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Meseret Hailu

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Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1811

Meseret F. Hailu is an Assistant Professor of Higher and Postsecondary Education in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Her work focuses on the retention of minoritized women in STEM pathways and professions. 

Prior to coming to ASU, Meseret was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Ohio State University, where she studied the experiences of women of color faculty in engineering departments. During her doctoral studies, Professor Hailu received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship award from the U.S. Department of Education, and conducted research in Ethiopia.

  • Ph.D. Higher Education, University of Denver, 2018
  • M.S. Biomedical Sciences, Regis University, 2012
  • B.S. & B.A. Chemistry & Biology; English, University of Denver, 2011
Research Interests: 

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How do institutions of higher education retain minoritized women in STEM pathways? 
    • How do Black immigrant women faculty draw from their cultural epistemologies to navigate and persist in STEM disciplines in the U.S.?
    • How do higher education institutions across the Global South conceptualize and implement gender equity initiatives in STEM? 

Current Projects:

Professor Hailu’s primary research explores how women in Ethiopia navigate science and technology higher education. To this end, her doctoral research, Understanding Why Women Stay: Examining Persistence Factors of Women Majoring in Science and Technology Programs in Public Ethiopian Universities Using a Mixed Methods Design, focused on how women circumvent barriers in STEM education. This contributes to the field of higher education by showing how classic retention models for undergraduate students should be complicated when considering different national contexts. In the case of Ethiopia, it is evident that gender, ethnicity, and rurality are intersecting factors that influence the ability of students to graduate from college.

Professor Hailu’s second project, “Using Critical Race Feminism to Explore the Experiences of Black Immigrant Women in Mathematics and Engineering,” examines the politicized, racialized, and gendered dimensions of traditionally “objective” disciplines. This work relies on critical discourse analysis, case studies, and surveys to better understand how Black immigrants use their cultural epistemologies to gain terminal degrees in pure mathematics and engineering. 

Professor Hailu’s third line of inquiry is an applied persistence model titled “Comparative Database of the Retention of Women in STEM Education.” In this emerging work, she uses large-scale quantitative survey methods to develop a regional database about best practices that help women graduate with STEM higher education degrees in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Joseph, N.M., Hailu, M.F., & Matthews, J.S. (2019). Normalizing Black Girls’ Humanity in Mathematics Classroom. Harvard Education Review, 89/1:132-155. 

Hailu, M.F. (2018). Examining the Role of Girl Effect in Contributing to Positive Education Ideologies for Girls in Ethiopia. Gender and Education, 1-15. 

Joseph, N. & Hailu, M.F., & Boston, D. (2017). Black Girls’ and Women's Persistence in the P-20 Mathematics Pipeline: Two Decades of Children and Youth Education Research. Review of Research in Education, 41/1:203–227.  

Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 620Diversity in Higher Education
EPA 691Seminar
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 573Applied Inquiry in Higher Ed
HED 598Special Topics
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 573Applied Inquiry in Higher Ed
HED 593Applied Project
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 598Special Topics