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BLACK, BROWN, BRUISED: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation

Event Details

May 25, 2021
12:00 pm

Online

Free admission
Contact:
Paula Rees
413-545-6324

A public lecture and day of campus conversations with Ebony O. McGee, PhD, Vanderbilt University

Public Lecture: 12 noon - 1:15pm
Public lecture registration

Join an advance reading group - bring your own book (May 5-21)

Register for faculty/staff conversation hour with Dr. McGee (3:15-4:00pm)

Register for graduate student conversation hour with Dr. McGee (4:15-5:00pm)

In this talk, Dr. McGee will share insight into her research and first solo-authored book Black, Brown, Bruised, which brings together more than ten years of research on high-achieving, underrepresented racially minoritized (URM) students and faculty in STEM fields. Dr. McGee offers a deep appreciation of what it means to be a STEMer of color and academically successful in contexts where people of color are few and negative beliefs about their ability and motivation persist.

This event is sponsored by the College of Engineering and the Biotechnology Training Program with support from Polymer Sciences & Engineering; College of Information and Computer Science; College of Natural Sciences; and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ebony O. McGee’s Book:

Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation brings together more than ten years of research on high-achieving, underrepresented racially minoritized (URM) students and faculty in STEM fields. I attempt to offer a deep appreciation of what it means to be a STEMer of color and academically successful in contexts where people of color are few and negative beliefs about our ability and motivation persist. I explore questions such as these: How do some students manage to survive brutal academic climates, and what does it cost them? Why do schools continue to recruit URM people into disciplines whose climate regularly drives them away? How does excluding people of color from STEM disciplines limit innovation?

Ebony O. McGee’s Research:

My research goes beyond reciting basic principles and the virtues of mentoring and gets down to the nitty gritty. I argue for the implementation of sustainable actions that create equitable and inclusive contexts in which URM students and faculty feel welcome, can be open about who they are, and can see themselves as thriving in their chosen disciplines. I expose the need for unique supports designed for URM students in STEM, ones that go beyond ensuring their mere survival to helping them flourish and feel like valued members of their disciplines. These supports include a race-conscious acknowledgement of the challenges URM STEM students endure and the willingness of institutions and departments to confront their own racial discrimination, stereotyping, and hostile environments. Solutions do not involve fixing the URM student; rather, I put the burden for change on STEM departments and their racialized cultures.

Highlights from Ebony O. McGee’s bio:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant investigates how marginalization undercuts success in STEM through psychological stress, interrupted STEM career trajectories, impostor phenomenon, and other debilitating race-related trauma for Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx doctoral students.

  • Left a career in electrical engineering to earn a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago; a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago; and a NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University.

  • Cofounded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative or EDEFI (pronounced “edify”). Also cofounded the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), ICQCM receives support from the NSF, The Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation.

Read her full bio here >>