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Since its inception in the spring of 2020, the 19 Washington Square North Faculty Fellows program has funded a series of original collaborations between NYU faculty in Abu Dhabi and New York. Fellows have been selected from science, engineering, social science and the humanities, and have often joined forces with colleagues in disciplines other than their own.
Their joint research and/or artistic accomplishments contribute to scholarly activity at 19 Washington Square North, the home of NYUAD in New York, as well as to faculty synergies across NYU's global network and to their fields' knowledge and creative production.
Globally, women remain underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Social psychological research has uncovered a number of factors that contribute to these disparities, either by discouraging women’s participation or by creating barriers (e.g., bias) that block their opportunities for advancement.
One important limitation of this research is a narrow focus on Western countries and samples, which hinders both the theoretical understanding of the reasons behind gender disparities in STEM fields as well as the practical efforts to address those disparities. Notably, women are much better represented in STEM in Arab countries compared to other parts of the world, even when the region is otherwise characterized by gender inequality and conservative attitudes toward women’s roles. Western-focused social psychological theories would predict that women should be especially underrepresented in STEM in a cultural context such as the Arabian Gulf — and yet, the statistics defy such expectations.
The current proposal aims to study this seeming paradox. Our three aims are (a) to conduct a systematic literature review of research on gender stereotyping and bias in Arab countries with the goal of illuminating similarities and differences with non-Arab countries, revising existing theory, and making recommendations for future research; (b) to develop an empirical research project that would supply pilot data for a larger research grant application to federal agencies such as the NSF; and (c) to convene an international symposium at 19 WSN focused on understanding gender gaps in STEM from a global perspective.
Andrea Vial’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing from social psychological, sociological, organizational, and developmental perspectives to investigate how gender stereotypes and beliefs about roles contribute to employment segregation and inequality on the basis of gender. She is particularly interested in studying why people flock to gender-stereotypic roles, the barriers that they encounter when they don’t, and the conditions under which they can thrive in counter-stereotypic domains and occupations. Vial earned her PhD in Psychology from Yale University in 2018. Her work has been published in high-impact journals, including Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Journal of Applied Psychology, and covered by media outlets such as Forbes and NPR.
Andrei Cimpian earned a PhD in psychology from Stanford University in 2008 and is now Professor of Psychology at NYU. His research investigates motivation and academic achievement, with a particular focus on how educational outcomes are shaped by gender and racial/ethnic stereotypes. Cimpian’s research has been published in top journals such as Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Psychological Science, earning him the 2018 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology. Media outlets such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR, and The Economist have covered his work.
Proactive behavior is defined as behavior that is self-starting, future-focused, and change-oriented. It also long entered mainstream discourse as a positive trait that is valued at work. However, emerging research suggests that proactivity is not always viewed favorably, which generates a need to better understand and identify organizational conditions that are the most suitable for proactive behaviors (vs. those that will not).
Because managers often act as observers and assessors of proactive behaviors among those they supervise, we propose to study proactive work behavior by focusing on the perspectives of managers.
Situating our project in the health care industry, we aim (1) to conduct a pilot study that examines how health care managers define, observe, and assess proactive behaviors among employees; and (2) to convene a panel of scholars and practitioners to identify future research directions for integrating proactivity theory into health care management research, as well as strategies for implementing evidence-based findings from this stream of research into practice. By building on the latest research from psychology and management science, we expect our project to foster a managerial perspective on proactivity at work, and to identify a set of research directions that scholars can consider to ultimately improve the job satisfaction and wellbeing of health care workers.
Jemima Frimpong’s research focuses on the complex dynamics of decision making, and the intersection of information processing and discrimination. Frimpong has worked extensively in health care organizations, examining how managerial attributes, including decision making, affect the adoption and implementation of innovation, treatment practices, and ultimately the health of patients. She recently launched a program of research to investigate the impact of biases (encompassing stereotyping and prejudice) on managerial decision making and behaviors. Frimpong is particularly interested in studying how managers process information about job applicants and employees, and how these processes might lead to discrimination and other adverse outcomes. She is conducting a series of experiments designed to elicit the dynamics of biases in hiring and promotion decisions. Frimpong uses a broad array of methods throughout her work, ranging from survey and lab-based experiments to randomized trials.
Alden Lai is a health care management scholar who studies people's behaviors and cognition at work to understand how employees, managers, and leaders can improve workforce wellbeing, and consequently, safety performance in health care organizations. Lai uses theories and methodologies in psychology, health services research, and organizational behavior in his interdisciplinary work. Of particular interest are how health care workers engage in job crafting and experience work as meaningful, and how managers can better enable job crafting as well as "wise" proactivity among employees. Lai has consulted for federal and state governments, health systems, biopharmaceutical companies, and philanthropies internationally. He is currently Executive Advisor to the Global Wellbeing Initiative, an effort by Gallup (US) and the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation (Japan) to foster a more inclusive and diverse understanding of wellbeing for research, practice, and policy. He is also the co-editor of a book on thriving at work for early career researchers to be published by Springer in 2023. Lai obtained his PhD in Health Policy and Management with a focus on organizational behavior at Johns Hopkins University, Master of Public Health at the University of Tokyo, and BA in psychology at the National University of Singapore.
The objective of our project is to better understand the nature of good reasoning about what to believe. To what extent should this kind of reasoning be influenced by our practical goals and values? This topic is significant in its own right, but also has important applications to a variety of real-world contexts. We focus on medical and political situations in which it is common for people’s beliefs to be shaped by factors other than truth and attempt to offer an account of what distinguishes good reasoning from bad in such cases.
Sarah Paul's research concerns agency and the philosophy of mind, focusing on the nature of intention and belief. She is also interested in questions about self-knowledge, self-control, and what it means to believe in ourselves and others when it comes to difficult actions. Paul came to NYUAD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has also held visiting positions at M.I.T. and Bowdoin College. The author of Philosophy of Action: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge 2021), which offers an accessible and inclusive overview of the major debates in the philosophy of action. Paul earned her BA magna cum laude from Carleton College, and her PhD from Stanford University.
Daniel Fogal is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Bioethics and Faculty Adviser for the Bioethics Minor at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. He earned his BA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2006 and his PhD from NYU in 2016. Prior to his current appointment, Fogal was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the NYU Center for Bioethics, and prior to that he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Uppsala University in association with the Varieties of Normativity project (principal investigator: Matti Eklund).
Fogal specializes in ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of language. Current work includes the nature of good reasoning, the notion of rationality relevant to decision-making capacity and informed consent, and conceptual engineering in bioethics. Past research has included work on the nature of rationality (“Rational Requirements and the Primacy of Pressure,” Mind), the nature of normative explanations (“The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations,” Oxford Studies in Metaethics), and the nature of both normative and motivating reasons (“Reasons, Reason, and Context,” in Weighing Reasons; “Deflationary Pluralism about Motivating Reasons,” in The Factive Turn in Epistemology). In addition to teaching and research, Fogal has been active in philosophical outreach programs and in organizing professional conferences and workshops.
Research on migration flows to marginal socio-economic areas, broadly construed, is underdeveloped in the migration literature. To understand how these grassroots social and political processes unfold, this project develops a collaborative research exchange and a motivating theoretical framework to understand arrival at the margins. Operationally, this research exchange is supported by three components: a workshop, a colloquium, and the definition of a theoretical framework and special issue in a top migration journal — the workshop, entitled “Arrival on the margins: Mobility, promise, and the politics of difference in sites of exclusion,” held at NYU Accra, the colloquium, held at 19 Washington Square North, NYUAD’s home on the Square. The special issue includes the papers presented at the workshop and refined through the discussions that take place there.
May Al-Dabbagh conducts research on gender and work in the Gulf using a combination of social psychology, public policy, and post-colonial feminist lenses. She has published in Organization Science, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and Idafat: Arab Journal of Sociology (in Arabic). She has received fellowships from the Center of Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), The Women and Public Policy Program (Harvard), and The Global Institute for Advanced Study and Tisch School of the Arts (NYU). Her current book project is on the experiences of motherhood and work by serial migrants in the context of emergent global cities. She also has a project on the geopolitics of knowledge production, and has developed a method called “Self Tracing” that uses dialogical exchange and critical pedagogy to theorize intersectionality in the global south. Finally, she is co-PI on the Arab Center for the Study of Art at NYUAD and has a number of collaborations with artists on projects that bridge the social sciences and arts, including: Making Space, Moving Bodies/Theorizing up, and Voice (re) Claimed. A graduate of Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (Saudi Arabia), she earned a BA (Harvard University) and a PhD (Oxford University) in psychology.
Natasha Iskander conducts research on the relationship between migration and economic development. She looks at the ways that immigration and the movement of people across borders can provide the basis for the creation of new knowledge and of new pathways for political change. She has published widely on these questions, looking specifically at immigration, skill, economic development, and worker rights, with more than 30 articles and book chapters on these topics. Her first book, Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico (Cornell University Press, ILR imprint, 2010), looked at the ways that migrant workers transformed the economic development policies of their countries of origin. Her forthcoming book, Does Skill Make Us Human? Migrant Workers in 21st Qatar and Beyond (Princeton University Press, 2021), examines the use of skill categories to limit freedom of movement and narrow access to political rights, in ways that have become increasingly salient with the hardening borders and the pressures of climate change.
Mangroves are an important ecological and cultural resource in Abu Dhabi. These ecosystems have undergone periods of expansion and contraction throughout their history in Abu Dhabi.
Our research works to quantify the amount of change experienced in these ecosystems at various time periods. Quantification of these changing coastal ecosystems is the first step to further understanding the ecological and social drivers that underpin mangrove conservation and management.
John Burt is an Associate Professor of Biology and Program Head for the NYU Abu Dhabi Environmental Studies program. Burt's research focuses on understanding how organisms respond to and cope with extreme environmental conditions, a topic of increasing scientific interest in recent years as global climate continues to change. While the Burt Lab's research is largely focused on corals and reef fishes, they also have ongoing multi-year projects focused on mangroves and seagrasses, using the extreme environmental conditions of the Arabian Gulf as a 'natural laboratory' to explore questions around adaptation and acclimation. He also has a long history of studying the ecological implications of coastal urbanization, seeking means to promote more sustainable development. Burt has published over 90 scholarly articles and book chapters in his decade at NYU Abu Dhabi, and his work has been cited over 3,000 times by the international science community. Funding sources include the US National Science Foundation, Qatar National Research Fund, Ford Foundation, and a number of regional agencies.
Mary Killilea is Clinical Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies; Program Adviser Environmental Studies, at NYU's College of Arts and Science. Her research interests include the use of GIS, remote sensing and modeling to explore spatial and temporal variability in ecosystems.
This project investigates how the architecture and design community in the Middle East has responded to the climate challenge, including design projects in the United Arab Emirates. It results in an exhibition featuring architectural drawings, design, and art to frame and advance this vitally important conversation, with contrasting examples of design to show efforts to find solutions for our current state of planetary peril.
Felix Hardmood Beck studied Visual Communication with focus on Media Design and Exhibition Design at the Berlin University of the Arts. He graduated with the terminal degree Diplom Designer (2007) and was appointed as Meisterschüler (2010) under the patronage of Joachim Sauter. Felix has gathered practical experience working as a media designer and user-experience professional from 2001 on. His projects as well as his works with ART+COM Studios and several other renowned German design agencies and architectural studios have been featured around the globe in a range of art and design publications, and in numerous festivals and exhibitions. From 2015 to 2020, he taught courses in the overlapping fields of art, design, technology and innovation at NYUAD, where he also founded the NTSI Lab and the Plastic Lab, receiving over USD 525,000 in research grants and related funding. In the UAE, he also consulted for several federal ministries and governmental departments and partners on the topics of Design Thinking and Innovation. Since 2020, he has been full professor at the University of Applied Sciences at the Münster School of Design (MSD).
Peder Anker’s teaching and research interests lie in the history of science, ecology, environmentalism, and design, as well as environmental philosophy. He has received research fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Dibner Institute and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and been a visiting scholar at both Columbia University and University of Oslo. He is the co-author of Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned (Prestel, 2014), together with Louise Harpman and Mitchell Joachim. He is also the author of From Bauhaus to Eco-House: A History of Ecological Design (Louisiana State University Press 2010), which explores the intersection of architecture and ecological science, and Imperial Ecology: Environmental Order in the British Empire, 1895-1945 (Harvard University Press, 2001), which investigates how the promising new science of ecology flourished in the British Empire. Professor Anker’s latest book explores the history of ecological debates in his country of birth, Norway: The Power of the Periphery: How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Peder Anker received his PhD from Harvard University in 1999.