IES Blog

Institute of Education Sciences

Creating a Community of Writers

The Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in the Education Sciences was established by IES to increase the number of well-trained PhD students who are prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research. IES encourages our predoctoral fellows to develop strong writing skills in addition to subject-matter and methodological expertise. In this guest blog, we asked IES predoctoral fellow, Todd Hall, co-chair of the Black Scholars in Education and Human Development Writing Group at the University of Virginia, to discuss how participating in this writing group has helped his development as an education researcher. Todd, is part of the IES-funded Virginia Education Science Training (VEST) program and studies early childhood education policy as well as school discipline in both early childhood and K-12 settings.

How did you become involved in the Black Scholars in Education and Human Development Writing Group?

I started my PhD in education policy in August 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic made networking and simply making friends awkward. During my first week in Charlottesville, VA, I watched wistfully from my window as a Black person jogged past my house. For me, the jogger represented communities of color at UVA that I did not know how to connect with.

Enter Dr. Edward Scott and Dr. Miray Seward, then students and co-chairs of the Black Scholars in Education and Human Development Writing Group. They sent me a personal email invitation to join the group’s first virtual writing retreat. When I joined the Zoom room, I found the affinity space I was looking for. I connected with graduate students whom I later turned to for informal mentorship, course recommendations, tips on navigating the hidden curriculum of grad school, insights from job market experiences, and examples of successful written proposals. The laughs shared virtually during check-ins between writing blocks helped ward off the pandemic blues.

I resolved to pay it forward, so I began shadowing Edward and Miray. When they graduated, I stepped into a leadership role alongside my co-chair, Sasha Miller-Marshall.

How has participating in the writing group helped you develop as a scholar?

The writing group has reminded me that I am not the only one who experiences writer’s block and has provided me with writing process role models. The professional development sessions we host have been one of the few opportunities that I have found to see faculty expose and reflect on their own writing challenges, from protecting their time for writing to incorporating critical feedback. This provides a unique perspective on the writing process—I often see faculty discuss works in progress, but the format is usually an oral presentation with slides rather than something written.

In the Black Scholars Writing Group sessions, speakers often share candidly about their own process, including writer’s block and how they overcome it. For example, a senior faculty member shared that they used voice memos to process their thoughts when they feel stuck. That disclosure normalized my experience of writer’s block and made me feel comfortable sharing that I write memos on my phone when I feel stuck. Moments like these have provided tools to overcome resistance in my writing process and normalized the experience of strategizing about writing rather than expecting words to flow effortlessly.

The presenters who lead sessions with our group have diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, but the focus of the group on creating affinity space for Black doctoral and PhD students allows me to be less concerned about stereotype threat. Whereas I am often the only Black person in other rooms, I am never the only Black person in this writing group. That alleviates any concern about being perceived as a token representative of Black people, or worse, as less capable if I choose to share my difficulties. In one session, I was able to unpack with the faculty speaker that a particular piece of writing was difficult because I had not yet answered the simple question of why the work was important. I got to that realization because the speaker modeled vulnerability about their own writing process, and I felt at ease to discuss my own.

How can the broader education research community help graduate student researchers develop as writers?

Where appropriate and feasible, education researchers can share their successful conference proposals, grant applications, budgets, reviewer response letters, and perhaps even dissertation chapters. If it does not make sense to post them publicly, researchers could offer to share materials with graduate students that they meet at speaking engagements, conferences, etc.

Successful models have given me helpful guidance, especially when tackling a new format. Beyond the writing group, I am immensely grateful to the alumni of my IES pre-doctoral fellowship who have provided many of their materials for current students to reference.

What advice can you give other student researchers who wish to further develop their writing skills?

Cultivate authentic relationships with a network of mentors who are willing to share examples of their successful writing and review your work. My advisor is amazing and thorough with her feedback. That said, it has been useful to strategically ask others who bring in complementary perspectives to review my work. For example, my advisor is a quantitative researcher, and I recently proposed a mixed methods study. Researchers who do qualitative and mixed methods work were able to challenge and strengthen the qualitative aspects of my proposal based on their expertise. You might also be applying for opportunities or submitting to journals that other mentors have succeeded with or reviewed for. They may help you anticipate what that audience might be looking for.

In addition, when you receive feedback, do so graciously, weigh it seriously, and ask yourself if there’s a broader piece of constructive criticism to apply to your other writing.


This blog was produced training program officer Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov) and is part of a larger series on the IES research training programs.

Risk and Resilience in Children Experiencing Homelessness

In celebration of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, Dr. Ann Masten, Regents Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, reflects on her research with children in families experiencing homelessness, highlighting what inspired her, key findings, and advice for the future. Her research on homelessness has been supported by IES, NSF, NIH, her university, and local foundations. She underscores the power of a resilience lens for research with high-risk families and the vital role of research-practice partnerships.  

What inspired you to study homelessness?

In 1988, the issue of homelessness among children surged onto the front pages of newspapers and magazines as communities were confronted with rapidly growing numbers of unhoused families. That year, Jonathan Kozol published his book, Rachel and her Children: Homeless Families in America, about the desperate lives of families without homes crowded into hotels in New York City. Kozol gave a compelling talk I attended at the University of Minnesota. At the time, I was doing part-time, pro bono clinical work with children at a mental health clinic run by the Wilder Foundation. The foundation president requested that I help them learn about the needs of children and families experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities.

Digging into the literature as I visited shelters and interviewed school personnel who were faced with the surge of family homelessness, I quickly learned that there was little information to guide educators or service providers. Shelters could barely keep track of the numbers and ages of children in residence each day, and schools were struggling to accommodate the overwhelming needs of kids in emergency shelter.

This search inspired me to launch research that might be helpful. I was deeply moved by the plight of these families who were trying to care for their children without the security of a stable home, income, food, healthcare, or emotional support. I had grown up in a military family, frequently moving and dealing with parental deployment, which was stressful even with adequate resources.

As an early career scholar, I had funding to start new work aligned with my research focus on resilience in child development. In 1989, I initiated my first study of homelessness, surveying parents and their children residing in emergency shelter compared with similar but housed families. Although I knew from the outset that homelessness was not good for children, I also realized it was important to document the risks and resilience of these families.

How has your research on homelessness evolved in the past three decades?

Initially, my research with students and community collaborators was descriptive, focused on discovering the nature of adversities children and parents had faced, variations in how well they were doing, barriers to school access, and what made a positive difference—the protective factors in their lives. Over the years, we learned that children and parents in emergency shelter had much in common with other impoverished families, although they often had faced higher cumulative risk, as well as more acute trauma, and their children had more education issues. Administrative longitudinal data provided strong evidence of academic risk among children identified as homeless, with significantly worse achievement than housed children who qualified for free lunch. Poor attendance was an issue but did not account for the striking range of academic achievement we observed. Importantly, there was ample evidence of resilience: warm, effective parents and sociable, high-achieving children, eager to play and learn.

Research on homelessness aligned with a broader story of risk and resilience in development, revealing the importance of multisystem processes and protections for children as well as the hazards of high adversity in contexts of low resources and structural inequality. Results pointed to three basic intervention strategies: (1) lowering risks and toxic stress exposure, (2) increasing resources for healthy child development, and (3) nurturing resilience at multiple levels in children, their families, schools, and communities.

Given the range of school readiness and achievement of children experiencing homelessness, we focused on malleable protective factors for school success, particularly during the preschool years. Parenting quality and executive function (EF) skills were strong candidates. We tested EF skills that reflect neurocognitive processes involved in goal-directed behavior that are vital to learning. Many of the children in shelters struggled with self-regulation and related learning skills, which predicted how well they did at school, both in the short-term and over time.  

With funding from a local foundation and IES, we developed an intervention to boost EF skills among young highly mobile children. Ready? Set. Go! (RSG) was designed to foster EF skills through practice embedded in routine preschool activities led by teachers, educating parents about brain development and how to encourage EF skills, and training parents and children with games, books, and music. Given family mobility, RSG was intended to be brief, appealing, and easy to implement. Pilot results were promising, indicating appeal to parents and teachers, fidelity of implementation, and encouraging changes in EF skills among the children.

In recent years, I have co-directed the Homework Starts with Home Research Partnership, a “grand challenge” project focused on ending student homelessness with a dedicated group of university, state, and community partners. This project integrates long-term administrative data in order to study effects of housing and other interventions on the educational success of students. Our work has underscored for me the power of collaborative partnerships and integrated data.

What advice do you have for researchers interested in conducting research on homelessness?

Connect with multisystem partners! Homelessness is a complex issue that calls for research-practice partnerships spanning multiple systems and perspectives, including lived experience.  Integrated data systems that include multisystem administrative data are particularly valuable for understanding and following mobile populations. Sign up for updates from Federal and state agencies, as well as NGOs that disseminate research updates about homelessness. And aim for positive goals! Our focus on resilience and positive outcomes as well as risks and adversity was key to engaging families and our collaborators. 


This blog was produced by Haigen Huang (Haigen.Huang@ed.gov), program officer at NCER.

Inspiring Girls to Pursue STEM careers with the Dear Smart Girl Career Exploration Platform

The Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), which IES administers, funds the research, development, and evaluation of new, commercially viable education technology products. In this guest blog, Abi Olukeye of Smart Girl HQ discusses the inspiration behind her recently completed SBIR project, Dear Smart Girl, and the importance of helping girls envision themselves in STEM Careers.

What is Dear Smart Girl?

Our Dear Smart Girl platform is a learning experience that combines online interactive game-based learning curriculum with offline engaging activity kits and personalized STEM learning recommendations to enable elementary-aged girls achieve STEM career literacy by age 12. Our Dear Smart Girl platform is the only STEM career education platform on the market with an ecosystem of products with a research-driven design featuring age-appropriate, experienced-based informal learning content designed to facilitate STEM discovery, self-efficacy, and fluency for young female-identifying learners.

Through our Dear Smart Girl digital platform, we transform the way girls perceive and engage in STEM learning pathways by providing an innovative multi-stage learning experience.

Learning begins in the whimsical town of Ingenia, where learners are immersed into a digital world that is designed to capture aesthetics and themes that resonate with female-identifying students. Learners begin by selecting a storyline, each of which is associated with a STEM career and features a project-based problem-solving activity. Along the way, students gain new vocabulary and fluency with the subject area being exposed to them. In stage two, learners take their new skills offline and work to complete the real-life version of their game project using our complementary Dear Smart Girl project kit. These two stages of learning combine powerfully to strategically introduce, challenge, and engage young girls in STEM career exploration that builds their confidence and literacy in STEM pathways.

What inspired you to create the Dear Smart Girl platform?

The idea was born out of personal need. I started observing that at about age 3 my daughters were often describing toys and activities as either “boy things” or “girl things.” I was really stunned to see how early biases develop and felt strongly about finding ways to balance out their views. My first instincts were to find more toys and activities that would appeal to them and activities that would expose them broadly. And I fully anticipated that a quick internet search would surface plenty of options. I was so wrong. Not only were there limited options, most of what I found did not appeal to my daughters in terms of type of activity and aesthetics.

Reflecting on my own experience as someone who has a STEM degree and was, at the time, working at a global manufacturing firm leading technical projects, I decided to dive into the research about girls and STEM. I discovered that although women participate equally in the labor force, they only make up 28% of the STEM workforce. In addition, early adolescence tends to be when girls lean away from STEM at a higher rate than their male peers. That inspired me to work with other talented and passionate people to build products and facilitate experiences and help young female-identifying learning achieve STEM career literacy by age 12.

What are the types of STEM careers featured in Dear Smart Girl and why did you choose them?

Our pilot career module is an electrical engineering module, but over the course of the next two years, we are working to add five more game modules featuring chemical science, mechanical engineering, biology, software development and product designer careers. We select careers based on science standards being taught in 4th–7th grade. Our goal is to take topical themes and relate them to their real-world applications while also putting them in the context of the career domains that features the scientific concept and related skills. We also working to align to the National Career Clusters framework, which supports Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. 

What elements of Dear Smart Girl are uniquely tailored to female-identifying students?

We tailor our product to help sustain interest in STEM Career pathways in the following ways.

  • We are intentional about selecting and mapping careers in ways that show real-world relevance. Anecdotally, we find that when learners are excited about what they are building, they are more engaged and motivated to learn the skills needed to accomplish their goal.
  • We optimize our projects to create an experience that is a perfect blend of learning a new technical skill and creative design. According to Microsoft research on closing the STEM gap, 91% of girls describe themselves as creatives. When girls learn about how real-world STEM jobs can be used to help the world, their perception of the creativity and positive impact of STEM careers can more than double.
  • We use beautiful illustrations, colors, and imagery to creative engaging worlds and digital environment rich with representation for diverse female-identifying students.

What advice can you give technology developers who focus on female-identifying students?
For developers working on products designed for female-identifying students, I recommend a collaborative development approach. We co-create every career module we work on with students to get feedback early and often. While it is easy to fall for stereotypical storylines, female-identifying students have diverse needs, interests, and learning styles that should be celebrated with well-designed learning platforms.

What are the next steps for Dear Smart Girl?

We are so excited to have been recently award a phase 2 award to expand and commercialize our career exploration modules. Over next two years, we will develop and launch five additional career modules, expand educator tools, build in extension activities, and launch to CTE programs across the country.


Abi Olukeye is the founder and CEO of Smart Girl HQ, a company dedicated to closing the gender gap for females in the STEM pipeline by increasing the number of positive experiences young girls have with STEM early in their learning journey. Her vision is to create an ecosystem of products that when used together are a powerful catalyst for sustaining long-term engagement in STEM for young girls. Her work has been supported by National Science Foundation and the Department of Education through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Awards, the NC Idea Foundation, and the Vela Education Fund. Abi is the chair of the board of CSEdResearch.org and a past member of the Computer Science K12 Standards Committee for North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Virginia Tech and MBA from Indiana University. She and her husband live in Charlotte, NC and have two young daughters who greatly inspire her work.

This blog was produced by Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov), co-chair of the IES Diversity Council.

Counting and Listening to Native American Students: Reflections on NIES and its Potential

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, IES is highlighting the National Indian Education Study (NIES) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in partnership with the Office of Indian Education (OIE). Dr. Meredith Larson, who has been with the National Center for Education Research (NCER) since 2010 interviewed Dr. Jamie Deaton about NIES. Dr. Deaton has worked at NCES since 2009 and became the NIES Project Director in April 2010.

What is NIES, and how is it similar or different from other NAEP studies?

NIES describes the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the United States. Since 2005, NCES has administered it in conjunction with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) state-level assessments in mathematics and reading at grades 4 and 8. The very large NAEP sample allows us to report data for AI/AN students nationally and for various subgroups of AI/AN students. In NIES, students first take either the NAEP mathematics or reading assessment, followed by a NAEP survey questionnaire, and then an NIES survey questionnaire (which emphasizes Native language and culture). Both NAEP and NIES survey questionnaires are also administered to the teachers and school administrators of AI/AN students. You can learn more about the survey design here.

 

 

What are some examples of how have policymakers, practitioners, or researchers used it?

NIES data has been used in Congressional testimony and at the state level. For example, NIES data has been included in past testimonies to the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education; and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. At the state level, Oregon used NIES data to support a successful request to its state legislature to approve a full-time Indian Education Specialist within the Oregon Department of Education.

We also want to ensure that a variety of educational leaders—especially Native leaders—are aware of the study and can access the results and products. In addition to the online reports, we also produce hard copies to ensure results get to those without easy access to online documents. We help distribute these widely via a Native-owned NIES contractor (currently Tribal Tech, LLC) to Tribal colleges and universities, AI/AN studies programs at colleges and universities, all federal and state recognized tribes, AI/AN focused media, research centers, and other related AI/AN non-profits.

In addition, we want to get the results in the hands of school leaders. For example, all Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools serving grades 4 and 8 are in the NIES sample, and all of these schools receive hard copies of NIES reports.

What makes working on NIES study interesting to you?

Building partnerships with Native leaders both within and outside the federal government has been really rewarding. We administer NIES on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education (OIE) which provides funding for the study; integrates NIES data collection with its work when possible; and serves as a strong partner, advocate, and disseminator for NIES results. NIES is not only conducted in conjunction with the NAEP program but also conducted in conjunction with OIE’s work. Over the years, I have regularly presented to OIE grantees, and this has been a wonderful forum to share more about the study and also draw connections to and learn more about grantee-related work.

For NIES to be successful, it needs to be guided not just by assessment experts, but by Native experts. To this end, NCES established the NIES Technical Review Panel (TRP) made up of individuals with expertise in matters related to the education of AI/AN students. Members oversee the development of the NIES survey questionnaires and guide the planning, drafting, and revision of NIES publications with their ongoing expert consultation. In conjunction with the release of the last two NIES reports, the TRP has also authored a companion document, called  Setting the Context, that provides perspective on how this study fits into the larger sphere of education for AI/AN students. Tribal Tech recruits BIE schools for the study, disseminates study results at conferences focused on AI/AN education (for example, National Indian Education Association Annual Convention & Trade Show), and has established a long-term partnership with a Native-owned printing company (Sault Printing Company Inc.) that helps produce and disseminate NIES-related documents.

What excites you about NIES?

I’m very excited about last year’s release of the 2019 NIES Qualitative Data Companion as a public use data file (available in Excel files on the NIES main page). The data release marked the first time in NIES program history that qualitative survey questions, collected since 2005, became publicly available. Prior to the release, we ensured that all student and teacher responses were reviewed and edited to remove the presence of names or addresses and any other Personal Identifiable Information (PII). My hope is that having an established process for releasing this type of data will be beneficial to other IES data collections. Members of the TRP deserve a lot of credit for continuously advocating for this data. Had the TRP not done so, there was a real possibility that we would have dropped these qualitative questions from future data collections. Instead, we now have a model to follow for getting this data out to the public. We are also working on releasing previous NIES Qualitative Data Companions from earlier NIES administrations too.

From a research perspective, what do these qualitative data provide?

Researchers without a restricted-use data (RUD) license now can access this robust dataset. We recognize that many of our stakeholders live in remote areas and/or have other barriers to accessing the RUD (for example, those not affiliated with an institution). I think for doctoral candidates these data provide an opportunity for a dissertation with data already gathered and accessible for analysis.

There are many different angles to approach this open-ended data. For example, the final question on the NIES student survey is “What else would you like to say about yourself, your school, or about American Indian or Alaska Native people?” I’m curious what researchers would find as key differences when comparing grade 4 responses to grade 8. What are some themes and patterns in student respondents? What is the breakdown between responses that pertain to Native language and culture, and how does this differ across school types, such as public schools run by the states and schools operated through funding from the Bureau of Indian Education?  

Are there other resources for researchers interested in NIES data?

Another public use tool is the NIES Data Explorer available at NDE Core Web (nationsreportcard.gov). This explorer includes a wealth of data from all previous NIES administrations. If you go to the NDE Core Web page, you will find other relevant data explorers available including the Main NAEP, High School Transcript Study, and Long-Term Trend.


This blog was produced by Meredith Larson (Meredith.Larson@ed.gov), research analyst and program officer for postsecondary and adult education, NCER. Individuals or organizations interested in learning about field-initiated research or training grant opportunities to conduct work relevant to Native American/Alaska Native prekindergarten through postsecondary and adult education may contact her for initial technical assistance.

Education Research, Eyesight, and Overcoming Adversity: An Interview with Pathways Alumna Carrissa Ammons

The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program was designed to inspire students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in doctoral study to pursue careers in education research. In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we asked Carrissa Ammons, an alumna of the California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) Pathways training program, to share her experiences as a student-researcher with low vision.

What sparked your interest in education research?

My interest in education research stems from my own lived educational experiences as a formerly impoverished person who was born with a visual impairment. My innate passion for understanding the world around me motivated me to continue learning, and my intrinsic curiosity drew me towards the sciences at a rather young age. Over time, I became interested in psychology, and I entered college with the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist. However, my exposure to research methods and applied research experiences within the Cultural and Community Lab at CSUS gave me the confidence to pursue a career as a researcher. Now, I want to use my knowledge and work to help reduce barriers to education for individuals who have not been historically represented within education and the social sciences.

What was your favorite experience as a Pathways fellow?

My Pathways summer internship at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has been an invaluable part of my professional and personal development. The internship was challenging at times but also incredibly fulfilling. All of the SCOE staff I worked with were supportive and gave me great insight into how the state values and uses evidence-based decision making and evaluation. During my 10-week internship, I assisted with a variety of projects, including evaluations for programs relating to bullying prevention, underage substance use prevention and intervention, and California National History Day. I also helped complete a literature review on evidence-based practices in recruiting and retaining diverse teacher candidates for the SCOE internal education career pipeline program.

I learned that researchers who work for state organizations must excel at communicating their findings to both technical and non-technical audiences because they are often tasked with communicating data to individuals with little to no background in research, and because they heavily rely on data visualization as a means of disseminating information in a way that is easy to digest for a diverse array of audiences.

What have been some challenges or barriers you have faced in academia as a person with low vision?

Transportation and inequitable access to written and visual information have been the most salient barriers to education that I have faced during my academic career. I am unable to obtain a driver’s license in most states due to the level of my visual impairment, so I am often dependent on public transportation. While I am incredibly grateful for the increased freedom that I have been granted by the Sacramento Regional Transit, some areas of their system can still be a bit inconsistent—it can be difficult, if not impossible at times, to make impromptu changes to my weekly routines. This structural restriction to my mobility has made it difficult to participate in events and activities outside of certain time frames and areas, and this can evoke a lot of anxiety and aversions for me as I try to fully participate in academic experiences and extra-curricular activities.

For example, reaching the CSUS campus from my home via transit requires a transfer from a bus to the light rail and onto another bus. This process takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from door to door for a trip that would typically take approximately 20 minutes by car. If an issue arose during any leg of this trip (such as a late or canceled bus), it could set me back an hour or more depending on the time of day. This has caused me to miss entire classes and events at times. Alongside the stress of arriving places on time, relying on the public transit system as one’s sole means of transportation can be incredibly taxing mentally at the end of the day. There were many times during my evening commute home from college when the bus on the last leg of my trip would be canceled for the evening due to a driver shortage, forcing me to either ask a loved one or use a rideshare service (which as a student was not always financially feasible). 

Having low vision has also been a barrier throughout my education; however, major advancements in accessible technology during my college years have provided me with more equitable access to visual information. There are some environments, such as academic conferences, where I still struggle to gain access to the same quality of experience as my fully sighted peers. For example, academic poster sessions are environments that require a lot of reading, and for individuals to be able to quickly scan information in order to get the most out of the limited time provided for each session. While most presenters are happy to explain their work to their onlookers, it can still be difficult at times to get the full picture of their work without being able to fully examine all the components of their posters, such as charts or tables.

One easy way presenters and conferences can disseminate information in a more equitable way is to include tools like QR codes on visual material to allow individuals to view them in ways that may be most accessible to them. Academic organizations can also make more of an effort to assess the needs of their members prior to conferences, rather than assuming that everyone with a disability will be able to advocate and accommodate for themselves prior to the event, especially those that claim to be student-friendly organizations. Learning to navigate new spaces can be difficult enough, let alone having to do so while having physical or mental traits that were not considered during the planning and implementation of these events.

What advice would you give students with disabilities who wish to pursue a career in education research?

I wish all students with disabilities could recognize that the concept of disability is a byproduct of living in a society that was not built with us in mind, and those traits do not reflect any deficit in our personal ability to achieve our dreams. It may be difficult at times, but never forget that representation is the only way we, as a scientific community, can achieve the fullest picture of the human experience and push the needle closer to creating an inclusive society for everyone, including ourselves. Despite being faced with myriad historic and contemporary barriers to inclusion and belonging within our society, we have always been here, we will always be here, and our voices deserve to be included in conversations pertaining to education and human development.


Carrissa Ammons recently graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. As part of her Pathways fellowship at CSUS, Carissa conducted research with Dr. Lisa Romero on the efficacy of motivated self-regulation theory in mitigating implicit biases of college level educators. This summer, Carissa served as a data analysis and visualization intern at the Sacramento County Department of Education’s Center for Student Assessment and Program Accountability. Carissa is currently applying to graduate school and says her ultimate career goal is to become a professor of psychology and run her own research lab with a focus on studying diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within higher education, with an emphasis on personal identity and stereotype threat.

This NDEAM blog post was produced by Katina Stapleton (Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov), Program Officer for the Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training program.