Faculty Advisor

Remy Dou

Author Biographical Statement

Vanessa Ponte is a senior at Florida International University, majoring in Psychology while on a Pre-Medical track. Vanessa has been working alongside Dr. Remy Dou in his research pertaining to family science talk and its contribution to STEM identity development since Fall of 2021. She has presented her work in a poster at the annual UndergradResearchFIU (URFIU) Conference, 2022. Following graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she aspires to attend medical school and continue research in psychology while specializing in psychiatry.


Colonialism gave rise to cultures of power, positioning non-white traditions and cultures as “inferior,” including knowledge and education practices (Rosa & Mensah, 2021). As such, many children identifying with marginalized ethnic, racial, and/or gender groups, encounter sometimes contradictory and often deconstructive messaging from their educational and social orbits about their personal alignment with STEM (Cian et al., 2022). Consequently, minoritized learners are often faced with a requirement that, in order to persevere, they must adopt characteristics that the cultures of power in STEM embrace, such as girls pursuing physics disassociating themselves from femininity and highlighting masculinity in the way they present themselves (Francis et al., 2016). Furthermore, youths of color find themselves using survival strategies, such as “acting white” (McGee, 2016), in order to join STEM communities, which may result in dissonance with one’s cultural identities. In this literature review, I will unpack empirical research that illustrates how the STEM identity of youths is influenced by interactions with significant persons in the home and the school. The aim of this literature review is to inform future research in STEM identity development of youth who identify with communities marginalized in STEM spaces.



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Psychology Commons