S. Kiersten Ferguson is a social scientist for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and a research associate in the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her scholarly and teaching interests include gender equity and inclusion in higher education; diversity planning and implementation with a focus on systemic organizational change; recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and students; and inclusive pedagogical and curricular choices in higher education.
Prior to joining NCWIT in 2023, Kiersten was a clinical associate professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU) teaching graduate level courses and leading the M.Ed. in Higher Education program. Throughout her time at SMU, she received numerous teaching awards including the Provost’s Teaching Recognition Award in 2021, which honors full-time non-tenure-track faculty who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and a consummate dedication to teaching and learning. In addition, she served as Provost Faculty Fellow for Equity and Inclusion with the Associate Provost for Faculty Success. Before her time at SMU, Kiersten held a variety of roles in the comprehensive Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), including faculty fellow, postdoctoral fellow, and senior graduate research assistant. She focused on translating research and best practices into viable organizational change models, as well as the development and coordination of department-level and campus-wide diversity and equity initiatives. Prior to DDCE, she also worked in the Executive Vice President and Provost’s Office at UT Austin coordinating university-wide projects. Kiersten’s dissertation focused on the experiences of faculty mentoring undergraduate women students in engineering. She was recognized as a top five finalist in the 2010 national Paul P. Fidler Research Grant competition by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
Education: Ph.D. Higher Education Administration & Doctoral Portfolio Concentration in Women’s & Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin; M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin; B.A. Cultural Anthropology and Government & International Relations, University of Notre Dame