Dr. Davinah Sharnese Smith is a postdoctoral fellow in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division. Her fellowship with Dr. Janine Remillard centers on working with teacher education programs and conducting research on teacher education. In 2017, Dr. Smith earned her doctorate from Temple University’s Urban Education program, where she was awarded the Future Faculty Fellowship. Her dissertation uses multilevel modeling and the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, a nationally representative study of American high schoolers. The dissertation examines the role of math identity and mathematics learning opportunity on racial differences in students’ science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career aspiration, advanced math course enrollment, and math engagement. Dr. Smith’s work details the limitations of math identity as a pathway to STEM; highlights the need for multilevel modeling in our understanding of racial equity in STEM; and calls for policymakers and practitioners to consider the structure of school and how it impacts racial differences in students’ STEM-related outcomes.
Dr. Smith is a first-generation college student, Gates Millennium Scholar, and former middle-years math teacher. Her passion for education stems from her personal experiences of being pushed out of school and into the school-to-prison pipeline as a K–8 student in Philadelphia. In addition to her doctorate degree from Temple University, Dr. Smith holds degrees from the Wharton School and Penn Graduate School of Education.