Who We Are

The ICQCM Principal Investigators & Our Research Team 

Odis Johnson Jr.

Odis Johnson Jr., PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Education, Director of the NSF Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies, and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity at Washington University in St. Louis.

He also is a Faculty Scholar at the Institute of Public Health, affiliated faculty at the Brown School, both at Washington University. Prior to his appointments at Washington University, Dr. Johnson chaired the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland. Dr. Johnson completed his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, and a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Johnson’s civic and intellectual engagements extend from a realization that his own childhood experiences in struggling inner-city neighborhoods and their institutions are shared by far too many people of color. The scholarship that has emerged from this awareness has featured the complicating intersections of residential stratification, the relative status of African Americans, and social policy (educational, housing, or policing policies), not only to expand knowledge, but in hopes of increasing the possibilities of evidenced-based social reform. His work on these topics has earned him a National Academies/Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (the first awarded to an education scholar in the history of the interdisciplinary competition), the 2013 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association, and the 2015 Outstanding Author Contribution Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Dr. Johnson’s research has appeared in highly-selective scientific journals, including the Review of Educational Research, Social Science and Medicine, and the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Research. Research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Spencer Foundation have funded much of this work, and positioned Dr. Johnson as a leader within national conversations and efforts related to the advancement of quantitative and computational science in federal research.

He currently is the principal investigator of the Fatal Interactions with Police Study (FIPS) which has generated a national data file of police homicides, and three NSF-funded studies that examine how strategies to maintain law and order in neighborhoods and schools impact the representation of race-gender groups within the School-to-Prison and STEM pipelines. Dr. Johnson’s work and ideas about social change have been featured in prominent media outlets, including the Oprah Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Teen Vogue, The Associated Press, Vox, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, SiriusXM, and a variety of international and local news outlets. .

He is particularly interested in how power and difference are reproduced, especially in bodily capacities, and the ways in which sociotechnical systems of quantification are working on, with, and in the body to produce racialized demarcations of which bodily capacities to regenerate and which to debilitate. He is also deeply interested in theoretical and methodological interventions toward developing alternative modes of inquiry and practices of quantification that might enable the potentialities of reconstituting sociopolitical relations and the movement and flow of social life.

He is the author of Inheriting Possibility: Social Reproduction & Quantification in Education (2017, University of Minnesota Press), which received the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association. He also co-guest edited “Alternative Ontologies of Number: Rethinking the Quantitative in Computational Culture” (2016, Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies) and “The computational turn in education research: Critical and creative perspectives on the digital data deluge” (2017, Research in Education).

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Dr. Ebony Omotola McGee


As an
associate professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, I investigate what it means to be racially marginalized while minoritized in the context of learning and achieving in STEM higher education and in the STEM professions.

I study in particular the racialized experiences and racial stereotypes that adversely affect the education and career trajectories of underrepresented groups of color. This involves exploring the social, material, and health costs of academic achievement and problematizing traditional forms of success in higher education, with an unapologetic focus on Black folk in these places and spaces. My National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant investigates how marginalization undercuts success in STEM through psychological stress, interrupted STEM career trajectories, impostor phenomenon, and other debilitating race-related trauma for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx doctoral students.  

Education is my second career; I left a career in electrical engineering to earn a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With funding from six NSF grants, I cofounded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative or EDEFI (pronounced “edify”). I also cofounded the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), which seeks to be a “go-to” institute for the development of quantitative and mixed-methods skillsets that challenge simplistic quantifications of race and marginalization. ICQCM was founded with support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation. I am the lead editor of the recently published book Diversifying STEM: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Race and Gender (2019), which offers  scholarship that includes race, culture, and social stratification; racial justice and identity; racial socialization processes; and race and gender intersectionality in STEM.

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Ezekiel Dixon-Román


Ezekiel Dixon-Román is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s director of SP2’s Master of Science in Social Policy program and chair of the Data Analytics for Social Policy graduate certificate.

His interdisciplinary scholarship is focused on the cultural studies of quantification and critical theories of difference. In particular, his research program seeks to make cultural and critical theoretical interventions toward rethinking and reconceptualizing the technologies and practices of quantification as mediums and agencies of systems of sociopolitical relations whereby race and other assemblages of difference are byproducts.

He is particularly interested in how power and difference are reproduced, especially in bodily capacities, and the ways in which sociotechnical systems of quantification are working on, with, and in the body to produce racialized demarcations of which bodily capacities to regenerate and which to debilitate. He is also deeply interested in theoretical and methodological interventions toward developing alternative modes of inquiry and practices of quantification that might enable the potentialities of reconstituting sociopolitical relations and the movement and flow of social life.

He is the author of Inheriting Possibility: Social Reproduction & Quantification in Education (2017, University of Minnesota Press), which received the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association. He also co-guest edited “Alternative Ontologies of Number: Rethinking the Quantitative in Computational Culture” (2016, Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies) and “The computational turn in education research: Critical and creative perspectives on the digital data deluge” (2017, Research in Education).

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