Skip to main content

Ebony O. McGee

Associate Professor of Education, Diversity and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

As an associate professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, I investigate what it means to be racially marginalized while minoritized in the context of learning and achieving in STEM higher education and in the STEM professions. I study in particular the racialized experiences and racial stereotypes that adversely affect the education and career trajectories of underrepresented groups of color. This involves exploring the social, material, and health costs of academic achievement and problematizing traditional forms of success in higher education, with an unapologetic focus on Black folk in these places and spaces. My National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant investigates how marginalization undercuts success in STEM through psychological stress, interrupted STEM career trajectories, impostor phenomenon, and other debilitating race-related trauma for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx doctoral students. Education is my second career; I left a career in electrical engineering to earn a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago, and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University. With funding from six NSF grants, I cofounded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative or EDEFI (pronounced "edify"). I also cofounded the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), which seeks to be a "go-to" institute for the development of quantitative and mixed-methods skillsets that challenge simplistic quantifications of race and marginalization. ICQCM was founded with support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation. I am the lead editor of the recently published book Diversifying STEM: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Race and Gender (2019), which offers scholarship that includes race, culture, and social stratification; racial justice and identity; racial socialization processes; and race and gender intersectionality in STEM. My research has been featured in prominent media outlets including The Atlantic, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR's Codeswitch, The Hechinger Report, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, US News & World Report, Inside Higher Education, Tennessean, and The UK Voice Online. Diversifying STEM is available at Visit the EDEFI website at Visit the ICQCM website at