Tahira Mahdi, Ph.D.


Psychology 2018

Area of Doctoral Research: Clinical/Community and Applied Social Psychology
Undergraduate Institute: University of Maryland, Baltimore, County

Research Advisor: Kenneth Maton, Ph.D.

Description of Research

As a research assistant in Dr. Ken Maton’s lab, we evaluate programs designed to enhance participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.  In addition, we evaluate community programs designed to achieve positive academic outcomes for various underserved populations.

One area of my research explores issues of diversity in graduate student education and career aspirations as they relate to the personality factor ‘need for cognition,’ referring to one’s propensity for engaging in effortful cognitive activities.  This diversity encompasses field of study (STEM vs. non-STEM), level of study (master’s vs. Ph.D.), and desire to enter the professoriate, as well as “race” and gender.  Another area of my research examines universities’ engagement with low-income communities, with special emphasis on the perspectives of community activists and directors of community programs that have official partnerships with universities.  Goals include formulating strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration in building sustainable, mutually beneficial university-community partnerships.