I investigate what it means to be racially marginalized while minoritized in the context of learning and achieving in STEM higher education and in the STEM professions. I study in particular the racialized structures and institutional barriers that adversely affect the education and career trajectories of underrepresented groups of color, particularly focusing on STEM entrepreneurship. This involves exploring the social, material, and health costs of academic achievement and problematizing traditional forms of success in higher education, with an unapologetic focus on Black folx in these places and spaces. My National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant investigates how marginalization undercuts success in STEM through psychological stress, interrupted STEM career trajectories, impostor phenomenon, and other debilitating race-related trauma for Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx doctoral students.
Education is my second career; I left a career in electrical engineering to earn a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago, and a NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University. With funding from eleven NSF grants, I cofounded and direct the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative or EDEFI (pronounced “edify”). I also cofounded the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), which aims to be a go-to resource for the development of quantitative and mixed-methods skillsets that challenge simplistic quantifications of race and marginalization. ICQCM receives support from the NSF, The Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation.
My latest research explores the relationship between STEM innovation and entrepreneurship, whose infrastructure requires enhancements to support a more diverse population of founders and business owners in STEM. I am part of the research team for National GEM Consortium’s Inclusion in Innovation Initiative (i4), which is a $3.5 million cooperative partnership with the NSF to develop a national diversity and inclusion infrastructure for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program. This program supports academic researchers in launching successful tech startups through entrepreneurial training, particularly translating their research discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Selected Previous Keynotes For 2021
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. University of Maryland, College Park
Texas A&M University, TX
Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). National Science Foundation
Systemic Changes to Address Mental Health and Behavioral Barriers Workshop. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science Engineering and Medicine
Teacher Education Program-STEM-Kick Off, UCLA STEM+ C3, CA
American Educational Research Association-Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Partnership for Expanding Education Research in STEM AERA-ICPSR PEERS Research Methods Series
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Harvard Boston, MA. April 27, 2021. Book was chosen as the community read for this semester for the school of Engineering.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism in 21st Century STEMM Organizations
Equity in Action PD Series. Aspire Alliance – The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Certificate Program, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan