When Dr. Alexis Patterson joined the School of Education faculty as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Science Education in Fall 2015, she was invited to join the UC Davis CAMPOS faculty scholars. CAMPOS, or Center for Advancing Multicultural Perspectives on Science, is an initiative of UC Davis ADVANCE, which is funded through the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program. CAMPOS seeks to promote women’s participation in the advancement of academic careers in science, social science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“Participating in CAMPOS means an opportunity for people who have persevered in STEM fields to get acknowledgment of their work,” said Patterson, “and it’s also an opportunity for national visibility for women that are doing this rigorous work.” As a CAMPOS participant, Patterson hopes to help mentor up and coming women of color in the STEM field, and to help them navigate the obstacles that are present in these fields for historically marginalized groups.
Patterson’s research includes equity studies, social psychology and science education, with her more recent projects focusing on equity issues among students who work together on group projects in science. She’s passionate about her work with diverse learners. “That’s the heart and crux of my research—better understanding of the experiences of diverse learners and increasing the pathways for them to science fields,” she said. Patterson aims to develop curricula that will support group interactions in science, where she believes everyone involved has a role in making a space that is welcome and equitable.
In addition to teaching elementary science methods and a science education literacy and policy course, Patterson will be continuing research in how to increase the participation of underrepresented minority population in science, specifically at the elementary science level. We look forward to seeing the impact of Dr. Patterson’s efforts in increasing the involvement of diverse scholars in STEM related fields.