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Five Marsal School graduate and doctoral students receive Anti-Racism Collaborative summer research grants

September 18, 2023

The grants aim to support research projects focused on racial inequality, racial equity, and racial justice.


Five Marsal School graduate and doctoral students are among the 31 students across the university to be awarded summer research grants by the Anti-Racism Collaborative. Administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), the grants aim to support research projects focused on racial inequality, racial equity, and racial justice while advancing graduate student progress toward degree. Additionally, the program provides ongoing professional development and support to the grantees.

Marsal School 2023 Anti-Racism Graduate Research Grant recipients:

‘Estamos bien:’ Interrogating the colonial demands for organizational resilience in federal grant participation at Puerto Rican Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Cassandra Arroyo (doctoral student in Higher Education)

This mixed methods study interrogates the ways in which colonial and racial violence are embedded in racialized federal funding programs that are positioned as meritocratic competitions and how this dictates the allocation of resources. This study contextualizes these conditions within Puerto Rico, which operates as an unincorporated territory of the United States: “belonging to, but not part of.” Although all nonprofit institutions in Puerto Rico qualify for Title V federal funding designed to support Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), it is unclear the extent to which these resources are accessed by or improve the institutional capacity of Puerto Rican colleges and universities.

The Nature of Peer Diversity Interactions in STEM: How Cross-Racial/Ethnic Interaction Affects Students’ Perceptions of Climate
Juhee (Judy) Kim and Brandy Jones (doctoral students in Higher Education)

The racial imbalance within STEM graduate programs positions Black, Latinx, and Native American students as severely underrepresented and White and Asian students as overrepresented. Previous research has explored the hardships of underrepresented students in STEM, particularly Black students, who have negative peer experiences. Yet, there has been a lack of focus on how peer interaction takes place across diverse racial groups. Thus, this research aims to examine how underrepresented and overrepresented doctoral students experience peer interactions in engineering programs and seeks to develop implications relevant to refining diversity initiatives to produce more inclusive climates in STEM and improve student experiences.

A Seat at the Table: Black Girls Co-Designing a STEM Experience
Michole Washington (doctoral student in Educational Studies)

By empowering Black girls to become game designers, the study seeks to challenge the notion that Black girls are merely consumers of educational STEM activities designed for them, which can reinforce harmful stereotypes and perpetuate systemic racism. The study will analyze how Black girls redesign a STEM-based game and how it impacts their racial and STEM identities, highlighting the complex ways in which Black girls’ race and STEM experiences intersect. The research will reveal the opportunities and challenges of using critical game design for STEM education, which can help to address the inequities that Black girls face in STEM.

The Measures of Effective Teaching Project
Jianjun (Larry) Zhu (master’s student in Educational Studies)

As the prevalence of teacher observations has risen over the past decade, so too has evidence of their potential bias against teachers of color. Secondary analysis of the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) data have found that otherwise comparably instructionally effective Black and white women teachers receive different ratings for their questioning and discussion practices. We transcribe a subset of video-recorded lessons from the MET data, coding for the frequency and quality of these specific practices, to better understand the sources of potential bias and further document the subtle but significant role teacher evaluation plays in perpetuating white supremacy.