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First-Gen Faculty Panel: “How My Identity Influences My Academic Research.” - The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program

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First-Gen Faculty Panel: “How My Identity Influences My Academic Research.”

Friday, November 6, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

As part of UNC’s 2020 National First-gen College Celebration, Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS will be hosting a panel discussion with some of our own outstanding first-generation faculty.  The panelists will share their own personal experiences as first-generation faculty and why they’ve chosen their particular area of research.  This event is open to the entire UNC community (students, faculty, and staff), as well as the public.  Zoom link will be emailed just prior to the event.


Jennifer M. Morton, Ph.D. (She/her)
Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences

Jennifer M. Morton is an associate professor of philosophy. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.A. from Princeton University. Her book Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility was published with Princeton University Press in 2019. She has won numerous awards including the Philosopher’s Annual 2019 Best Philosophy Paper Award,  the 2017 Australasian Association of Philosophy‘s Best AJP Paper Award, and the American Philosophical Association’s Scheffler Prize for her work in philosophy of education.


Nicole Else-Quest, Ph.D. (She/her)
Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

A first-generation college student, Nicole Else-Quest earned her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006, specializing in women’s health and gender development.  She regularly teaches two undergraduate courses at Carolina: Women in Science and The Psychology of Women and Gender. Current projects in Dr. Else-Quest’s lab, funded by NSF and NIH, are focused on understanding the underrepresentation of women, students of color, and first-generation students in STEM, and developing and implementing interventions to expand their participation and persistence in undergraduate and graduate STEM education.  In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Else-Quest is co-author of the undergraduate textbook, Psychology of Women and Gender: Half the Human Experience+. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and serves on the Editorial Board of Stigma and Health. Dr. Else-Quest is the faculty advisor for the UNC chapter of Tri Alpha, the national honors society for first-generation college students.



Cassandra Davis, Ph.D. (She/her)
Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy, College of Arts & Sciences

Cassandra R. Davis, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the environmental disruptions to schooling, specifically the impact of natural disasters on low-income, communities of color. Dr. Davis’ ultimate goal is to support educators, community leaders, and policymakers to improve responses, preparedness, and recovery in areas with the highest need. Her most recent project focus on the impact of COVID-19 on schooling communities and First-Generation College Students. During 2019 & 2020, Dr. Davis led a team to investigate the extent of hurricane exposure from two isolated storms affected school-wide resilience and student outcomes. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded this study.  During 2018, Davis received funding from NSF to explore the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Matthew on public schools in Texas and North Carolina



Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D. (He/him)
John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, College of Arts & Sciences and Assistant Dean for Honors Carolina

Mitch Prinstein Ph.D., is the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Assistant Dean for Honors Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mitch’s research examines interpersonal models of internalizing symptoms and health risk behaviors among adolescents, with a specific focus on the unique role of peer relationships in the developmental psychopathology of depression and self-injury. He is a past Editor for the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, a past-president of both the Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology and the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association.  He has received several national and university-based awards recognizing his contributions to research, classroom instruction, for professional development training, as a mentor, and for his national contributions to education and training at the local, state, and national level.


Will Vizuete, Ph.D. (He/him)
Associate Professor Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Air pollution is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide and has a disproportionally negative impact on poorer communities and countries. These facts have motivated Dr. Vizuete’s research that focuses on understanding how PM is created in the atmosphere, and how our exposure to PM leads to deadly diseases. Through this research he has produced new insights through air quality models, field studies, laboratory experiments, and a patented in vitro technology. A better understanding of how PM forms gives us the knowledge to clean the air for our most vulnerable populations. Dr. Vizuete is also the son of two Latin American immigrants and is a first-generation college student. This has instilled a passion in him for increasing retention of underrepresented groups on college campuses. Dr. Vizuete has served as a volunteer for the UNC Lookout Scholars, UNC Finish Line Program, UNC Men of Color program, and the Scholars Latino Initiative.



Friday, November 6, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category: