Who We Are


The University of Minnesota is one of the 10 public research universities in the United States that partners with SEISMIC.  

When joining the SEISMIC Collaboration, each SEISMIC Institution committed to

  • Bringing together a local community of education researchers and practitioners motivated to explore and improve equity and inclusion in foundational STEM courses, led by an institutional PI and supported by an administrative patron.
  • Hosting 6 or more SEISMIC-related speakers on their campus each year, as part of our Speaker Exchange Program. 
  • Getting research access to student data so their institution can participate in our parallel data analysis. Note, we do not share institutional data across SEISMIC, we share code to run parallel analyses and then share results across SEISMIC.
  • Connecting their existing STEM reform efforts to the larger SEISMIC project. It is hoped that these connections will both support and enhance local reform projects.
  • Paying the travel costs for four local team members to attend our annual collaboration meetings.







Join Our Team!

Details below

If you are currently affiliated with the University of Minnesota- as a faculty and/or student member– please reach out to your colleagues listed below for more information regarding how to join. 





Our Week Of SEISMIC!


Since Spring of 2022, SEISMIC has hosted several local, in-person SEISMIC events on each SEISMIC campus. University of Minnesota’s Week of SEISMIC took place September 26-30, 2022. 





Upcoming Events 


University of Minnesota hosts many seminars, talks, and events in general related to the work of SEISMIC. These opportunities are often highlight in the monthly newsletters that are sent to SEISMIC members. The link below gives you a detailed list of all opportunities available to members and non-members. 



Below you will find members of SEISMIC leadership that are University of Minnesota faculty and/or staff. Working Group members can use the Participants Database (password-protected) to find more members. 

Abdi Warfa

Local SEISMIC PI for University of Minnesota; Measurement Working Group; Collaboration Council (CoCo) SEISMIC East Representative


Jesse Lewis

SEISMIC Research Coordinator


Michelle Driessen

Implementing Change Working Group


SEISMIC Voices- University of Minnesota 

Read the full statements here.  


Sehoya Cotner

Associate Professor | College of Biological Sciences

“In my recent work, we’ve identified several areas where, at our institution, we see biased performance, participation, sense of inclusion, or retention in STEM courses or fields. I’ve seen how these biases can hinge on racial or gender differences, and how they may be correlated with “hidden identities” such as political persuasion, religiosity, sexual orientation, generation in college, etc…”


Michelle Driessen

Distinguished University Professor & General Chemistry Director | Department of Chemistry

“It is challenging to get a large group of busy people together at any given time. Our full SEISMIC team gets together and touches base about once a semester. Updates are shared on working group projects and progress, along with opportunities to pull in additional collaborators…”


Abdi Warfa

Assistant Professor | Department of Biology Teaching & Learning

My group conducts research that examines the nature of student-teacher interactions in undergraduate STEM classrooms. I am particularly excited about a new project that aims to capture and characterize the classroom talk patterns used by STEM faculty in foundational undergraduate STEM courses. The project builds on work we recently did at the University of Minnesota that characterized teacher discourse moves (TDMs) in undergraduate biology classrooms across three institutions…”





Sarah Hammarlund

Ph.D. Student | Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (EEB)

“I became involved with SEISMIC after joining a biology education research journal club at the University of Minnesota and hearing about a project that Sehoya Cotner and Cheryl Scott were working on in collaboration with Kevin Binning at the University of Pittsburgh. I was very lucky because they had just collected a huge amount of data about how “ecological belonging interventions” can improve students’ sense of belonging and performance in introductory STEM courses…”


Jesse Lewis

PhD Student, BAAAM Co-facilitator

“As a research coordinator, I have come to appreciate the complexity of supporting collaboration with multiple institutions in being able to navigate and grow a project. It has been an absolute delight of mine to support the great folks on the Office Hours Project and my fellow research coordinator in the experiments working group…”



University of Minnesota in the Spotlight 


April 2019 UMinn Local Team Meeting