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Speaker: Mica Estrada, PhD, UC San Francisco

African Americans, Latinas/Latinos, and Native Americans are people historically excluded because of their ethnicity and race (PEER) in academia and underrepresented among Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degree earners and career pathways. Why do we stay and why do we go? Viewed from a perspective of social influence, the pattern suggests that PEER students do not become part of STEM communities at the same rate as non-PEER students. Building on Kelman’s (1958, 2006) tripartite integration model of social influence (TIMSI), Dr. Estrada will talk about how this model has been used to understand how PEER students orient to their discipline communities and how this relates to persistence in those career pathways years after completing their college degree. By longitudinally tracking and examining psychosocial variables, we are better able to see what types of STEM training programs and mentorship are more likely to result in students persisting in STEM career pathways. Further, she will talk about how institutional policies and climate that provide kindness cues that affirm social inclusion may impact the integration experience for HU college students, faculty and administrators.

Dr. Estrada is a behavioral researcher who studies social influence, including the study of identity, values, kindness, well-being, and integrative education. Currently, as Principal Investigator, she leads several longitudinal studies, which involve implementing and assessing interventions aimed to increase student persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers (funded by NIH, NSF, and HHMI). Dr. Estrada’s work focuses on ethnic populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education, most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and are providing diverse and creative solutions to the pressing challenges of our day. On a personal note, Dr. Estrada grew up in a family that was strongly dedicated to learning and scholarship and also maintained strong cultural traditions associated with her Mexican heritage.

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  • Diane Jones

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