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Meet Dr. Ebony McGee

Dr. Ebony McGee of Johns Hopkins University is a Professor of Innovation and Inclusion in the STEM Ecosystem in the School of Education and the Department of Mental Health under the School of Public Health. Dr. McGee is an electrical engineer by training and an 11-time NSF investigator awardee. She is the leading expert on race and structural racism in STEM, with all its toxic consequences and the growing resistance to the traditional STEM ecosystem. 

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This includes the experiences and mental health consequences of seeking STEM training and occupations for Black and other minoritized students and professionals. She also investigates the limits of resiliency, wellness, and career embeddedness in the STEM ecosystem. She founded Racial Revolutionary and Inclusive Guidance for Health Throughout STEM (R-RIGHTS) and co-founded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI), as well as the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), with support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the WT Grant Foundation. 


Her latest research explores the relationship between STEM innovation and entrepreneurship. Her work focuses on the infrastructure enhancements required to support a diverse population of founders and business owners in STEM. She served as a member of the research team for the National GEM Consortium’s Inclusion in Innovation Initiative (i4), which is a $3.5 million cooperative partnership between the NSF and the National GEM Consortium, who provides scholarships for master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science, to develop a national diversity and inclusion infrastructure for the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program for STEM entreprenership. 

A key concept in her work is equity ethics. In articles in the Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Engineering Education, American Journal of Education and Teacher College Record (in-press), she has demonstrated that racially minoritized people in STEM gravitate toward empathic social causes, such as the elimination of disparities, and racial justice efforts within and beyond their STEM pursuits. Their racial and ethnic marginalization—and the way they themselves have suffered—translates into concerns, efforts, and actions towards ending local and global disparities. 


Her first sole-authored book is Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation, for which she conducted 319 interviews with high-achieving, underrepresented undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty of color in STEM fields. She found that key motivators for their persistence in STEM were catalyzing change, improving communities, and being the Black/Latinx/Indigenous STEM professors that many of these students never had. The book has received celebrated reviews by Teacher’s College Record, University World News, Science Education Review, Chemistry World Review, and the Journal of Intersectionality.

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