Emily Saras – FSU Doctoral Student (Sociology) – Digital Narratives

my name is Emily Danish honest and I'm a PhD candidate in sociology so I went to undergrad at Wellesley College and there I studied opera performance and anthropology so I took interesting twists and turns to ultimately get it sociology sociology of Education is a really cool and somewhat interdisciplinary field I kind of took a non-traditional path and pursuing a PhD while working here full-time but it was perfect for somebody who wants to study all things educational institution I focus on studying universities and what happens in those four undergraduate years for students right now I'm undoing a dissertation that focuses on STEM education and equality and look specifically at institutional racism within the entire institutional context of higher ed I was working with a lot of students who do STEM education and just noticing the obvious disparities by race and gender this didn't make any sense when you look at the justice scientific literature and what science science technology engineering math what they value is objectivity and I was like how can there be so much inequality in a discipline that's supposed to focus on the objective the facts the qualifications that's why I dug deeper and started really talking to students while I was working here and then looking at institutional data to really and how these different barriers prevent totally talented qualified innovative young minds from entering the career pathway instant I teach twice a week I love that like direct interaction with students I'm so very much a direct service noun 1 you know mentor student kind of person and that's the stuff that really motivates me it keeps me going because I know individual lives are impacted so much by education in my research I use both quantitative those statistical methods and also qualitative methods and in particular I'm studying what's called stem intervention programs that that's supposed to help these science engineering technology and math students excel in their coursework so these programs are often designed and implemented without like a big theory of change or how these these research programs or these mentorship programs will actually make incremental outcomes for students but we like a lot of research that explains and shows how these help especially racial ethnic minority students actually improve and our long-term outcomes I was just named as a PEO Scholar Award recipient so this is that an award that's that will go towards funding my dissertation I'm really excited about this it's helping me expand my dissertation research to doing interviews and focus groups at universities up and down the east coast of the US we can really dig into you know geographic regional and institutional differences in STEM education right now and under you know undergrad education I think a lot of students encounter a lot of hurdles in their graduation journey in general give yourself permission to have a lot of different interests sociologists in particular we think everything is interesting so I you know found myself touching a lot of different projects that aren't really related my main interests when you get to graduate school let yourself be flexible I'm just infinitely interested in whatever your program might be covering and your research

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