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    Existing Research Projects 

Health Profiles of African American Women on the Tenure Track and Beyond

In this mixed methods collaborative project (with Bridget Goosby, University of Texas at Austin), we examine how Black women academics (pre- and post-tenure) health is effected by their experience in higher education as scholars. 

Academic and Career Socialization for Underrepresented Students (ACSUS):

This collaborative project (with Dorian McCoy, University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Courtney Luedke, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater) is a longitudinal study of the academic and career socialization of underrepresented (first-generation, low-income, students of color). The project explores the role of academic learning communities in fostering students’ dispositions toward upward social mobility and graduate school aspirations. Students (who are involved from freshman through their senior years in college), faculty, and staff are included in the study. This study is funded by the UW-Madison Fall Research Competition Grant (2014).


African American Women's College Alumnae Project (AAWAP):

This study examines the reflections of African American female college alumni (from 1955-2011) on their success and opportunities in college. Five metropolitan areas are included in the study: Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Lincoln/Omaha; Nebraska; and New Orleans, Louisiana.


The Graduate School Pipeline Project:

This collaborative (with Dorian McCoy, University of Tennessee – Knoxville) study is a comparison between perceptions of access to graduate programs for students of color in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at two public, land-grant, research universities in a Mid-Atlantic state, one of which is the predominantly White flagship university in the state and the other is a historically Black land-grant. Three populations are compared in the study: undergraduate students of color, currently enrolled graduate students of color, and faculty in the STEM disciplines at each institution. The study was funded by a National Science Foundation sub-award.


Race in the Public Discourse Project:

This set of studies offers an analysis of ways that race is invoked or directly discussed in public and policymaker discourse about affirmative action or alternatives to affirmative action (e.g., the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan). These are collaborative projects with Dina Maramba (State University of New York at Binghamton) and Thandi Sule (Oakland University) with the goal being to better understand how race is manifested in college admissions proces


  • Racial Discourse and the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan Project:  This project examines Texas legislative testimonies and popular media sources (newspapers, opinion editorials, online blogs and comments) regarding changes an alternative to affirmative action that guarantees college admission to high school students who graduated in the top 10% of their class. This work generally demonstrates the way that racial discussion disappears even while policymakers attempt to contemplate how to maintain racial diversity in college admissions decisions.


  • Racial Discourse in the Case Project: Analyzing on-line comments on editorials about the Fisher Supreme Court case, this project reveals ways in which public stakeholders frame and discuss race in college admissions decisions. These findings suggest deep divides in public stakeholders’ opinions about how race should (or should not) be considered in college admission decisions. We plan to continue this line of research, also analyzing the Supreme Court testimony and decision once the final ruling is announced.



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