Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: LMS.

Faheemah N. Mustafaa

Assistant Professor

Faheemah N. Mustafaa

Dr. Faheemah N. Mustafaa joined the School of Education as an assistant professor in 2019. She is also a member of the Human Development Graduate Group, and faculty research affiliate with the Center for Poverty & Inequality Research. Prior to joining the School of Education faculty, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Social-Personality Psychology at University of California, Berkeley, and in Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Mustafaa earned her Ph.D. in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, and M.A. in Higher Education, both from the University of Michigan.

Her interdisciplinary research primarily focuses on: (1) understanding and supporting the academic performance and holistic well-being of Black/African American and other youth with historically marginalized identities; and (2) studying the identity-related beliefs and pedagogies of K-12 and postsecondary educators. As a former middle school science teacher, she is particularly fond of opportunities to collaborate with early adolescents to imagine and pursue paths toward their highest potential.

Currently, Dr. Mustafaa is Co-Principal Investigator on a $2.4 million three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the experiences of Black girls and college women participating in a robotics and engineering program. She is also currently writing on Black K-12 educators’ racial identity attitudes and practice; the experiences of school-based community building among Black girls in the Bay Area; and equity praxis in postsecondary teaching and learning. Dr. Mustafaa is currently considering Ph.D. applicants to join her lab. Undergraduates interested in research should submit this interest form for consideration on a rolling basis.


Ph.D. Combined Program in Education and Psychology
University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor, MI

M.S. Psychology
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

M.A. Higher and Postsecondary Education, Public Policy concentration
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

B.S. Biobehavioral Health, cum laude; Psychology minor
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Research Interests

  • Teacher identity, beliefs, and perceptions
  • Teacher-student relationships
  • Race/ethnicity, gender, and schooling
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Evaluation and intervention research 
  • Equity in K-12 and higher education


Refereed Publications

Mustafaa, F. N. (2023). Black Educators’ Racial Identity Attitudes and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: A Psychological Framework and Survey of Within-Race Diversity. American Educational Research Journal, 60(5), 847-881. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312231189238

Mustafaa, F. N., & Martinez, M. N. (2022). A visionary working model for pursuing social justice praxis through educational psychology courses. Teaching of Psychology, 0(0), 1-7.

Cole-Lewis, Y. C., Hope, E. C., Mustafaa, F. N., & Jagers, R. J. (2021). Incongruent Impressions: Teacher, Parent, and Student Perceptions of Two Black Boys’ School Experiences. Journal of Adolescent Research,  (0)1-32. https://doi.org/10.1177/07435584211062140

Williams, K. L., Mustafaa, F. N., & Burt, B. A. (2019). Black males and early math achievement: An examination of students’ strengths and role strain with policy implications. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 25(4), 325-352.

Sealy-Jefferson, S., Mustafaa, F.N., & Misra, D. (2019). Early-life neighborhood context, perceived stress, and preterm birth in African Americans. SSM- Population Health, 7, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2019.100362

McGee, E.O., Houston, II, S. L., Mustafaa, F.N., Botchway, P., & Naphan, D.E. (2019). Turned off from an academic career: Engineering and computing doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers and the reasons for their dissuasion. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 14, 277-305. https://doi.org/10.28945/4250

Sealy-Jefferson, S., Roseland, M., Cote, M.L., Lehman, A. M., Whitsel, E.A., Mustafaa, F.N., Booza, J., & Simon, M.S. (2018). Rural-urban residence and stage at breast cancer diagnosis among postmenopausal women: The Women’s Health Initiative. Journal of Women’s Health. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2017.6884

Carter, R., Mustafaa, F. N., Leath, S., & Butler-Barnes, S. (2018). Teachers’ academic and behavioral expectations and girls’ pubertal development: Does the classroom learning environment matter? Social Psychology of Education, 21(4), 973-1000.

Carter, R., Mustafaa, F. N., & Leath, S. (2018). Teachers’ expectations of girls’ classroom performance and behavior: Effects of girls’ race and pubertal timing. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 38(7), 885-907. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431617699947

Mustafaa, F. N, Lozada, F., Channey, J., Skoog-Hoffman, A., & Jagers, R. J. (2017). Middle school students’ perceptions of teacher support, teaching practices, and school engagement: An examination of the Developmental Designs approach. Middle Grades Research Journal, 11(2), 83-98.

Richardson, B. L., Macon, T. A., Mustafaa, F. N., Bogan, E. D., Cole-Lewis, Y., & Chavous, T. M. (2015). Associations of racial discrimination and parental discrimination coping messages with African American adolescent racial identity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(6), 1301-1317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0196-6

Non-Refereed Publications

Taylor, A.N., Mustafaa, F.N., Christensen, C. (2017). Diversity within diversity: The varied experiences of Asian and Asian American law students. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

Jagers, R., Mustafaa, F. N., & Noel, B. (2017). Cultural integrity and African American empowerment: Insights and practical implications for community psychology. Invited chapter in M.A. Bond, C.B. Keys & I. Serrano-Garcia (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

*Chavous, T., Drotar, S., Fonseca-Bolorin, G., Leath, S., F., Lyons, D., & Mustafaa, F. (2016). Identity, motivation, and resilience: The example of Black college students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Invited chapter in J. DeCuir-Gunby and P. Schutz (Eds.) Researching race and ethnicity in the study of learning and motivation in social and cultural contexts.

Mustafaa, F. N. (2013, November 26). Pursuing racial equity in evaluation practice. Invited guest post to the American Evaluation Association’s blog, AEA365.

Selected Presentations

Mustafaa, F. N. (2019, February; panelist). You can’t capture what you can’t see: Prioritizing researcher positionality in equity-focused educational research. Hewlett Foundation Grantee Convening, Savannah, GA.

Mustafaa, F. N. (2019, February). The National Survey of Black Teachers: A multidisciplinary survey research study to understand, train, and retain a diverse teacher pool. University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, Berkeley, CA.

Okonofua, J.A. & Mustafaa, F. N. (2018, November). The role of empathic mindsets in decreasing racial discipline disparities. Minority Student Achievement Network, Governing Board of Superintendents Convening, Chicago, IL.

Mustafaa, F. N. (2017, April). Beneath the skin: Black K-12 educators’ racial identities, sociodemographics, and culturally relevant pedagogy dispositions. Roundtable paper presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio, TX.

Williams, K.L., Mustafaa, F.N., & Saunders, K. (2016, October). Expanding STEM pathways for young Black males. Paper Presentation at 5th Annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, Hamilton, Bermuda.

Mustafaa, F.N., Richardson, B., L., Anyiwo, N., Johnson, N., & Chavous, T.M. (2016, July). A comprehensive review of research using the MMRI and the MIBI. Paper presentation at the Biannual APA Division 45 conference, Palo Alto, CA.

Mustafaa, F. N., Davis, N. R., Jagers, R. J., & Alston, M. (2014, November). A university- school partnership examining global citizenship in a K-8 Detroit school: Vision to praxis. Paper presentation at the International Conference on Urban Education, Montego Bay, JA.

Mustafaa, F. N., Smith, C., Hope, E., & Moore, S. (2013, June). Integrating sociopolitical development into social and emotional learning interventions. Paper presentation at the Society for Community Research and Action’s Biennial conference, Miami, FL.

Hope, E., Moore, S., & Mustafaa, F. N. (2013, June). University-community partnerships for social change: Creating and teaching an experiential learning course on your campus. Workshop presentation at the Society for Community Research and Action’s Biennial conference, Miami, FL.

Mustafaa, F. N. (2013, June). Developing the “Whole [Black] Child”: Delineating models of African-centered education. Poster presented at the Black Graduate Conference in Psychology, Chapel Hill, NC.

Mustafaa, F. N. (2012, July). Elder/grandparent care-giving and its implications for emerging adult development. Poster presentation at the annual International Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, S.A.

*Macon, T., Mustafaa, F. N., Osai, E., Richardson, B., & Williams, A. (2012, February). Peers, teachers, and support: What matters for academic and social motivation? Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development conference on the Positive Development of Minority Children, Tampa, FL.

Mustafaa, F. N., Williams, K., & Burt, B. (2011, April). “A chicken in every pot” and college for every student: Examining relationships between race, urbanicity, and discrete intervals of postsecondary training. Roundtable paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Mustafaa, F. N., Mesa, V., & Lande, E. (2009, November). Methodological considerations in assessing the impact of developmental/remedial math on postsecondary student outcomes. Symposium presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Bailey, T. C. & Mustafaa, F. N. (2009, October). Engineering education for the betterment of society: Evaluation of K-12 and student transition initiatives. Poster presented at the 4th Annual Research and Scholarship in Engineering symposium at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Fisher, A., Lee, M., Bailey, T., Masse, J., McGuinness, T., & Mustafaa, F.N. (2009, June). Improving access and academic success for underrepresented students. Panel session presented at the 49th Annual Forum, Association for Institutional Research, Atlanta, GA.

Van Nimwegen, K.L., Petrill, S.A., Deater-Deckard, K., Kochie, T.M., Markley, S.D., Patel, K.A., Mustafaa, F.N., and Zach, S. (2003, May). Pre-adoptive environmental influences on outcomes in adopted children. Poster session presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Tampa, FL.

* Authors contributed equally and are listed alphabetically.

Fellowships and Honors

2021: UC Davis School of Education Faculty Mentorship Award

2019: UC Davis Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences and Humanities (CAMPSSAH)

Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow

Rookie Teacher of the Year Award, Madison Middle School, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Professional Affiliations

American Educational Research Association
American Evaluation Association
Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27)
Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race (APA Division 45)

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