Another thing that I began to consider when going through the thread again - @Julie_Park, does your research indicate (or even a gut feeling) that the potential negative effects of student-faculty interaction differ between the two genders? Although I mentioned the ethnic background of our Biology department, I failed to mention that 7 of the 9 faculty members are women. In our own microenvironment, I almost feel that black males may have more of a perceived barrier than black females.
A few further reflections have made me appreciate the diversity that we presently have. We only have 5 at the moment in our Science and Math department but have 3 males and 2 women, 3 white faculty and 2 black faculty (note: the males are not all white but a combination thereof). While there are some students that really like me and my approach, many tend to gravitate toward one or more of the other faculty. It tends to occur that the black female students tend to gravitate toward the black female faculty’s office. To me this is encouraging and relieving in one sense - that is because I don’t have to be things that I am not, but can be more aware of how I can potentially impact students. I think while a small anecdote, it is in agreement with the need for more diversity among faculty which can be hard to appreciate for many people without having experienced the negative effects personally.
I actually don’t know anything in the research looking at the gender of the faculty member. There is some research that identifies how there are some adverse effects by the gender of the student, although I don’t know of much that looks at the intersectionality of the student (e.g., Black males vs. Black females).
@Julie_Park thank you for participating int his conversation with us. We have benefited greatly from your input and I hope we can have you back again sometime soon.