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University of Michigan School of Information


Garcia attends as Black Girls Rock! the White House

Thursday, 09/29/2016

UMSI research fellow Patricia Garcia will attend the White House Champions of Change celebration event on Friday, September 30. The keynote speaker is Beverly Bond, founder and CEO of Black Girls Rock!, an organization with which Garcia collaborates. The event honors ten Champions of Change, individuals who have paved the way in creating and leading afterschool and extracurricular activities for girls of color and marginalized girls.

Garcia will attend in order to discuss her newly funded research on promoting computational learning technology programs for marginalized girls. The $294,115 grant, “Developing a culturally responsive framework for promoting computing among adolescent girls in STEM programs,” comes from the National Science Foundation’s EAGER (Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) program.

The research will address the underrepresentation of women of color in computing fields and occupations by exploring how cultural supports may play a role in improving retention and persistence rates. The researchers plan to study responses gathered from hundreds of attendees at the Black Girls Lead leadership conferences in 2016 and 2017.

According to Garcia, “the primary outcome will be the identification of self-identified cultural markers for Black girls ages 13-17 derived from short answer and essay responses. The second intended outcome will be the development of a framework for employing culturally responsive approaches for girl-centered computing programs that is informed by self-identified cultural markers and emphasizes agency, self-expression, and intersectional perspectives. The third outcome will be an exploration of how such a framework may work in the context of computational learning experiences for girls of color.”

A workshop planned for 2019, “Culturally Responsive Approaches to Computing Education” will include experts from education, gender studies, information studies, and computer science to collaboratively design a framework for culturally responsive computing education that can be used by professional and scholarly communities.

Principal Investigator Dr. Patricia Garcia is a research investigator at the School of Information at the University of Michigan who conducts sociocultural research on technology and gender.  Dr. Garcia holds a PhD and MLIS in information studies from UCLA. She previously served as a postdoctoral scholar in the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) at Arizona State University where her work focused on developing critical literacies for interpreting and designing digital media technologies that are grounded in feminist pedagogy and epistemology for the CompuGirls program, a culturally responsive computing curriculum for girls of color funded by the National Science Foundation.

On October 28, Garcia attended the White House Conference on Inclusive STEM Education for Youth of Color. The conference included scholars and policy makers. Garcia was there to discuss newly funded IMLS research on developing low-cost and culturally responsive STEM programming for libraries. She is partnering with the Ypsilanti District Library and recruiting girls from the local junior high. 

- UMSI News Service