I earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from OU, but for 15 years I have been the Director of the Research Institute for STEM Education (RISE). Through RISE, I integrate my strong commitments to broadening participation in STEM careers and social justice with experience in higher education. As the Director of RISE, I collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team on nationally recognized scholarship. The team uses primarily qualitative and mixed methods to study how the complex milieu of factors such as faculty cultural competency, institutional policies, and academic cultures intersect with students’ sex, race, ethnicity, socio-economic background, and cultural capital to contribute to students’ academic experiences and eventual success in STEM majors.
I also hold a part-time administrative appointment as the Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research, where I lead the institutionalization of a strategy to engage every undergraduate student of all disciplines in authentic research, creative inquiry, and creative projects. In this position, I build resources to support faculty and students with regards to: developing course-based undergraduate research (UR); improving the mentoring experience and enhancing the benefits of UR for apprentice-type experiences; and, identifying assessment and evaluation frameworks and tools to employ at OU.
I am a founding member of the Sooner Engineering Education Center at OU. Nationally, I currently serve on the Committee on Diversity for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the executive board for the Minorities in Engineering Division of ASEE, the ASEE Standing Committee on P-12 Engineering, and as a Councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research. I am also a member of the Consortium (Advisory) Board of the Center for STEM Education for Girls. I have served several NSF projects as a consultant or advisory board member, particularly in relation to evaluation of small-scale projects. I led preK-12 outreach programs for 20 years, developing both physical science and engineering curriculum for informal education and formal education enhancement.