Elizabeth Stearns, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Sociology, UNC Charlotte
Elizabeth Stearns is the lead PI on the ROOTS of STEM research project. Dr. Stearns has received funding for her work from the American Educational Research Association, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, and the Spencer Foundation. Her research interests include structural influences on the processes of college-going and choice of college major, culture, transitions to adulthood, and gender, racial, and socioeconomic inequalities in student outcomes, along with interracial relations and friendships. Dr. Stearns is proficient in multilevel modeling, both linear and logistic, factor analysis, and propensity score matching. Her research appears in Sociology of Education, Social Science Research, Youth and Society, Urban Education, and Research in Higher Education.
Roslyn Mickelson, Ph.D.
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Sociology, UNC Charlotte
Roslyn Arlin Mickelson is a co-PI on the ROOTS of STEM research project. Roslyn Arlin Mickelson is Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, Women and Gender Studies, and Information Technology at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests include pathways to STEM, minority educational issues, desegregation, gender and education, school reform, and educational policy. Mickelson has investigated school reform in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 1989, chronicling its transformation from a desegregated to a resegregated school system. Currently, Mickelson is writing a book synthesizing social science research on the effects of school and classroom racial and socioeconomic composition on educational outcomes.
Stephanie Moller, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Sociology, UNC Charlotte
Stephanie Moller is a co-PI on the ROOTS of STEM research project. Dr. Moller is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at UNC Charlotte. Her research is guided by structural vulnerability theory as she studies how school structures and individual characteristics jointly influence student outcomes. She has received funding in prior years from the Spencer Foundation, American Educational Research Association, the Institute for Education Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Moller has extensive training, experience, and expertise in hierarchical modeling, structural equation modeling, factor analysis, logistic regression analysis, maximum likelihood imputation, and propensity score matching. She teaches graduate level statistics, and she has given guest lectures on multilevel modeling at other universities. Her research appears in Sociology of Education, Social Science Research, Social Forces, Youth and Society, Urban Education, and Research in Higher Education.
Melissa Dancy, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Department of Physics, University of Colorado
Melissa Dancy is a co-PI on the ROOTS of STEM research project and a member of the physics education group at the University of Colorado. She has been a PI or co-PI on numerous projects related to education transformation in STEM. Her work in this area has generated substantial interest and has been frequently cited as a basis for policy by professional organizations such as the National Research Council. Dr. Dancy is also serves as an external consultant and/or advisor for numerous projects related to science education.
DeeDee Allen, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, Wake Technical Community College
DeeDee Allen is a co-PI on the ROOTS of STEM research project. Dr. Allen is an Associate Professor of Chemistry in the Natural Sciences department at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC. Her career focus is teaching college chemistry and preparing students for STEM programs at the university level. Her graduate work focused on educational research in implementing an active learning environment for the chemistry curriculum. The research involved both quantitative and qualitative research methods in addition to triangulation methods and the conducting and coding of student interviews. She also has experience teaching chemistry for minority engineering programs and serving as a Change Agent at an historically black university under an NIH grant for Diversity in Biomedical Careers. Dr. Allen has extensive experience in working with minorities in STEM and knowledge of STEM education in the North Carolina Community College System.
Martha Cecilia Bottia, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, Department of Sociology, UNC Charlotte
Martha Cecilia Bottia is a senior researcher on the ROOTS of STEM research project. Dr. Bottia is Assistant Research Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Since 2005 Bottia has been surveying and synthesizing literature on the effects of school racial and socioeconomic demographic composition on various educational outcomes. She has also worked on articles related to the unequal impact of the curriculum on diverse students and on the education of Latino students. Her other research interests include illicit drugs and terrorist organizations. Currently, her research focuses on the role of structural characteristics of K-12 schools on the decision of students to major and graduate from a STEM major.
Morgan Averette is a masters student in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. They will serve as a graduate research assistant for the Roots of STEM project and will primarily analyze and collect qualitative data for the project. Morgan’s research interests include examining student athletes’ academic outcomes in relation to college major choice and career pathways. They are also interested in research methodology and sociology of culture.