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Identity & Computing Lecture Series: Finding and Securing a Computing Education Postdoc: This is How We Do It

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Yerika Jimenez, Ph.D., Crystal Peoples, Ph.D., and Brean Prefontaine, Ph.D.

Event Description:

Computing education postdoc positions are difficult to find; on top of that, postdoc positions are perceived as challenging. In this session, the three current AiiCE postdocs share their experiences with finding, applying to, securing, and working as computing education postdoctoral researchers. Aspiring postdocs and mentors can expect to learn more about what it means to be a computing education postdoc and how mentoring can make or break the experience. Our short presentation will be followed by a Q&A session where all your burning questions are answered. 

Speaker Bios:

Yerika Jimenez, Ph.D. - Yerika Jimenez is an AiiCE Postdoctoral Researcher at Duke University. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Kean University and her Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing at the University of Florida. As a graduate student, Yerika was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a GEM Fellow. Her research interests include Computer Science Education, Learning Technologies, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Yerika is also passionate about mentoring marginalized students, particularly first-generation college students. 

Crystal Peoples, Ph.D. - My research interests include the areas of racial inequality, social networks, higher education, and knowledge creation. Broadly, my research is fundamentally concerned with racialized social networks and how they are used to help create, maintain, and reproduce racial inequalities. Currently, my research focuses on the extent to which collaboration networks are racially segregated and how this relates to faculty hiring and promotion and tenure. I also study how racialized academic networks lead to racialized knowledge production and legitimization.  I received a B.S. in Mathematics from Longwood University in 2012 and an M.S. in Sociology with graduate minors in Mathematics and Statistics from Iowa State University in 2015. 

Brean Prefontaine, Ph.D. - Dr. Brean Prefontaine is an AiiCE postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Drexel University and both her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University. Her graduate research focused on the development of physics and STEM identities within informal physics spaces. Before joining AiiCE, Dr. Prefontaine worked at Horizon Research, Inc. as an external evaluator for STEM education research projects and informal STEM programs.

Faye-Marie Vassel is a native of the Bronx, NY and received her B.S. from Stony Brook University where she studied Biochemistry and Russian studies. Following her undergraduate studies at Stony Brook Faye-Marie went on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received her Ph.D. in Biology. Faye-Marie’s doctoral research was focused on enhancing the field’s understanding of how DNA-damage response mechanisms can modulate chemotherapeutic resistance in drug-resistant lung cancer. Prior to her time at Stanford, Faye-Marie was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Directorate for STEM Education at the National Science Foundation.

Currently, Faye-Marie is a STEM Education, Equity, and Inclusion Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University in the groups of Dr. Bryan Brown (GSE) and Dr. Hideo Mabuchi (Applied Physics/ HAI). To better elucidate key factors that contribute to pervasive issues of racial-ethnic and gender inequities in undergraduate STEM pathways, Faye-Marie’s postdoctoral research is centered on investigating how undergraduate students from groups historically marginalized in STEM experience and navigate the culture of Computing in post-secondary institutions. Faye-Marie is particularly interested in helping advance the field’s understanding of how STEM norms in academia interact with the STEM identity development of students from groups historically marginalized in STEM and how this may shape their STEM pathways in the undergraduate context and beyond.

Finding & Securing a Computing Education Postdoc:  This is How We Do It


Computer Science, Computing, Diversity, Equity, Identity, Inclusion, Multicultural/Identity, Postdocs