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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2016013400
pages 1-14

OH YOU ARE SMART: YOUNG, GIFTED AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN STEM MAJORS

Ezella McPherson
Indiana University South Bend, 1002 S. Esther St., South Bend, IN 46615

ABSTRACT

African American women are the fastest growing population in higher education, but few achieve bachelors and graduate degrees in STEM fields. Few scholars have sought to understand the back-grounds and experiences of high-achieving African American women who pursue STEM degrees. This article seeks to address this gap by investigating the experiences of seven gifted African American women who persisted through graduation in undergraduate STEM majors at a predominantly white institution using a unified conceptual framework that includes gendered racial microaggressions management and giftedness. The findings from this multiple case research study suggest that gifted African American women in STEM majors possessed intellectual competence, interpersonal competence, and managed stereotypes. The implications for practice include practitioners in K-16 settings thinking differently about recruiting and retaining gifted African American females in STEM fields.


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