Chrystal Smith

Assistant Professor in Residence Ph.D. South Florida, 2009


I am a cultural anthropologist with expertise in two major fields 1) education anthropology with a specialization in STEM education research, and 2) medical anthropology with a focus on the chronic disease health disparities specifically type 2 diabetes risk and self-management among Latino and Caribbean immigrants as well as other marginalized groups.

My STEM research uses anthropological and sociological theories and methodologies to broaden our understanding of the challenges that women, ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups encounter in K-12 STEM education, STEM higher education, and the STEM workplace.

I am the PI of the recently awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER grant, Measuring the Effects of Academic Climate and Social Networks on Persistence of STEM Undergraduates (#1747580; $299,999). I am also the Co-PI/Program Manager/Qualitative Lead of NSF grant, The Effects of Social Capital and Cultural Models on the Retention and Degree Attainment of Women and Minority Engineering Undergraduates (#1432297; $1,499,982).

Field Area

United States


ANTH1000W-12: Other People’s Worlds; Anthropological Perspectives on Women’s Global Health


Book Chapters
Smith, C. A. S. (2017). Community Colleges as a Pathway for Low Income Women to Enter the Engineering Technology Workforce. In S. N. Davis Gender (In)equality: Stalled Revolutions and Shifting Terrains in the 21st Century, University of California Press.

Smith, C. A. S. (2014). Assessing Academic Women’s Sense of Isolation in the STEM Disciplines. In P. J. Gilmer, B. Tansel, & M. Hughes Miller (Eds.), Alliances for advancing academic women: Guidelines for collaboration in STEM fields (pp 97-113). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Smith, C. A. S. & Thomas, S. (2014). Learning through Collaboration: Lessons from AAFAWCE, a NSF ADVANCE-PAID Grant. In P. J. Gilmer, B. Tansel, & M. Hughes Miller (Eds.), Alliances for advancing academic women: Guidelines for collaboration in STEM fields (pp. 193-204 ). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Tyson, W., Smith, C. A. S., & Nguema Ndong, A. (2010). To Stay or to Switch? Why Students Leave Engineering Programs. In K. M. Borman, W. Tyson, & R. H. Halperin (Eds.), Becoming an Engineer in Public Universities (pp. 53-80). New York:
Palgrave Macmillan.


Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles
Wao, H. O., Lee, R. S., Ochieng, J., Owuor Odondi, G., Akathm T.,
& Smith, C. A. S. (2015). Predicting Degree Attainment in Engineering and Biological/Life Sciences: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 21(4):347-362.

Smith, C. A. S., Wao, H., Martin, J. P., MacDonald, G. & Lee, R. (2015). Designing a Survey for Engineering Undergraduates using Free Listing – An Anthropological Structured Technique. ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings. Washington D.C.

Smith, C. A. S. (2012). Living with Sugar: Influence of Cultural Beliefs on Type 2 Diabetes Self-
Management of English-Speaking Women. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14:640-647.

Chrystal Smith
Contact Information
Phone+1 860 486 2137
Office LocationGENT 204