Ramón Barthelemy, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, recently was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Building Capacity for STEM Education Research grant to complete a longitudinal study on women in physics and to begin a new longitudinal study on people of color in STEM programs at the University of Utah. A longitudinal study is an observational study that follows the same subjects repeatedly over a period of time.
The grant will follow up on the careers of 21 women who were in graduate physics and astronomy programs a decade ago when Barthelemy first interviewed them. As part of the grant, Barthelemy also will begin building a new cohort of participants to investigate—people of color in STEM at the U.
“The results of both studies will be useful in constructing department and university policies to further support women in physics and astronomy and people of color in STEM,” said Barthelemy. “This knowledge is crucial in creating a more positive and inclusive climate for underrepresented students in physics and STEM as well as fostering a diverse pool of talent for the U.S. STEM workforce.”
In revisiting the women he interviewed earlier, Barthelemy will uncover their career trajectories and compare them to their earlier stated goals and ideas. He will also discover the kinds of career experiences the women have had in the decade following his first interviews.
The other part of the grant will look at a second cohort of people of color in STEM to understand their experiences at the U, including the mentoring they have received and their career goals. The study will follow these students for two years and act as the foundation for a future longitudinal project. The results will be disseminated in both academic publications and professional workshops to train faculty in supporting underrepresented students in physics and STEM.
Dr. Barthelemy has also been named a visiting scholar by the Association for Women in Science for 2020-2021 and will be synthesizing research on the experiences and perspectives of gender and sexual minority persons in STEM higher education. Barthelemy is a former Fulbright scholar and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow dedicated to equity and inclusion in STEM. He joined the U in July 2019.