Multiple Intersectionalities among Faculty in STEM: An Arts-Informed Exploratory Study (MiaFS)

Lead Staff:
Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
Mia Ong

Summary

MIaFS addresses a largely under-studied population, in this case Faculty of Color in STEM (FCS) who are also Gender and Sexual Minorities (GSM), through the use of methods rarely used in STEM education research, namely participant-generated Arts-Informed Research (AIR). Informed by theoretical frames of race-based intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989) and of Queer Critical Theory (QueerCrit) (Misawa, 2010), MIaFS is a participant-generated arts-informed exploratory study that intensively focuses on the lived experiences of up to 6 GSM-FCS in Georgia. We will use the qualitative methodology of participant-generated AIR to address gaps in the literature and build upon existing knowledge related to unique barriers facing GSM-FCS and factors that have influenced and supported their persistence in STEM. This study intends to contribute in uncovering the systems that uphold systems of racial/ethnic and gender/sexual oppression and address the dearth of empirical research on GSM-FCS through participant-generated AIR.

Research Activity

The research plan includes three main steps:

  • Participant-generated arts-informed interviews. The project’s team will ask up to six GSM faculty of color in STEM to create pieces of art expression that represent their experiences in STEM academia. Then, these creative expression pieces will be used to elicit conversation in an interview.
  • Member check focus group. Once the team has conducted a preliminary analysis of the data, we will conduct a member-check focus group to confirm findings and to further develop them.
  • Mini-art symposium. We will organize a mini-art symposium with the art pieces resulting from the study, with the potential for art exhibit, readings, and performances being part of it. It will be attended by study researchers and participants, and will be open to the academic and general communities, with special emphasis on local groups organized around GSM and marginalized identities.

Impact

We will answer the following research questions:

  • What factors (institutional, departmental, programmatic, and interpersonal) have influenced GSM-FCS’s decision to pursue and persist in faculty positions in STEM higher education? What factors (institutional, departmental, programmatic, and interpersonal) are barriers to their persistence in faculty positions in STEM higher education?
  • How do participant-generated arts-informed research methods support GSM-FCS’s expression of their experience in academia? How do these methods make findings more “accessible, evocative, embodied, empathic, and provocative”?

Partners

Luis Leyva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt University, will be the project’s advisor. His research examines how women, students of color, and LGBTQ+ community members construct their identities in mathematics education as aspiring STEM majors. He will provide expertise in conducting research with the LGBTQ+ community in STEM higher education.