Core Organizer Application, Fall 2020

The Access Network would like to expand the Core Organizer team through an application process in the Fall of 2020. This page documents information about how to apply for a position.  Joel Corbo (, Brianne Gutmann (, and Chandra Turpen ( are the “point people” who will be coordinating this process; please reach out to them at any point if you have questions, concerns, and so on.

Who can apply?

For the first round of new CO applications, we will recruit only “internally” to Access by accepting applications from anyone who has attended an Access Assembly, had an official role in the Network as a Fellow or Task Force member, or participated in one of the nine Access sites.

In future rounds of soliciting new COs, we plan to advertise to and accept applications from people outside of Access, like SACNAS (the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) and other organizations focused on student support and equity. However, because this is the first time that we are engaging in this process, we anticipate it going smoother for those who are already familiar with how Access operates, and we want to avoid harm and missed opportunities as we work out the bugs in the process.

What do COs do?

These are the critical activities that the CO team has identified as must-dos over the next year or so:

  • Surface-level evaluation of the network (e.g., the Assembly feedback survey)
  • Mentoring AFs
  • Mentoring NFs
  • Preparing for and running CO meetings
  • Monitoring budgets and finances
  • External communication and website maintenance
  • Shepherding the Starter Kit to completion
  • Onboarding new COs
  • Internal communication (email list maintenance, maintaining Slack)
  • Mentoring any projects that emerged from the Assembly that are already happening

We also identified things which we would like to do, if we have the bandwidth:

  • More thoughtful and deeper evaluation/research on the network
  • Other possible documentation projects
  • Planning and running CO retreats
  • Additional fundraising (grant writing, looking into other sources of funding)
  • Running the Emergency Fund, if it continues
  • More deliberate outreach to external groups, e.g., on social media 
  • Fostering connections with alumni
  • Mentoring additional task forces (e.g. on NF structure)
  • Mentoring any projects that emerged from the Assembly that have not yet begun
  • Advocating for specific needs at sites on behalf of site leaders

If you would like more information about what any of these items mean, please get in touch with a point person (email addresses at the top of this page).

How many new COs will there be?

Based on these CO activities listed above and our estimation of the time and energy needed for each activity, we aim for this round of CO recruitment to generate between one and nine new Starting or Full COs. The exact number of new COs will depend on a number of factors, including funding availability, mentoring bandwidth, and the needs of the Network.

The number of Liaison COs is separate, and depends on the distribution of CO affiliations across Access sites. Ideally, we would have at least one CO (of any type) from each site.

What is the application review process?

The application review process is broken into four stages:

Pre-Selection (if needed): If there are more total applicants than the entire selection committee has the capacity to consider, then the point people for the application process will read the open response questions for all of the applicants and apply the rubric. After this process, they will make consensus decisions about which applicants to move forward to the next stage such that the number of applicants is small enough that the entire selection committee has the capacity to review them all.

Individual Scoring: All members of the selection committee will review the open response questions from the applications and will use the rubric below to assign point values to each category.  Every reviewer will have their own tab in a spreadsheet where they will enter this information. One tab will present color-coded summary statistics (such as mean, spread, etc.) across all committee members, broken apart by applicant and by rubric criteria. This step will be done individually.

First Round Selection: The goal of the first round of selection is for the selection committee to come to consensus on which applicants are more or less suitable to be new COs and on a potential cohort of new COs that may be modified in the second round. This round will happen in a virtual meeting. All members of the selection committee will use the summary tab of the rubric score spreadsheet to prompt discussions about the suitability of each candidate for the CO role. The intention is for the color coding to help the committee to identify applicants’ strengths and areas to grow without hierarchical ranking.  By the end of this process, the committee will have chosen a preliminary set of applicants to fill the number of CO positions available.

Second Round Selection: The goal of this round is to make the final selection of new COs by taking into consideration demographic characteristics to ensure a diverse CO team. In this stage, answers to demographic questions and desired type of CO will be revealed to the committee. The committee will use this information to determine if the set of applicants chosen at the end of the first round is diverse as a whole (also taking into account existing COs).  If it is not, then the selection committee will choose other suitable applicants to swap for applicants in the set from round one to make a diverse set of COs.  Once the committee has come to consensus on the set of applicants to offer a CO position, their identities will be revealed to them

What is the application timeline?

  • Tuesday, October 6: Applications are due (but please reach out to the point people if you need more time!)
  • Tuesday, October 13: Pre-Selection phase completed
  • Tuesday, October 20: Individual Review phase completed
  • Tuesday, November 3: First and Second Round Selection phases completed
  • Thursday, November 5: Applicants are notified of results

Who will be on the application review committee?

The review committee will consist of about 10 people who have enough familiarity with Access that they can meaningfully apply the rubric criteria and engage in the rest of the selection process and who are not themselves applicants. All current COs are included on the review team by default, but can opt out if they wish. To provide an outside-the-CO-team perspective, we will invite the members of the Expansion Task Force and the New CO Task Force to be on the review committee. Current committee members (subject to change) are:

  1. Joel Corbo
  2. Scott Franklin
  3. Brianne Gutmann
  4. Emily Mehlman
  5. Ben Pollard
  6. Chandra Turpen
  7. Gina Quan

Of these committee members, Joel, Brianne, and Chandra are the “point people.” They are responsible for shepherding the application process, which includes communicating with applicants, answering questions about the process, coaching people through creating an application, anonymizing the applications, organizing the logistics of the selection process, following up with applicants if the selection committee has questions or needs more information, and communicating the outcomes of the selection process. if you have any questions or concerns about any part of the new CO recruitment process, including what you should include in your application, please reach out them (see email addresses at the top of this page.

How will my application be assessed?

The application consists of three open response questions and a number of questions related to applicants’ identities (demographics, site, roles in Access that they have filled, etc). Please see this PDF version of the application to see the exact wording of the questions.  During the Individual Scoring and First Round Selection phases of the review process, the review committee will ONLY have access to the applicants’ open response answers. They will not have access to any of the identifying information about the applicants in these stages, because we don’t want knowledge about who specifically the applicants are to bias their decisions. During Second Round Selection, this information will be revealed to the entire committee, and will be used as described above.

Note that the point people will have access to the entire applications from the start, because of their jobs is to ensure the anonymity of the information that the rest of the committee sees. They will do their best to not reveal the identities of any applicants until Second Round Selection

The open response questions will be assessed using the rubric below. The purpose of the rubric is to ensure the set of new Core Organizers has a diversity of strengths and areas for growth. Applicants should therefore think about how their answers align with the rubric when composing their responses, and they should feel free to reach out to the point people (Joel, Brianne, and Chandra, whose emails are at the top of the page) to discuss what to include in their responses and how that information will be used in the selection process.

Category0 Points1 Point2 Points3 Points
Commitment to learning, growing from mistakes, humility, and feedback
(6 possible points)
Not addressed in responseAscribes little or no value to humility and feedbackShows humility, and acknowledges the value of feedback and learning from mistakesProvides a compelling personal example of being humble and/or learning from past mistakes
Not addressed in responseLittle or no commitment to future growthDemonstrates commitment to future growth in generalDemonstrates commitment to future growth in particular areas
Identities and corresponding perspectives that they bring to the table
(6 possible points)
Not addressed in responseIdentity is discussed, but unclear how identities connect to relevant lived experienceIdentity and lived experience are discussed and connected at a surface levelLived experience stemming from an identity is fully explored
Not addressed in responseAcknowledges that identity-based oppression exists, but does not offer further perspectivesDiscusses identity-based oppression at a surface levelDemonstrates a deep and nuanced perspective of identity-based oppression
Alignment with Access
(6 possible points)
Not addressed in response
Explicit, overall mis-alignment with Access’s values
Some alignment with Access values, some explicit mis-alignmentOverall surface alignment with Access valuesAligned with Access values, evidence of deep consideration
Not addressed in response
Explicit, overall mis-alignment with Access’s values
Outside of Access’s activities and scopeSome overlap with Access’s activities and scopeCompletely aligned with Access’s activities and scope

Question 1 only

Visioning or critiquing one (or more) of the following: a vision for an improved academic culture, a vision for the Access community, and/or critiques of academic or STEM spaces. 
(3 possible points)

Not addressed in responseSeeds of a vision/critique are shared, but the ideas are not coherently connected with each other.A coherent vision/critique is shared, but with less well-developed rationale.A coherent vision/critique is shared with a well-developed rationale.
Questions 2 and 3 only

Current skills and past experience
(6 possible points)
Not addressed in responseBeginning to demonstrate commitment to relevant activityDemonstrates scattered commitment to relevant activityDemonstrates an ongoing, sustained commitment to a relevant activity
Not addressed in responseOne narrowly-focused skill/experienceSeveral interrelated skills/experiencesA variety of skills/experiences

How will anonymization work?

The prompts in the application itself have been crafted to balance the benefits of anonymity with the need to prompt meaningful and relevant information about applicants. We recognize that we cannot completely remove the identities of applicants if we are to make informed decisions. We also want to make sure that applicants respond fully in their application, so we aim to minimize the burden of anonymization on applicants themselves.

We ask that applicants not use their own name, the name of their university, or the name of their site in their open-ended responses. If applicants submit their application in audio/visual form, their application will be transcribed before it is reviewed by the selection committee and/or the video will be stripped from the audio their voices will be distorted. Beyond this, we won’t burden applicants with worrying about anonymizing their submission. We invite applicants to discuss any relevant aspects of their identity in their responses.

OK, so how do I apply?

Here is the link to the application.  Before filling it out, applicants should download a PDF version of the application so that they can see all of the questions they will need to answer and plan their answers ahead of time. As part of the application, you will be able to list which type(s) of CO you would like to be considered for (liaison, starting, and/or full). All applicants will be evaluated as a group, rather than by CO type. Applications are due on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

I have a question!

Please reach out to the point people—Joel Corbo (, Brianne Gutmann (, and Chandra Turpen (—with any questions.