About

dsc_0338I hold a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Northeastern University, an MLitt from the University of Glasgow in Postmodernity/Modernity, an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, as well as undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science (Ecology).

In addition to being an Assistant Professor of Writing (special appt) at Curry College, I am also Associate Editor for the Perspectives in Writing book series (The WAC Clearinghouse) and Chair of the Research and Publications Committee for the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. My research has appeared in The WAC Journal, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education.  I received a 2016 CCCC Emergent Research/er award for my research with underrepresented minorities in science. 

 

 

Current Research

In the past decade, the educational literature has been steadily growing with regard to racial and gender disparities in STEM education and their systematic roots. Yet, much of this work has focused on where our systems have failed students. My current research adds to this body of knowledge through the lens of success. Through case studies of ten students participating in a highly successful inner city undergraduate research program from August 2015 to August 2019, I am exploring how female students of color in science “use language to symbolically cue their [identities]”– in other words, develop discursive identitiesas scientists (Brown, Reveles, & Kelly, 2005). I explore the role reading, writing, speaking, and listening for academic purposes plays in that process. Data gathered to date includes over 24 hours of student interviews, over 10 hours of mentor and administrator interviews, 20 student research proposals (including all drafts with mentor feedback), and direct observation memos. Through the use of emergent thematic analysis (Boyatzis, 1995) and coding for rhetorical conventions of scientific discourse (using Hyland, 2011 and Swales, 1990 as referents), I am examining the role of students’ prior knowledge of scientific genres, as well as mentoring, program expectations, and cultural identities in the mediation of that discursive identity. These student experiences have the potential to be a rich resource for understanding the ways in which these factors influence the persistence of women of color in STEM and, more importantly, educational strategies for helping them meet those goals.

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