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  • Lara Perez-Felkner

    Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner

    Associate Professor/Program Coordinator

    1205H Stone Building

    (850) 645-8450

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  • Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Sociology in the Higher Education Program within the College of Education at Florida State University. She is also an Affiliated Faculty member in the Department of Sociology, and Senior Research Associate with FSU’s Center for Postsecondary Success. Additional affiliations: the HOPE center for College, Community, and Justice; Pathways to Adulthood, and Network Gender and STEM.

    Her research uses developmental and sociological perspectives to examine how young people’s social contexts influence their college and career outcomes. She focuses on the mechanisms that shape entry into and persistence in institutions and fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented. In particular, she investigates racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in post-secondary educational attainment and entry to scientific career fields. Dr. Perez-Felkner published a New Directions in Institutional Research volume on undergraduate women in STEM and is guest editing a special issue in the International Journal for Gender, Science, and Technology. Published work appears in journals including: Developmental Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Teachers’ College Record, as well in several edited volumes. Her research has been covered in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in news outlets including ABC News and National Public Radio affiliates, Bustle, the Conversation, Salon, Science News for Students, and U.S. News and World Report.

    Dr. Perez-Felkner has professional experience in Student Affairs as well. At the University of Chicago, she served as a Resident Head in the College from 2006-2012 and on an NSF AGEP-supported Social Sciences Division Taskforce on Diversity for the Professoriate. Prior to graduate school, she was a post-placement counselor for grade 7-10 students with Prep for Prep, helping underrepresented students transition to magnet schools and private day and boarding college preparatory schools. While earning her B.A. at Wesleyan University, she also worked in residence life, admissions, and student leadership.

    Currently, she is Program Coordinator for FSU’s Higher Education graduate program, Co-Chair of the Latinx Faculty and Staff Collective at Florida State, a member of the APLU iChange ASPIRE alliance team, a member of the President’s Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion.

    Dr. Perez-Felkner teaches graduate courses in Sociology of Education, Sociology of Higher Education, Higher Education Outcomes Assessment, and Applied Education Policy Analysis. Impressed by the enthusiasm and caliber of FSU students, she has and continues to mentor and support students in collaborative research on higher education pathways to degrees and careers. Since joining the faculty, she received FSU’s Transformation through Teaching Award in 2014, was a 2015 finalist for the FSU College of Education’s Robert M. Gagne Research Award, won the 2016 Hardee Center Supervisor/Mentor Award, and received the 2018-19 FSU Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. She will be accepting at least one new funded Ph.D. student to start in Fall, 2020 and encourages interested students to reach out directly in advance of submitting their applications.

    View Dr. Perez-Felkner’s website

    Office Phone: (850) 645-8450


    Selected Recent Publications


    Nix, S., & Perez-Felkner, L. (2019). Difficulty orientations, gender, and race/ethnicity: An intersectional analysis of pathways to STEM degrees. Social Sciences, 8(2), 1-29. doi: 10.3390/socsci8020043. See also video abstract: https://youtu.be/w-2QEoJjKDE

    Perez-Felkner, L., Thomas, K., Nix, S., Hopkins, J., & D’Sa, M. (2019). Are 2-Year Colleges the Key? Institutional Variation and the Gender Gap in Undergraduate STEM Degrees. Journal of Higher Education. 90(2), 181-209. doi: 10.1080/00221546.2018.1486641

    Perez-Felkner, L. (2018, online first). “Affirmative Action Challenges Keep on Keeping On: Responding to Shifting Federal and State Policy.” Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13603108.2018.1529639 See also public communication article in The Conversation, republished by various news outlets.

    Perez-Felkner, L., Gaston Gayles, J. (Eds.) (2018).  Special Issue: Advancing Higher Education Research on Undergraduate Women in STEM. New Directions for Institutional Research, vol. 179, pp. 1-137.

    Perez-Felkner, L. (2018). Conceptualizing the field: Higher education research on the STEM gender gap. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(179): 11-26. doi: 10.1002/ir.20273

    Šaras, E., Perez-Felkner, L., & Nix, S. (2018).  Warming the Chill: Insights for Institutions and Researchers to Keep Women in STEM. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(179): 115-137. doi:10.1002/ir.20278

    Šaras, E. & Perez-Felkner, L. (2018) “Sociological Perspectives on Socialization.” Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0155

    Orozco, R. & Perez-Felkner, L. (2018). Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá: Conceptualizing the Self-Authorship Experience of Gay Latino College Men Using Conocimiento. Journal of Latinos and Education. 17:4, 386-394. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15348431.2017.1371018

    Milesi, C., Perez-Felkner, L., Brown, K, & Schneider, B. (2017). Engagement, Persistence, and Gender in Computer Science: Results of a Smartphone ESM Study. Frontiers in Psychology. 8:602. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00602

    Perez-Felkner, L., Nix, S., & Thomas, K. (2017). Gendered Pathways: How Mathematics Ability Beliefs Shape Secondary and Postsecondary Course and Degree Field Choices. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(386). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00386 See related press.

    Perez-Felkner, L. (2015). Perceptions and Resilience in Underrepresented Students’ Pathways to College. Teachers College Record, 117(8), 1-60. Full text available here, with TCR reprint rights.

    Schneider, B., Milesi, C., Perez-Felkner, L., Brown, K., & Gutin, I. (2015). Does the gender gap in STEM majors vary by field and institutional selectivity? Teachers College Record. See the associated poster.