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The following are research projects are housed in the PRISM Lab to advance its research mission — namely, holding up an “intersectional prism” to historically marginalized populations’ experiences in order to illuminate as well as disrupt oppressive systems of power in undergraduate STEM education.

Transformative Inclusion in Postsecondary STEM

Logo Credit: Nicollette Mitchell, Ph.D. Student, Department of Teaching & Learning, Peabody College


Funding Source: 

National Science Foundation  (Division of Undergraduate Education, Hispanic-Serving Institutions), Grant #HSI-1953472

Overview: This five-year project seeks to galvanize transformation in the culture of STEM departments at Hispanic-Serving Institutions through the development of equity-minded curricular pathways and instructional practices in gateway courses, including calculus and statistics.  Findings will inform organizational and pedagogical practices in STEM departments that affirm undergraduate Latinx students’ intersectional identities and advance their persistence in STEM majors.

Queer Students of Color in STEM

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Logo Credit: Lee Druce, Program Assistant, Department of Teaching & Learning, Peabody College

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Funding Sources:

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2020-2022)

Vanderbilt University – Peabody College Small Research Grant (2019-2020)

Overview: This project explores the experiences of Black, Latinx, and Asian students in the LGBTQ+ community pursuing STEM majors at historically white and minority-serving institutions (e.g., Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Findings will inform classroom instruction and co-curricular support that support STEM major persistence and affirm the identities of undergraduate queer students of color.

Challenging, Operationalizing, and Understanding Racialized and Gendered Events (COURAGE) in Undergraduate Mathematics


Logo Credit: Lee Druce, Program Assistant, Department of Teaching & Learning, Peabody College

Picture1Funding Source:  National Science Foundation

(Division of Undergraduate Education, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education), Grant #IUSE-1711712 & Grant #IUSE-1711553

Overview: This three-year project uses a mixed-methods design to identify specific events in pre-calculus and calculus classrooms that historically underrepresented populations in STEM, including Black students, Latinx students, and white women, find potentially racialized and/or gendered. The project investigates perceptions of these events from students’ and instructors’ vantage points in undergraduate mathematics education. Findings will inform the design of professional development  for creating more equitable learning environments in undergraduate mathematics classrooms.

Latinx in College Mathematics
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Logo Credit: Nicollette Mitchell, Ph.D. Student, Department of Teaching & Learning, Peabody College

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Funding Source: 

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2015)

Overview: This study explores how undergraduate mathematics classrooms and engineering majors as racialized-gendered institutional spaces shaped five Latinx engineering students’ experiences at a historically white, research-intensive university. Data sources for the study included classroom observations, a mathematics autobiography, individual interviews, and a group interview.