Lara Perez-Felkner, Ph.D., 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.