Research Agenda

Research Agenda

My research aims to understand how systemic disadvantages hinder the success of marginalized students in Chemistry and other STEM disciplines. Specifically, I examine how these barriers to access, opportunity, and social messaging impact their science-related attitudes, engagement with the learning environment, and choices. My research program has so far resulted in ten peer-reviewed articles, seven with me as corresponding/first author (227 citations, h-index=7).

I am currently working in 1) Guidelines for equitable methodological practices, 2) Theory development and practical applications of a framework to support the development of equitable interventions to support marginalized students, and 3) Developing equitable mentoring practices and support the careers of marginalized students in academia.

QuantCrit is a response to traditional applications of quantitative methods that, under the guise of “objectivity,” perpetuate harmful narratives towards marginalized communities. QuantCrit delineates methodological practices and guidelines that allow researchers to translate theory into practice so, as a field, we can rise to the challenge of equity in education.

  • Hosbein, K.N., Deshaye, M., Ralph, V.R., Vincent-Ruz, P.* (in prep). QuantCrit as Paradigm for Equitable Chemistry Education Research
  • Izykowicz, M., Cai, J., Vincent-Ruz, P.*, Rojas, A.*, (in prep). A Counterstory to Deficit Narratives of “Underperformance” of Black Students in General Chemistry
  • Ralph, V.*, Hosbein, K., Deshaye, M., Vincent-Ruz, P. (under review). “Achievement Gaps” or Systemic Injustices: Intersections and Consequences of the Epistemology and Methodology used in Equity-Related Chemistry Education Research Journal of Chemical Education

The REACT framework (Vincent-Ruz, 2020) models the learner’s response to the learning environment as well as the way the environment is shaped by the instructor’s behaviors and choices, the institution’s identity, and cultural ideas of what chemists should know and behave. The practical goal of providing researchers, practitioners, and evaluators with a theoretical foundation to improve learning environments in chemistry by giving them a measurable outcome: maximizing learner’s engagement.

Furthermore, the framework is centered around the equity mechanism of epistemological border crossing which provides a clear guideline to transform the way we teach and learn chemistry.

  • Vincent-Ruz, P.*, Boase, N.R.*,(in prep). Activating Chemistry Engagement: Supporting Students with Different Incoming Content Knowledge Science Education
  • Vincent-Ruz, P.*, Koester, B.P., Derry, H.A., Hayward, C., Ecoach Collaboration, McKay, T.A. (in prep). The Fragility of Values Affirmation Interventions: Critical Components, Mechanisms of Action, and Equity Implication.
  • Vincent-Ruz, P. (2020). What Does It Mean to Think Like a Chemist?. In Integrating Professional Skills into Undergraduate Chemistry Curricula (pp. 57-79). American Chemical Society.

The objective of this project is two-fold. First, to research the type of support different marginalized groups require to be successful in grad school. Second, to understand how mentors perceive the challenges and barriers their marginalized students face.

By understanding the mismatches between both groups this research can provide actionable advice that can improve mentor’s practices and change their perceptions. This project has been awarded seed funding from the Inclusion and Diversity Fund of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Systemic Barriers Experienced Trans and Non-Binary Students in Chemistry (Data collection)
  • Mentor perceptions of systemic barriers in academia (Data collection)

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