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Psychology Professor Receives Grant to Study Code Switching Among Black Women in STEM

October 2018

Danielle Dickens

A $493,708 grant from the National Science Foundation will assist Danielle Dickens, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, in establishing a measurement tool to help researchers better understand the coping strategies of Black women in STEM.

The project is Excellence Research: Navigating the Double Bind: Assessing the Development in and Contribution of Identity Shifting to the Recruitment & Retention of Black Women in STEM Education. Dr. Dickens will be able to measure code switching – the intentional process of changing one’s behavior and language to alter expectations and perceptions from others – among Black women majoring in STEM.

“Previous research has shown that a sense of belonging among people from underrepresented groups is related to decisions to persist in a STEM career,” said Dr. Dickens. “By overcoming adversity in the STEM culture, Black women can thrive in their majors and careers. My hope is that through this research, Spelman students will better understand the challenges and opportunities that Black women in STEM face in building and maintaining authentic science identities.”

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