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Physics Education Research Conference 2022 Plenary Speakers

Kari Dockendorff, Colorado State University

Dr. Kari Dockendorff is an assistant professor in the Higher Education Leadership Program in the School of Education at Colorado State University. In their research, Dr. Dockendorff critically examines the trans* student experience through the development of a survey tool that measures trans* inclusive behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge of staff in their interactions with trans* students. They also work on developing better approaches to measuring gender and sexuality in survey instruments, moving beyond a binary, categorical approach. Dr. Dockendorff collaborates with other queer quantitative scholars in higher education to develop Queer Quant Methodological approaches. Dr. Dockendorff completed their Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy, with a graduate certificate in Gender Studies, at the University of Utah.

Shanna Katz Kattari, University of Michigan School of Social Work

Shanna K. Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE, ACS is an academic, an activist, and a White, Jewish, nonbinary, disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, middle-class polyam queer fat Femme. Their practice and community background is as a board certified sexologist, certified sexuality educator, and social justice advocate.  Dr. Kattari's work focuses on understanding how power, privilege and oppression systematically marginalize, exclude, and discriminate against people regarding their identities/expressions through negative attitudes, policies reinforcing oppression, oppressive actions and isolation.  Recently, they have focused on the health disparities among trans and gender diverse communities, across physical and behavioral health, as well as working with the community through community based participatory research and arts-based research methods to better understand how the lack of inclusive providers has increased these disparities. They are also interested in examining sexuality in marginalized communities, particularly disabled adults and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals.

Luis Leyva, Vanderbilt University

Leyva's research examines narratives of oppression and agency among undergraduate students from historically marginalized groups to uncover interlocking functions of antiblack racism, white supremacy, and cisheteropatriarchy across STEM educational contexts. He developed a research framework (STEM Education as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space) for exploring functions and disruptions of white cisheteropatriarchy as well as accounts of student agency across ideological, institutional, and relational levels of STEM educational experiences. His research informs equity-oriented practices of instruction and co-curricular support that affirm underrepresented students' intersectional identities as well as promote STEM persistence. Leyva was distinguished with the 2022 LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year Award from Out of Innovate and the 2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation. His published research appears in the American Educational Research Journal, The Journal of Higher Education, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, and Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.

Taylor McNeill, Vanderbilt University

Taylor McNeill is a doctoral student in mathematics education at Vanderbilt University. Their research focuses on faculty engagement in equity-oriented instructional and departmental change in postsecondary mathematics. They previously received a Ph.D. in mathematics and worked as a mathematics professor, experiences that inform their interrogation of mathematics content, culture, and epistemology in perpetuating inequity.

Nicolette Mitchell, Vanderbilt University

Nicollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology and Africana studies from Oberlin College and a Masters of Science in Geosciences from the University of Arizona. Following her passion for global and institutional climate change, she has worked in STEM Education and Equity and Inclusion Education for the last five years. She is passionate about the factors that influence the retention and persistence of historically underserved students, faculty, and staff in higher education.

Gary D. White, The George Washington University

Gary D. White is the Editor of The Physics Teacher, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the teaching of introductory physics, and Adjunct Professor of Physics at The George Washington University. His current research interests include physics pedagogy, rolling marbles on curved spandex surfaces, and rolling unfair dice on flat, non-spandex surfaces. Most recently he has been working to better understand how to improve the writing and trouble-shooting skills for physics undergraduates. Dr. White's background includes stints as a nuclear theorist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as a math instructor and nuclear engineering researcher at Texas A&M, as a physics professor at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, as the national Director of the Society of Physics Students, and as a program director at the National Science Foundation, but he considers himself a physics teacher, primarily. He is a Fellow of the APS and a recipient of the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation.