Genia Bettencourt

Genia Bettencourt

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Center for Student Success Research

Genia Bettencourt is a Research Affiliate with the Center for Student Success Research (CSSR) at UMass Amherst and instructor with the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership and Administration. She earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education and a graduate certificate in Social Justice Education from UMass Amherst. Her research centers on equity for marginalized populations within higher education by focusing on issues of social class, college access, student activism, and STEM learning. Genia has a background in student affairs and social justice education, with work experience in residential life, student leadership, and pre-college programs.


Social class, students with disabilities, college access, marginalized student populations, student activism, STEM learning, qualitative research


Recent Works

Bettencourt, G. M. (2020). “When I think about working-class, I think about people that work for what they have”: How working-class students engage in meaning-making about their social class identity. Journal of College Student Development, 61(2), 22-38.

Bettencourt, G. M., Manly, C. A., Kimball, E., & Wells, R. S. (2020). STEM degree completion and first-generation college students. A cumulative disadvantage approach to the outcomes gap. Review of Higher Education, 43(3), 753-779.

Bettencourt, G. M., Mansour, K. E., Hedayet, M., Feraud-King, P.T., Stephens, K.J., Tejada, M. M., & Kimball, E. (2020). Is first-gen an identity? How first-generation college students make meaning of institutional and familial constructs of self. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, & Practice.

Bettencourt, G.M., George Mwangi, C. A., Green, K. L. & Morales, D. M. (2020). High school-university collaborations for Latinx student success: Navigating the political reality. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 24(1), 17-41.

Bettencourt, G. M. (2019). (Social) class is in session: Becoming student-ready for the working-class. About Campus, 24(3), 4-11.

Bettencourt, G. M. (2019). #Activism: Understanding how student leaders utilize social media to create change. Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, 5(1), 1-33.