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Building the Big Picture

Kimberly A. Scott, Ed.D., Professor and Founding Executive Director

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(480) 965-5380

Kimberly A. Scott is a professor of women and gender studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University (ASU) and the founding executive director of ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST). The center is a one-of-a-kind research unit focused on exploring, identifying, and creating innovative scholarship about underrepresented women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Center projects include the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded COMPUGIRLS; U.S. Department of Education-funded COMPUPOWER; Pivotal-funded project on Women of Color and Computing Collaborative; and an NSF-funded Social programmable robots program for COMPUGIRLS. Since 2018, Scott has been a member of the NSF STEM Education Advisory Panel created to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education and assembled in consultation with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scott is also an affiliate faculty in George Mason University’s Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity located in Fairfax, Virginia.

Trained as a sociologist of education and childhoods, Scott’s interdisciplinary work examines girls’ of color (African American, Native American, Latina) social and academic development in informal spaces and their technosocial innovations. With nearly 50 publications in outlets such as the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology, Feminism and Psychology, Huffington Post, and Slate, to name a few. Kimberly is also co-author of the Rowman and Littlefield book Kids in Context and co-editor of the IAP published book, Research in Urban Educational Settings: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Practice. Recently, she published Women Education Scholars and Their Children’s Schooling (Routledge) and is completing COMPUGIRLS: Becoming Ourselves in This Digital Age (University of Illinois Press).

Prior to becoming an academic, Scott worked as an urban educator with international and national institutions including a center for girls in Chiang Mai Thailand; the Educational Law Center in Newark, New Jersey; and the National Museum of African Art-Smithsonian. Having written and successfully won more than $11 million in grant funding to support research and programs for girls of color and digital media use, Scott was named in 2014 as a White House Champion of Change for STEM Access. The same year, the publication Diverse Issues in Higher Education identified Kimberly as one of the top 30 women in higher education. Scott earned her BA from Smith College in art history and French literature, an MS from Long Island University in curriculum and instruction/elementary education and her EdD from Rutgers University in social and philosophical foundations of education, and completed the high potentials leadership program at Harvard Business School.

Dr. Jessica Solyom, Ph.D., Associate Director

(480)-727-6907

Dr. Jessica Solyom joined CGEST in June 2019 as the Associate Director. She is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Social Transformation at ASU and previously worked at the Center for Indian Education where she helped co-direct and co-design culturally relevant, respectful, and responsive education programs and research for American Indian and other Indigenous communities. Dr. Solyom brings with her a wealth of knowledge about Indigenous education, sovereignty and self-determination, culturally respectful research practices, critical culturally responsive education, and team building. Dr. Solyom’s research focuses on equity, belonging, and education justice particularly for Indigenous, Latino, and other historically underserved student populations. Her work has been featured in various academic journal outlets including the Journal of American Indian Education, Theory into Practice, American Journal of Education and co-authored Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Higher Education for Nation Building and Self-Determination (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass).

Dr. Solyom’s research is generally inspired by a focus on Critical Race Theory, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies with an emphasis on intersectionality and learning. She has taught courses on these topics. Her courses and pedagogy tend to highlight culturally responsive education, social movements, and culturally relevant research practices as a tool to promote social equity and enhance the mental, social, and intellectual wellbeing of diverse communities. Solyom earned her bachelor’s and master’s in Interpersonal Communication and Critical Cultural Studies from the University of Utah.