ABOUT TALKING SCIENCE

The Talking Science Research and Development Group centers the role of family in the development of youth’s STEM identities, which are critical to career-choice and participation in STEM. We aim to provide holistic and socially just approaches to these efforts through research, family engagement, and stakeholder training situated in culturally-inclusive settings and practices. The Talking Science team highlights the diverse voices and cultures of Latina/o/e children and families, and represents members from those communities as researchers, advisors, developers, and participants.

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WHO WE ARE

Our team is based at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, and is made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds and positions, including undergraduate research assistants, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and research associates. Our research focuses on STEM-related interactions occurring in family contexts that contribute to Latine youths’ identification with STEM fields. We work to translate our findings into practical resources that can benefit informal STEM program educators and Latine families to support our goal of making STEM education more accessible and engaging.

THE TEAM
DR. REMY DOU
Principal Investigator
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DR. MICHELLE BROWN
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
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NICOLE VILLA
Lead Undergraduate Research Assistant
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AMDAD AHMED AWSAF
GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT
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DR. HEIDI CIAN
Co-Founder
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BRENDA GUERRERO
GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT
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LEGACY

Our team has had the honor of collaborating with brilliant, hard-working undergraduate students. Students who join the Talking Science Research & Development group participate in everything from research design to manuscript development. The following list includes those who spent at least a year on our team and have since graduated: Melany Abreu | Anyssa Ahmed | Kyra Bassett | Karina Bhutta* | Sheila Castro* (Former Lead) | Valentina Espinosa* (Former Lead) | Cynthia Garza | Alexandra Martinez* | Chelsea Mateu | Woodline Michelin | Daniela Morey (Former Lead) | Elizabeth Palma-D'Souza* | Vanessa Ponte* (Former Lead) | Viviana Viloria Villegas | *denotes manuscript co-authorship

Legacy Postdoctoral Research Associates: Dr. Heidi Cian | Dr. Theila Smith

CURRENT & FORMER ADVISORS

DR. JOCELYN STEINKE
Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Dr. Steinke’s research focuses on the influence of media images of women scientists and engineers on adolescent girls’ identification with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

DR. ZAHRA HAZARI
Associate Professor, Florida International University

Dr. Hazari’s research focuses on reforming physics learning environments in an effort to improve critical educational outcomes for underrepresented groups in physics, especially women. Her work centers on physics identity development and the development of agency in physics. Dr. Hazari’s research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and her findings have been featured in US News and World Report, Washington Monthly, Science Magazine, Scientific American, LiveScience, Science for the People, and APS News. Dr. Hazari served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, APS’s Committee for the Status of Women in Physics, and AAPT's Committee on Women in Physics.

DR. KELLY RIEDINGER
Senior Research & Program Lead, STEM Research Center, Oregon State University

Dr. Riedinger’s research focuses on science teacher preparation as well as youths’ experiences learning science in out-of-school settings. She is particularly interested in the role of social interactions and discourse on youths’ authoring of their identities in science.

DR. MARTIN STORKSDIECK
Director, STEM Research Center, Oregon State University

Martin has more than 25 years of experience with educational research and evaluation in STEM-related fields. Prior to joining OSU, Martin directed the Board on Science Education and the Roundtable on Climate Change Education at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Currently, he serves on the Science Advisory Boards for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education in Kiel. He is also the Chair of Trustees for TERC, a nonprofit R&D and serves as a board member of the Tree Media Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Previously, he served on the boards of the Citizen Science Association and the Visitor Studies Association. Martin is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

DR. JOHN H. FALK
Founder & Principal Researcher, Institute for Learning Innovation

Dr. Falk is a leading expert on free-choice learning. His current research focuses on understanding the community value and impact of leisure-time-use of free-choice learning settings such as museums, libraries, zoos and aquariums and helping cultural institutions re-think their educational positioning in the 21st century. His awards include the Western Museums Association Leadership Award for Significant and Lasting Impact, the NARST Distinguished Career Award, Council of Scientific Society Presidents Award for Educational Research, and the American Alliance of Museums John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership.

EXTERNAL EVALUATOR

Dr. Kavita Mitapalli
CEO, MN Associates, Inc

Kavita Mittapalli, Ph.D., brings over 18 years of experience in conducting research and evaluation for various programs and initiatives. She worked at various consulting firms before founding MN Associates, Inc in 2005. Kavita started her career in Agricultural Science before becoming an Applied Sociologist and a mixed methodologist with an interest in research design. She brings her multi-disciplinary skills and knowledge to all the work she does at MNA, an independent research and program evaluation company working to improve public education since 2004.

FUNDERS & COLLABORATORS