Linda Sax

Dr. Linda J. Sax, Principal Investigator

Linda J. Sax is Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA. Dr. Sax’s research focuses on gender differences in college student development, with an emphasis on women in STEM fields. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Computing Research Association,, and the Women’s College Coalition, among others. Dr. Sax previously served as national director (from 1997 to 2005) of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), the nation’s largest and longest-running multi-institutional study of college students. Dr. Sax is the author of more than 100 publications, including The Gender Gap in College: Maximizing the Developmental Potential of Women and Men (Jossey-Bass, 2008), and is the recipient of the 2005 Scholar-in- Residence Award from the American Association of University Women and the 1999 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Dr. Kathleen J. Lehman, Associate Director for BRAID Research and Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Lehman serves as the Associate Director for BRAID Research. She recently completed her Ph.D in Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA where her dissertation focused on the experiences of undecided students in introductory computing courses. Her research interests include gender issues in higher education, women and underrepresented minority students in STEM fields (particularly computer science), and co-curricular learning experiences for STEM students. Dr. Lehman holds a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in French from Miami University.



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Kari George, Senior Data Manager and Research Analyst

Kari George is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA. Prior to attending UCLA, she received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and her master’s degree from Salem State University. Kari worked in residential life for five years and then spent two years working in technology project management, supporting teams of software developers. Kari’s research interests include graduate student outcomes, well-being, and workforce transitions.


Julia Karpicz, Research Analyst

Julia Karpicz is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA. Julia holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in International Education from New York University. Prior to attending UCLA, Julia worked for five years in postsecondary disability services. Her current research interests include access, disability studies, and critical pedagogy in higher education.


Tomoko M. Nakajima, Research Analyst

Tomoko Nakajima is a Ph.D. candidate in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Urban Schooling division. Prior to joining BRAID, she was a researcher on the Exploring Computer Science project, studying computer science students and instruction at the high school level. She was also on the evaluation team for STAR, the STEM teacher preparation program at CSU Dominguez Hills. As a former classroom teacher, Nakajima holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, a master’s in education administration, and a bilingual (Spanish) teaching credential. Her dissertation focuses on career decision-making and job persistence among teachers at Title I schools.


Kaitlin Newhouse, Research Analyst

Kaitlin Newhouse is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program. Prior to attending UCLA, she received her bachelor’s degree in gender studies from Tulane University where she subsequently worked for four years at the Newcomb College Institute. Her research interests center around gender equity in higher education, including the role of university faculty in the persistence and retention of women students and students of color.


Sarayu Sundar, Research Analyst

Sarayu Sundar is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA. Sarayu holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Houston. Prior to attending UCLA, Sarayu worked for six years in student affairs at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. Her current research interests include campus climate, access, and equity within higher education.

 Annie Wofford, Research Analyst

Annie Wofford is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA. Prior to attending UCLA, Annie received her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) and her bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Central Missouri. Additionally, Annie worked in admissions for four years at the UMKC School of Medicine. Her research interests include undergraduate experiences affecting college student transitions to graduate school and beyond, particularly high-impact practices among women and students of color, as well as access and equity in STEM fields.


Jennifer Blaney's headshot

Dr. Jennifer Blaney is a postdoctoral scholar at Utah State University. She earned her PhD in Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA, where her dissertation used BRAID Research data to explore gender and how students conceptualize leadership in computing and technology. More broadly, her research interests relate to gender and college student development in STEM, with an emphasis on undergraduate leadership development in male-dominated STEM fields.



Dr. Joanna Goode is an Associate Professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon whose scholarship focuses on access and inclusion in computer science education. Formerly a mathematics and computer science high school teacher in an urban high school, she approaches her research with a deep appreciation of how pedagogy, curriculum, and schooling policies converge to influence student learning opportunities. Dr. Goode developed the equity-focused Exploring Computer Science high school curriculum and associated professional development program. Dr. Goode has authored multiple journal articles, chapters, and is co-author of the book, Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing (MIT Press, 2008/2017).

Dr. Sarah L. Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Iowa State University. Dr. Rodriguez’s research addresses issues of equity, access, and retention in higher education, with a focus on Latina/o students and students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Currently, she is involved with several large-scale interdisciplinary research projects focused on institutional environments and STEM identity development which have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from The University of Texas at Austin and holds a master’s degree with a focus in College Student Personnel from The University of Tennessee. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Texas A&M University-Commerce and was a transfer student from Trinity Valley Community College. During her academic career, Dr. Rodriguez has presented at conferences at the national, regional, and local levels and authored journal articles, book chapters, policy briefs, and other publications on student success.

Dr. Jane Stout earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011. She has been studying diversity related issues in science and technology for more than a decade, has published widely on the topic, and has received several grants and awards for her work.




Brit Website HeadshotDr. Brit Toven-Lindsey recently completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA. Her dissertation focused on learning about college students’ development of digital literacy and attitudes toward professional career transitions, with a particular focus on the experiences of lower-income students. Her research interests include access and equity in STEM fields, innovative teaching and learning strategies, and students’ career preparation. Brit holds a master’s degree in multicultural and international education from Oslo University College in Norway and a master’s in higher education and student affairs from San Diego State University.


Dr. Hilary Zimmerman  is a Research Associate in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include women’s leadership pathways, college student civic engagement, issues related to bias response teams on college campuses, and broadening participation in STEM. She earned her PhD from the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA and holds a master’s degree from Indiana University in Higher Education and Student Affairs. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Speech-Language Pathology.


Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles is an associate professor of higher education in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult & Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Dr. Gayles’ research focuses on college student access and success, particularly for student athletes and women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Equity and diversity are themes that cut across all areas of her research agenda.

Dr. Karen Kim is the senior researcher and evaluator for the USC Shoah Foundation. She was previously a faculty member at CSU Fullerton; education director for a National Science Foundation funded center at UCLA; researcher and evaluator of several large-scale, multi-institutional grant projects; and research administrator for the Directors Guild of America.

Dr. Colleen Lewis is an assistant professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College who specializes in computer science education. Lewis researches how people learn computer science and how people feel about learning computer science. Her research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn.

Dr. Jane Margolis is a Senior Researcher at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She is a social scientist and the author of two award-winning books on the inequities in computer science education, Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing (MIT, 2002) and Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing (MIT, 2008). Dr. Margolis studies the interaction of structural inequalities and belief systems that perpetuate denied access of equal opportunities and segregation.  She was awarded the 2016 White House Champion of Change award for her work on broadening participation in computer science.

Dr. Xueli Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wang’s research centers on beginning community college students’ access to, transitioning into, and attainment at 4-year institutions, as well as undergraduate students’ participation in STEM fields of study.