Jill Finlayson

Closed (1) Research to Support Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity in Tech

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Working closely with the Director of the EDGE in Tech Initiative for guidance, introductions, and mentorship, individuals or teams of two will pick an area to focus on and deliver research, reports, and programs for the following initiatives (please indicate preference:

1.150W Database: To promote the discovery of notable women in Cal's history and a more complete history of the contributions of Cal women, the researcher will explore 500 notable women at Cal and help refine a comprehensive database of these leaders. Improve and complete profiles of leading women, tag their entries with interesting attributes, distill insights and visualize data, and write a blog post to share information. This is part of the culmination of the 150W celebration of 150 years of women being admitted to Cal and a complimentary database to accompany the history project articles archive. Optionally explore creating or augmenting Wikipedia entries for these notable women.

2. DeCal Course: Co-lead and co-moderate a fall Decal course on “Exploration of Inclusive Pathways into the Tech Industry” on Tuesdays 6-7:30pm. Contribute to syllabus development and execution of this course on equitable pathways into tech sectors. Project work includes: hosting guest speakers, researching and introducing topics around ethics and emerging technologies, selecting readings and articles, and providing professional development skills to discover and apply for jobs in tech for students from all backgrounds. This course helps students become more comfortable and confident about participating in entrepreneurship and the tech industry. Co-leads have full autonomy and responsibility for the running of the class, from materials/topics to grading final projects. Students carry out the course however they feel best achieves the goals of promoting inclusion and pathways in tech.

In your application, identify project that you would be interested in working on.
All roles will benefit from excellent research skills, visualization of data, curation and distillation of insights and best practices, and/or strong communication and presentation skills.
Students will be expected to work independently, co-create the deliverables, and present their work to audiences ranging from CITRIS staff to larger, targeted groups.
Mentoring will expand your professional networks, strengthen your understanding and skills around leadership, diversity and inclusion, pilots and iteration, metrics and measurement, design thinking, and communication.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Jill Finlayson, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: * Demonstrated interest in and/or ability to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech. * Strong research and writing skills, database, data science and visualization a plus. * Experience or interest in STEM fields, emerging technologies, ethics, and/or the intersection of social sciences and tech. * Interest in expanding communication and presentation skills. * All genders and identities are encouraged to apply if you feel you could contribute to furthering these initiatives.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Remote and optionally 330 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Related website: https://edge.berkeley.edu/resources/decal-course/
Related website: http://150W.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Analyzing the correlation between apprenticeship, mentorship and persistence in STEM using URAP Alumni data

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

There is often a chasm between what is taught in the classroom and what students need to be successful. Research experience and mentorship are two key components that potentially increase integration of URM students into STEM related disciplines. However, it is less clear which component contributes more towards persistence. Evidence suggests that programs with a research experience component are more likely to contribute toward developing and sustaining interest in STEM fields. In this study, we propose conducting a longitudinal study of the long-term impact of the flagship UC mentoring program—The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship program (URAP) at UC Berkeley, that was started in 1991. It provides guidance for students in research and mentorship: the two components shown to increase URM integration and persistence in STEM education and matriculation to the workforce.

The work aims to address the following research questions:
What are the key success factors for making a positive STEM experience for students (URM vs non-URM)
Have URAP experiences correlated to increased persistence in STEM related careers?
How might this data be leveraged to develop STEM capabilities among URM?


This project develops on a research effort that began last semester to uncover potential relationships between student demographics, areas of interest, majors and specialization during their time in the URAP program over the last 25+ years. The focus of this project hinges on 2 large data sets (a) data set of URAP projects and its participants and (b) alumni data of program participants, to explore the relationship between URAP project participation and post- graduation career paths.

This project will entail working with the 2 data sets mentioned above, to inform a mixed methods research including survey and focus groups of alumni. You will have an opportunity to design, execute and summarize research findings. It is anticipated that this project may extend beyond 1 semester. This project hopes to uncover relationships between student’s post graduation paths and their areas of interest during their time in the URAP program. The results of the data exploration can be used to underscore the importance of continued URAP participation and highlight the need for a broad range of projects. Additionally, the results may reveal ways in which the program can better support students.]


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Anita Balaraman. Adjunct Faculty, Fung Institute of Engineering Leadership, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Familiar with statistics, data visualization and manipulation is required (completion of Data 8 and other relevant courses); experience in qualitative and quantitative research, motivated and self-directed, with curiosity and interest in equity and diversity.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Remote and optionally 330 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Related website: https://citris-uc.org/2020-citris-core-seed-funding-awards-announced/
Related website: http://edge.berkeley.edu

Closed (3) Mentoring research analysis and operationalization/program development

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

This project focuses on analyzing and distilling key findings from a recently completed research- The Impact of Shared Values and Power on Successful Mentoring for Under-Represented Minorities in STEM. The research studied the effectiveness of digital near-peer mentoring across geographic barriers, during COVID-19 social distancing requirements, to increase persistence of historically underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

This project will include-
summarizing and distilling key findings from the above research project
identifying mentorship programs across the UC system that could utilize this research and tools. This would include usability research, and impact on equity
developing mentorship program guidelines, curriculum, and onboarding tools that mentorship programs identified above can adopt and use ]

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Anita Balaraman. Adjunct Faculty, Fung Institute of Engineering Leadership

Qualifications: Familiar with statistics, data visualization and manipulation; experience in qualitative and quantitative research, motivated and self-directed, with curiosity and interest in equity and diversity.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Remote and optionally 330 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Related website: https://citris-uc.org/2020-citris-core-seed-funding-awards-announced/
Related website: http://edge.berkeley.edu

Closed (4) Gender Fair and Equity Scoring Universities

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

In collaboration with Jill Finlayson, EDGE in Tech and Amy Cross, CEO/Founder of Gender Fair, two students will work on project to promote transparency on how universities are performing on a number of equity metrics. Focus is on development and refinement of a scoring system for diversity and gender equity for colleges and universities (with focus on STEM). The goal is to source data, vet findings with the colleges, publish findings, and share best practices to promote greater transparency and accountability.


We are pursuing two strategies and are looking for:
One student to focus on web crawling, scraping publicly available data and using their expertise to create scope work/guidance for developing a tool to collect and analyze availability and accessibility of inclusion data from colleges
One student to take an investigative journalism approach to look at data collected and summarize what colleges are doing well, where they could do better, any data gaps and recommendations for preferred templates or delivery of information


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Amy Cross, CEO, Gender Fair

Qualifications: The web crawler role will require scraping experience and programming skills, understanding of html, and creative problem solving. The investigative journalism role will benefit from strong analytical and communication skills, strong organization and follow up. For both, we are seeking folks with an interest in diversity and inclusion and promoting equity.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Remote and optionally 330 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Related website: https://edge.berkeley.edu/
Related website: https://www.genderfair.com/