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Ongoing Projects

NSF Disabilities and Education
::Modeling IT Career Choices of Persons with Disabilities: The Case of Military Personnel and Veterans

There is a compelling need to investigate barriers and facilitators of career choices of persons with disabilities because 12% of the US population has some kind of disability (NSF, 2011). Further, there is a compelling need to examine career choices of those individuals who acquire a disability after birth since only 15% of people are born with a disability (Siebers, 2008). Acquiring a disability affects not only one’s individual identity, but also one’s social identity as a minority. Because this identity is fluid based on the type of disability, stigma, and the ability for anyone to acquire a disability at any time (Siebers, 2008), this identity and status impacts all aspects of life, including careers and employment.

NSF Gender in Science, and Engineering
::GSE/RES- Collaborative Research: Practical Logic of STEM Career Choice: A Critical Interpretive Approach to Profiling IT Career Pathways of African American Males at HBCUs

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers are instrumental in driving a nation’s innovation and competitiveness. However, U.S. businesses frequently voice concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers (Langdon et al. 2011). While the job opportunities in these fields are increasing in the U.S., there has been a decrease in the proportion of students graduating with STEM degrees, resulting in a lack of qualified personnel to fill such positions (Ashcraft & Blithe, 2009). Expanding the range of African American (AA) males’ career options within an increasingly technology-oriented work world can not only help in increasing the much needed skill supply, but also help mitigate the high unemployment often experienced by AA males who are in the greatest danger of being pushed out of school and into the pipeline to prison (Monaghan 2009; Bonczar 2003; Haney & Zimbardo 1998).

NSF Gender in Science, and Engineering
::Exploration of the Effects of Gender, Ethnicity and Socio-economic Class on Gender Stereotyping of STEM Disciplines

In this project we examine the effect of intersecting group membership – including gender, ethnicity and social class – on the college students’ Information Technology (IT) career choices. By investigating the intersectionality of gender, race and social class we hope to uncover a more nuanced explanation of the under representation of women in IT. This project has transformative potential with respect to theorizing the problem of gender under representation in the STEM field of IT. It will contribute greater theorization of gender as it relates to participation in this STEM discipline because it goes beyond the widely accepted gender role theory to develop new and nuanced insights which are not currently available in the literature.