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Minority Doctoral Students' Experiences and Conceptualizations of Racial Discrimination in the STEM Academy

Tue, April 21, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Virtual Room


Of the minority Students of Color (SoC) that matriculate into STEM doctoral programs, many experience racial biases and micro-aggressions (Brown, et al., 2015). Using mixed-methods, we explore 17 STEM doctoral Students’ of Color across multiple institutions experiences of racial discrimination, and their perceptions of their departments racial climates. Open-ended responses revealed doctoral SoC are both explicitly experiencing and witnessing racial discrimination in their own departments, particularly around issues of culturalization and assimilation. Regressions revealed students’ experiences with racial discrimination significantly shaped their perceptions of racial socialization within their department. Acknowledging these discriminatory actions occurring in higher education is imperative to the attrition and retention of students and faculty of color, and is a crucial first step towards institutional climate reform.