Dr. Ebony McGee is a Professor of Innovation and inclusion in the STEM Ecosystem at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education and its Department of Mental Health. Dr. McGee is an electrical engineer by training and an 13-time NSF investigator awardee. She is the leading expert on both race and structural racism within the traditional STEM ecosystem and the resistance to this paradigm. Her research includes the experiences and mental/physical health consequences of STEM education and occupations for Black and other minoritized students and professionals. She also investigates the limits of resiliency, wellness, and job embeddedness in the STEM ecosystem. She founded Racial Revolutionary and Inclusive Guidance for Health Throughout STEM (R-RIGHTS) and co-founded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI), as well as the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), with support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the WT Grant Foundation.

Her latest research explores the relationship between STEM innovation and entrepreneurship. Her work focuses on the infrastructure enhancements required to support a diverse population of founders and business owners in STEM. She served as a member of the research team for the Inclusion in Innovation Initiative (i4), a $3.5 million cooperative partnership between the NSF and the National GEM Consortium, providing scholarships for graduate students in engineering and science, to develop a national diversity and inclusion infrastructure for the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program for STEM entrepreneurship.

A key concept in Dr. McGee’s work is equity ethics. In articles in the Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Engineering Education, American Journal of Education, and Teacher College Record, she has demonstrated that racially minoritized people in STEM gravitate toward empathetic social causes and racial justice efforts within and beyond their STEM pursuits. Their racial and ethnic marginalization—and the way they themselves have suffered—translates into concerns, efforts, and actions towards ending local and global disparities.

Dr. McGee conducted 319 interviews with high-achieving, underrepresented STEM undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty of color to write her first sole-authored book, Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation (Harvard Education Press, 2020). She found that key motivators for persistence in STEM were catalyzing change, improving communities, and being the STEM professor of color that many of the students and faculty she interviewed never had. Her book has received positive reviews in Teacher’s College Record, University World News, Science Education Review, Chemistry World Review, and the Journal of Intersectionality.

She has written numerous op-eds published by Science, The Washington Post, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Nature Human Behaviour and Cancer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Higher Education Today, Education Week, and the British Broadcasting Company. Her research has appeared in Science, US News & World Report, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, The Hechinger Report, NPR Codeswitch, The Tennessean, and the Washington Monthly.

Learn more about Dr. McGee’s work: