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Seminar Series on Equal Opportunities

Equity in STEM by using intersectional physics identity

by Dr Angela Johnson (St. Mary's College of Maryland)


About the seminar:

Latinas and Black women make up about 2% of all physics majors in the US. Typical experiences include isolation and microaggressions. In contrast, I will describe a physics setting where women of color feel successful and like they belong (typical comment: “physics is what I’ve always been interested in. It doesn’t feel like I’m out of place. It’s the subject I’m interested in.”) I analyzed the setting using an intersectional identity framework which could be of value to others who are studying or pursuing equity in STEM settings. The framework reveals how this setting differs from prototypical physics departments and shows actions professors can take to make their departments healthier for women of color. This talk will be useful to those interested in diversifying STEM and in how the insights from our intersectional identity framework can be translated into action.


About the speaker:

Angela C Johnson is Professor of Educational Studies, the G. Thomas and Martha Myers Yeager ’41 Chair in the Liberal Arts at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and a former physics teacher. Dr. Johnson is an expert in equity and inclusion in STEM education; in particular, the inclusion of women, especially women of color. She uses ethnographic methods to study the structural features of science education settings that lead to systematical over- and under-representation; opportunities for agency for members of under-represented groups to persist in science against the odds; and the agency of professors to broaden participation in STEM. Her model of the science identity trajectories of women of color has been adopted and extended in dozens of studies. 
Organized by

Karin Schönning and Petra Jönsson