Tashera Bolds, PhD
As a Research Associate with Hezel Associates, Dr. Bolds is a member of the leadership team and directs the firm’s methodological rigor. She has extensive knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and is skilled at performing primary and secondary research. Dr. Bolds contributes her experience as a past Syracuse University STEM Fellow primarily focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational and career pathways for under-represented populations. She investigates complex interrelationships among youth’s personal and psychological characteristics, behavioral patterns, environmental conditions, educational contexts, and learning experiences to increase their interest, participation, and persistence along STEM academic and career pathways. Most recently, Dr. Bolds investigated students’ STEM career development, where intersectional approaches were engaged to identify differences in STEM outcomes when considering students’ multiple identities. This study used large-scale, national data, and employed structural equation modeling to analyze mediating and moderating effects. Dr. Bolds also conducted research examining urban and under-represented youth’s STEM identity cultivation, STEM dispositions, and STEM participation to understand how these complex processes operated and the dynamic nature of their existence. Additionally, she examined conditions of STEM learning environments in both formal and informal contexts, identifying elements in educational spaces that either facilitate or deter positive outcomes.
As a STEM-focused critical scholar, Dr. Bolds identifies permeating systemic disparities hindering equitable educational, socioeconomic, and workforce outcomes for marginalized groups, and highlights techniques to counter their impacts. At the core, Dr. Bolds advocates for equity and inclusion, both of which are central to her engagements in scholarship and service. Currently, Dr. Bolds also serves as an adjunct instructor at Syracuse University. Dr. Bolds holds a PhD in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University.