This panel presentation will highlight the recently published text, "Behind the Diversity Numbers," by Dr. W. Carson Byrd. Informative in nature, this book talk will center on theoretical concepts and current research associated with the use of statistics within systems of higher education and the adverse effects the misuse of these numbers can have on minoritized student groups.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021
2:00–3:30 p.m. ET


Dr. W. Carson Byrd

Dr. W. Carson Byrd is a senior fellow-in-residence at the National Center for Institutional Diversity. His research examines race and educational inequality, inter- and intraracial interactions and their influence on identities and ideologies, and the connections among race, science, and knowledge production. These three areas intertwine under a broader research umbrella examining how educational institutions, particularly colleges and universities, can simultaneously operate as centers for social mobility and engines of inequality. His work often exhibits a “behind the numbers” or “contextualized numbers” approach to quantitative methodology combining survey, organizational, and other available data to peel back how social processes shape people’s navigation and understanding of race, educational environments, and related outcomes and experiences. This approach promotes a critical eye toward methodological use as well to understand how research may enlighten us regarding sociological phenomena in some situations, but may obscure such phenomena in other situations. Dr. Byrd’s work also involves tackling systemic inequality on our college campuses, particularly as they influence access to higher education and the persistent disparities found in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.


Dr. Katherine S. Cho

Dr. Katherine S. Cho is an assistant professor in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University, Ohio. As an activist, scholar, practitioner, and educator, Dr. Cho's research agenda centers on critical social justice through institutional accountability and organizational change. Her work spans across student activism, institutionalized racism, retention, and flipping the narrative of "why aren't students prepared for college" to "why aren't colleges prepared for students."  At Miami, she teaches critical research foundations and organizational theory. Her pedagogy is grounded in (re)humanizing education and challenging the ways academic socialization contributes to neoliberalism, competition, and constructed scarcity.

Dr. Karly Ford

Dr. Karly Sarita Ford is an assistant professor in the education policy studies department at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on the sociology of higher education and race/racism in data collection, and research interests are higher education, sociology of education, international comparative education, and the social processes of collecting and representing demographic (race, gender, class) data.

Dr. Jameson David Lopez

Dr. Jameson D. Lopez is an enrolled member of the Quechan tribe located in Fort Yuma, California. He currently serves as an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. He studies Native American education using Indigenous statistics. As an Indigenous quantitative researcher with expertise in the limitations of collecting and applying quantitative results to Native American populations, he tends to examine research through tribal critical race theory which contends governmental policies toward Native American focus on the problematic goal of assimilation. This challenge often results in relatively low numbers of Native American voices in comparison to dominant culture voices in quantitative research, but can be overcome through increasing Native American participation in academic and policy discourse, and including Native American voices in quantitative research through Indigenous statistics.