STEM@Starlight: Out in STEM
Sambuddha Banerjee, Teaching Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Paulette Vincent-Ruz, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Michigan
“My Journey to QuantCrit: How the Scientist Met The Fugitive In The Borderlands”
Panel & Discussion
Mary Farwell, Assistant Vice Chancellor
Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement
Karen Kelly, Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Brody School of Medicine
Shaun Simon, Associate Director
Ledonia Wright Cultural Center
Jen Teshera-Levye, Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Biology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Postdoctoral Associate in Chemistry Education, University of Michigan
Vincent-Ruz is a postdoctoral associate in chemistry education at the University of Michigan. She graduated with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico and obtained her doctorate in learning sciences and policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Due to her to unique combination of chemistry disciplinary knowledge and educational background, she became the first chemistry education researcher named a Future Leader in Chemistry in 2019 by CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society.
Vincent-Ruz’s research program builds an understanding of how systemic disadvantages hinder the success of marginalized students in chemistry. Specifically, how these barriers on access, opportunity and social messaging impact their science-related attitudes, engagement with the learning environment, and retention. She does this by using cutting-edge quantitative methods with a #QuantCrit lens. Her research program has contributed to the STEM and chemistry education fields, resulting in eight peer-reviewed articles.
Presentation Abstract: “My Journey to QuantCrit: How the Scientist Met The Fugitive In The Borderlands”
As a gateway to STEM, Chemistry Education Research (CER) has a moral imperative to progress toward more equitable student engagement with the sciences. While efforts to reform classrooms are ongoing, quantitative methods used in research can further propagate the marginalization and minoritization of specific student groups. This leads to the question “Can quantitative methods, long critiqued for their inability to capture the nuance of everyday oppression, support and further an equity agenda in CER overall?” Here, we present advancements in the framework of QuantCrit published across education research. While QuantCrit introduced five tenets toward identifying and avoiding oppressive quantitative practices, few works in CER employ tenants of QuantCrit resulting in “hyperpersitent” gap-gazing and deficit-oriented interpretations of student-level data that continue to marginalize specific student groups, despite best intentions. One of the barriers to applying QuantCrit is that it is hard to find advice on how to apply the principles empirically and how to make sure these principles are consistent with the researcher’s chosen theoretical framework. To support initiatives in CER seeking to transition to more equitable quantitative methods, suggestions for applying principles of QuantCrit to CER will be discussed.