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Shetay Ashford-Hanserd - Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies



Shetay Ashford-Hanserd – Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies

The Project

Shetay Ashford-Hanserd - Organization, Workforce, and Leadership StudiesThe Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) framework defines six types of capital as an “array of knowledge, skills, abilities, and contacts possessed and utilized by communities of color to survive and resist macro- and micro-forms of oppression” from an anti-deficit perspective. Additionally, spiritual capital is included since Black and Latino communities have historically relied upon spirituality/religion as critical sources of grit, resilience, and capital.

In this longitudinal, mixed-methods study, I examine the effects of CCW on the persistence of Black and Hispanic women in the P-20 STEM and computing (STEM+C) workforce pipeline as they matriculate from middle school into high school, into a bachelor’s degree program, and into graduate school or the workforce. First, I will identify a national cohort of Black, Hispanic, and White female and male students from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 dataset to study the effects of CCW on their persistence in rigorous STEM+C course-taking by race and gender. Next, I will identify a Texas cohort of Black and Hispanic female computing majors by distributing the ACCEYSS STEM+C Majors survey at seven Texas HSIs and HBCUs. Finally, I will follow the Texas cohort until their first year after graduation, documenting their career trajectories and counter-life-herstories. My research activities will be supported by my collaborators, Dr. Li Feng and Dr. Emily Summers – MMSA; a postdoctoral researcher; and a national advisory board.

I will disseminate my research findings to industry leaders, educators, students, researchers, and communities of color through research outlets and education products such as the following: the ACCEYSS Learning Community for undergraduate/graduate students and community members; the ACCEYSS STEEAAM Success Summit; and a platform for girls of color in grades 5-12.

CAREER Journey

I began my journey toward becoming an NSF CAREER awardee after submitting my first NSF CAREER as a newly minted assistant professor in summer 2016. While that proposal was unsuccessful, I was confident that my prior experience as an NSF project manager was substantial. However, reviewer feedback suggested I still needed to establish my unique contributions as an emerging scholar.

Since 2016, I have strengthened my research agenda and submitted grant proposals to support my emerging research group. From July 1, 2016, to July 31, 2020, I submitted a total of $7,352,628 in research grant proposals yielding $2,097,309. Before submitting my second and final NSF CAREER proposal on August 11, 2020, I served as PI of an NSF INCLUDES grant and a USDA / NIFA grant. I have also served as Co-PI of an NSF Computer Science for All project. My current NSF CAREER award builds upon my previous NSF-funded research, STEM persistence research, and dissertation study.

Based on my experiences, I recommend the following to faculty pursuing NSF CAREER funding. First, build strategic relationships by serving on grants, attending professional development meetings, and scheduling one-on-one meetings with program officers. Second, align your work with the needs and goals of your funders. For example, I developed a community-engaged fundable research agenda, which was a natural fit for the NSF INCLUDES program. Additionally, I integrated my research agenda with teaching activities, which further strengthened my CAREER proposal. Finally, I encourage you to be consistent and persistent. It may take multiple attempts, but believe that you will eventually achieve success.