Research Interests and More About Me

I am a PhD Candidate at Penn State University in the Science Education department, working on the Science 20/20 Project under Dr. Carla Zembal-Saul and am co-advised by Dr. Uju Anya.

Research Interests:
I am interested in looking at how white, monolingual teachers’ engagement with new immigrant, emergent bilingual (EB) families influence how they perceive and interact with students and families from these backgrounds. Specifically, I want to co-investigate family - school - university interactions through collaborative ethnography, with a focus on how our respective perspectives and practices change over time when engaging in science. I am interested in better understanding the nuances between engagement that changes versus reinforces negative stereotypes and deficit perspectives around new immigrant populations. 

About Me:

My interests in science education began during my junior year as an English Literature major at Northeastern University. After falling in love with geology through a field experience in Iceland, I subsequently minored in environmental science and went on to earn a master's degree in science education from the University of Texas at Austin. I went on to teach 6th-8th grade science at O.Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas for 6 years. I subsequently taught 9th grade Earth Science at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School (BPCS) in Brooklyn, New York for two years. Following the birth of my daughter, I became a STEM coach at BPCS for a year, and then moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where I worked as an educational equity consultant for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) as a consultant and curriculum projects manager and continued coaching science teachers. I now live in State College with my husband, daughter, and son.

Picture of Michelle with daughter