Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Tara Nkrumah

Tara was born in Chicago, Illinois. Most of her early adult life was spent in Texas and Tennessee before moving to West Africa. After seven years, she returned to the United States from Ghana to complete her PhD. She has 13 years of teaching experience in the United States and seven years in Ghana. Her ability to successfully teach science in diverse settings by population, culture, and class is attributed to years of teaching in U.S. inner city, urban schools, and overseas at the top international school in Accra, Ghana with over 60 nationalities. She has taught both high school level courses in Biology, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, Health, Algebra I and in middle school Comprehensive Science. She is well versed in teaching the Middle Years Program (MYP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as well as Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Mentored by her father and grandmother at an early age cultivated her passion in the field of science/STEM education. The conferred degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Middle Tennessee State University, a Masters in Education from Tennessee State University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of South Florida. Tara is energetic, disciplined and passionate about exposing students to the joys of science education through hands-on experiences that help them to bridge the classroom to their community and life. Tara’s research agenda on science curriculum (leadership) development explores methods to increase the underrepresentation of Black women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, (STEM). Her current research on the pedagogical and theoretical development of science educators’ understanding and practice of engagement in science relies on poststructuralist perspectives, her extensive experience teaching science, and her exposure to qualitative research methods. Additionally, her training in anti-oppressive theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, supports her examination of how popular culture and sociopolitical discourse flow through entertainment media and frame public perception about science education and/or STEM careers, particularly for underrepresented groups. Besides conducting research and presenting, she enjoys meeting new people, traveling, exercising, dancing, eating Indian food, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Management Intern

Ali Roberts

Ali Roberts is a recent MA graduate of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Arizona State University. Ali is interested in exploring visual and narrative culture, the impacts of narrative voice, and the ways that narrative culture produces biases. Her research focuses include community archives and archival narratives within and surrounding LGBTQ+ communities. They graduated from ASU in 2020 with a B.A. in Global Health and minored in Women and Gender Studies. Ali was an undergraduate research apprentice on the ASU ADVANCE Social Science Research team, which explored the life course experiences of women and faculty of color in STEM fields to identify gaps and discover opportunities to support professors throughout their careers. Ali has 6 years of experience in social science research that centers participant experience and an intersectional approach, which considers and acknowledges the varying impacts of power on lived experiences. Ali is also interested in the importance of art as theory and how we can grow consideration for alternative ways of knowing. She loves to hike, paint, swim, and learn new crafts.

Research Aide

Shivani Shailesh Nandani

Shivani is a computer science master's student with a strong interest in data science and machine learning. She firmly believes that data-driven insights can lead to more informed decision-making and meaningful social progress. As a graduate student, she has gained experience in analyzing complex datasets and building predictive models. Shivani is proficient in programming languages such as Python and R and has worked with data visualization tools like Tableau and Power BI. She is passionate about using her skills to drive impactful change. In her free time, Shivani enjoys hiking, reading books, and attending workshops and seminars to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in her field.