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Research

Current Projects:

1. Exploring the academic climate for LGBTQ2S+ students in Science 

Members of the LGBTQ2S+ community are often underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. To date, however, there is a limited understanding of the factors that affect the persistence of LGBTQ2S+ people in these fields. This is particularly true for LGBTQ2S+ students in Canadian university contexts. 

One key factor that has the potential to influence LGBTQ2S+ students experiences and, ultimately, persistence is an institution’s climate (i.e., faculty and students prevailing attitudes and behaviours; Rankin & Reason, 2008) 

Purpose: 

To understand how the academic climate for LGBTQ2S+ people in the Faculty of Science at the University of Windsor influences the experiences and persistence of LGBTQ2S+ students in science programs.  

Research questions: 

  1.  How are individuals who identify as LGBTQ2S+ treated in the Faculty of Science? 
  2.  How do LGBTQ+ students’ experiences within the Faculty of Science influence their intentions to continue to pursue their degree in science?  
  3.  How is the academic climate differentially perceived by cisgender heterosexual students compared to LGBTQ2S+ students? 

Participants:  

  • 12 LGBTQ+ Students 
  • 8 CIS Gender and Heterosexual Students 
  • 9 Faculty and Staff 

Results: 

Coming soon. 

 2. Ethnic diversity, cohesion, and persistence in research groups/lab contexts 

Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students graduate from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at a much lower rate compared to their White peers (Estrada et al., 2016; National Center for Education Statistics, 2005). Although scholars have identified several factors that contribute to BIPOC student attrition from STEM disciplines (e.g., stereotypes; Beasley & Fisher, 2012), there is a limited understanding of how the ethnic composition of students’ academic groups influences their persistence. 

Purpose: 

To examine how individuals’ ethnic backgrounds, in relation to the ethnic compositions of their lab groups, influence their perceptions of group cohesion (i.e., the degree to which their group is united) and, ultimately, persistence attitudes. 

Research Questions: 

  1. What is the ethnic composition of research groups/labs within the Faculty of Science at the University of Windsor? 
  2. How does research group/lab ethnic composition influence lab members’ perceptions of cohesion (i.e., group unity)?  
  3. How does being in the minority with respect to research group/lab ethnic composition influence one’s academic experiences? 

Participants: 

Members of research groups/labs in the Faculty of Science including postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. 

Participation Opportunities:

We are recruiting research groups/labs from the Faculty of Science to participate in a one-time survey about members’ ethnic backgrounds, perceptions of their group/lab as a whole, and their future plans in education/research. If you are a Science faculty member at the University of Windsor who leads a research group and think your group might be interested in participating in this study, please visit the Research Participation Page

 This study was cleared by the UWindsor Research Ethics Board.