Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Jazmine R. Alexander - Florida A&M University
This research will expand the knowledge base on barriers to and strategies for the advancement of women graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at a large Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Building on the work of a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation award which examines organizational barriers that impede the progress of women STEM faculty, this research shifts to the pipeline at an ADVANCE institution, looking at institutional culture, policy and practice and their impacts on women graduate students’ goals and motivations to enter the academy. Specifically, the examination of Black women who are STEM alumni and graduate students at a large HBCU will extend the research of intersectionality by examining this phenomenon in a context where Black women students are the majority, but where Black women STEM faculty are the minority. The graduate educational experiences of Black women have been linked to specific gendered-racial microaggressions, which can be particularly persistent, pervasive and detrimental in STEM. These subtle, yet damaging remarks can be rooted in stereotypes projected on to Black women from society, and the overall culture of science, which is more aligned with the skills and experiences of White middle-class men (Johnson 2007, 807). This mixed methods research will give voice to the experiences of Black women graduate alumni and students from STEM programs in eight (8) schools and colleges. The objective will be to identify experiences of microaggressions, as well as explicit and implicit bias, and their impact on the overall success and career aspirations of women students and alumni. The results will be used to develop an intersectionality theory to measure the frequency of stress and overall happiness of Black women graduate students at HBCUs and how their experiences as graduate students impact their choices to join the academy as faculty. This research will contribute to a deeper intersectional understanding of the complexities of gender issues at HBCUs, while also advancing more nuanced framing of challenges and factors for the success of Black women in STEM, regardless of institutional type.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation: HRD-1824267
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Marcia Allen Owens, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I developed the topic and methodology.