ACERT’s Critical Friends Workshop, ACERT’s Racial Equity in the Curriculum Workshop, etc.

All applicants should demonstrate an interest and previous experience exploring racial justice in the classroom. The application form will include space to describe your previous racial justice professional development experiences. You do not have to be assigned to teach in Spring 2024, but you should plan to work on a course and teaching activities that you expect to teach at Hunter or BMCC in the future.

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:

1) develop deeper understanding of the stressors and backgrounds of Asian American and other students at their CUNY institution;

2) learn evidence-based teaching practices for supporting Asian American students and other students of Color;

3) practice new tools that improve learning outcomes and cultivate belonging and motivation within their classroom;

4) engage in professional development with their colleagues across disciplines and institutions.

When is it, Where is it, and how will it work?

We will meet a total of six times, all online.

We begin with a kick-off and introduction in December on Zoom.

Kickoff: Tuesday, 12/12, 1-2:30pm

  • Session 1: Friday, 1/5, 1-3:30pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday, 1/9, 1-3:30pm
  • Session 3: Friday, 1/12, 1-3:30pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday, 1/16, 1-3:30pm
  • Early April TBD: Mid-semester Reunion and Check-In (Online)

What am I expected to do?

Seminar Participants will be expected to:

  1. Identify and reflect on various Asian American and other student experiences in the classroom, especially with respect to differences in racial and cultural experience, immigration stress, and financial need;
  2. Reflect on one’s own racial and cultural background, as it relates to identity and purpose as an instructor;
  3. Create/design one or more teaching enhancements for a specified course that incorporates Asian American students’ sense of purpose, culturally relevant pedagogies, and racial/cultural identities;
  4. Participate in small-group discussions, provide/receive feedback for incorporating student experiences into the classroom;
  5. Attend all 4 seminar sessions in January, an introductory Kick-Off Session in December, and a Reunion Session in April.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the form here: 

The deadline to apply is Monday November 20. We will accept up to 25 participants for this seminar. We hope to create an intermediate-level cohort from a diversity of disciplines, teaching experiences, and a mix of part-time and full-time faculty. We will be offering  introductory and intermediate-level seminar opportunities in the Winter and Summer as part of a 5-year grant, including programming for faculty who have not yet participated in similar professional development seminars.

Please email Marcia Liu at Hunter ( or the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative at BMCC ( 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.

Faculty Seminar Series Planning Committee
Marcia Liu, Asian American Studies (Hunter), HCAP Mental Health Specialist and FSS Co-Facilitator
Gabriela Fullon, Asian American Studies (Hunter), HCAP Mental Health Outreach Coordinator and FSS Co-Facilitator
Paul McPherron, English (Hunter), HCAP Principal Investigator, and FSS Co-Facilitator
Gina Cherry, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS) Director, BMCC