“Women are essential to the progression of all academic fields, especially in STEM, because science influences policy and decisions that will impact the world we live in”Jazmine Alexander
By Olivia Abney
A Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Environment graduate student will be presenting her research at a national conference in Washington, D.C., this week.
Jazmine Alexander, a second-year Environmental Sciences: Environmental Policy doctoral student, will deliver her abstract at the Emerging Researchers National Conference (ERN), which runs Thursday through Saturday.
The conference is hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Alexander will present her research detailing results specifically relevant to Black women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) who are graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).
“Women are essential to the progression of all academic fields, especially in STEM, because science influences policy and decisions that will impact the world we live in,” said Alexander.“Without the input of women, one is disregarding 50 percent of the population’s experiences. We need women’s voices to be heard to promote effective change and produce more inclusive policy.”
The Fort Lauderdale native said she was honored to represent FAMU to present on research promoting the advancement of women in STEM.
Alexander said her research will be used to identify experiences of microaggression, which is indirect, subtle or unintentional discrimination, as well as explicit and implicit bias, and “their impacts on the overall success and career aspirations of Black women students and alumni.”
The results from University exit surveys, Microaggression/Implicit Bias scale, and focus groups will be analyzed to support the significance of a theoretical framework, she said. This framework offers great potential to expound upon the experience of Black women during their graduate academic career at FAMU, Alexander added.
A two-time HBCU graduate, she received a bachelor’s in biology from Hampton University and a master’s in plant science from FAMU. Her student and faculty level perspective on gender and STEM will contribute meaningful knowledge to her dissertation research and how related issues will be addressed in the future, said Professor Marcia Allen Owens, Ph.D., head of FAMU ADVANCE Institutional Transformation, which funds Alexander’s research.
Owens is impressed by her doctoral student’s “tremendous progress.”
“Her mixed-method research approach will add the human dimension, sharing the stories of women behind the low numerical representation in the STEM faculty ranks,” Owens said.
ERN helps undergraduate and graduate students develop better science communications skills and prepare for careers in the science field.