Dr. Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen’s research examines racial inequality in educational opportunity, with attention to the stratification of college success, racial heterogeneity, and organizational change. In combination, these areas of research have manifested in studies on minority serving institutions (MSIs), ethnic stratification, and organizational behavior and change. Dolly’s work has been accepted or published in Review of Higher Education and AAPI Nexus. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her B.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle.
How does this mitigate inequality? That question is at the core of my research and teaching. By identifying and understanding the maintenance of structural inequality, higher education can come closer to addressing the stratification of opportunity that persistently advantages the well-resourced, and disadvantages the marginalized.
Areas of Expertise
Higher Education, Race, Ethnicity, Racial Stratification, Racial Heterogeneity, Organizational Change
Dolly is currently revising her dissertation, Hidden Configurations of Inequality: A Multilevel Analysis of Ethnic Stratification across the Postsecondary Pipeline, which investigates racial gaps in college enrollment, transfer from two-year to four-year and degree attainment. Utilizing a statewide longitudinal dataset that tracks students from time of entry in K-12 to point of exit in postsecondary education, the study focuses on the aspects of students’ backgrounds and experiences that promote and hinder success at each transition in their postsecondary trajectories. The findings are drawn from disaggregated racial data by ethnicity, which speak to the significance of examining racial heterogeneity when considering inequality. Furthermore, the study examines inequality across the educational pipeline – a necessary perspective for understanding the temporal (i.e. persistent) aspect of inequality.
Additionally, as the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) fellowship, Dolly will be conducting a study that explores the early adoption processes of two newly-funded Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). The study seeks to answer the questions: 1) How can MSI status be institutionalized within college structures to sustain the benefits of the designation? and 2) To what extent do institutions have to become racialized in order to sustain the benefits of MSI status? In answering these questions, the study will contribute a greater understanding to the extent it takes to integrate, embody and institutionalize MSI status into the larger college structure, and the challenges to institutionalization and sustainability.
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles