Dr. Rachel Chaffee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. She was a Scandling Scholar at the Warner School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester and completed her Ph.D. in May, 2016.
In her research, Rachel specializes in feminist intersectional and sociocultural perspectives of identity development and learning in higher education and out-of-school-time environments. She currently works as a research fellow on an NSF-funded longitudal study, "Staying In Science: Examining the Pathways of Underrepresented Youth Mentored in Research," which aims to contribute to a broader understanding of why underrepresented youth who have an interest in science in high school often do not pursue or complete science studies in college and beyond. Her past research projects examined how women in academic engineering at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and faculty levels learn to write for publication. Her dissertation, Reel Science: An Ethnographic Study of Girls’ Science Identity Development In and Through Film, explored the ways that middle and high school urban girls developed identities with respect to science through participation in inquiry science investigations and documentary filmmaking in an out-of-school-time science club. Her dissertation was awarded the Susan B. Anthony Dissertation Award for the most distinguished dissertation in women’s and/or gender studies awarded by faculty and administration of the University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies.
Rachel has taught in higher education for over twelve years at both the graduate and undergraduate level in multiple contexts, including liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and private research universities. Much of her teaching focuses on engaging students in academic writing and research within and across disciplinary fields. In addition, she has taught courses in science literacy for pre-service teachers, research methods courses for Ph.D. and Ed.D students, and a course on feminist perspectives of science for undergraduate students. As the former Coordinator of the Writing Support Services Program at the Warner School of Education and as the former Director of the Writing Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rachel trained undergraduate and graduate student writing consultants and designed and delivered writing workshops and professional development for graduate students.