Micaela Morgan from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School was given a 2013 Graduate Research Award for Social Science Surveys (GRASSS) from the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (ISBER) at UC Santa Barbara. The award will fund her proposal “Improving the STEM Engagement of Students in the 2-year to 4-year Higher Education Pipeline.”
The GRASSS award will aid in funding a research study that seeks to implement institutional interventions to retain STEM-engaged students. A STEM-engaged student could be a declared STEM major or a student who is capable of pursuing a STEM degree. In this pilot project Morgan will survey 2-year institution students in STEM courses in the fall and spring semester to determine whether the latent constructs she believes to effect student’s STEM-engagement exist. The data from these surveys will guide Morgan in designing institutional interventions to be implemented at the 2-year university, which, in turn, will allow her to compete for further research grants. This pilot project will be the foundation of her second year independent research project.
The purpose of the GRASSS program is to enrich the quality of graduate survey research in the social sciences at UCSB through a competitive program of awards to graduate students. All survey research projects are welcome. All eligible graduate students are encouraged to apply. The program will fund research projects at all stages of development to be conducted in partnership with or with the assistance of the UCSB Social Science Survey Center.
Morgan is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Education at the Gevirtz School. Her advisor is Dr. Michael Gerber and her research focus area is policy, leadership, and research methods. Morgan has a Master’s in Chemistry from UC Santa Barbara but has always loved working with students to help them achieve their academic goals. After graduating from UCSB, she became the Program Coordinator for the UCSB McNair Scholars Program where she could facilitate undergraduate students going on to graduate programs. She says, “As a previous STEM transfer student myself, I am very interested in creating interventions to foster student success in the STEM fields.”