Senior Research Associate
Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Sociology in the Higher Education Program within the College of Education at Florida State University. Her research uses developmental and sociological perspectives to examine how young people’s social contexts influence their college and career outcomes. She focuses on the mechanisms that shape entry into and persistence in institutions and fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented. In particular, she investigates racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in post-secondary educational attainment and entry to scientific career fields. Dr. Perez-Felkner’s work has been published in journals including New Directions in Institutional Research, Developmental Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Teachers’ College Record, as well in several edited volumes and news outlets. Her work has been supported by external agencies, including most recently a $900,749 grant from the National Science Foundation (#1920670; Co-PI: Hu): “Gendered Pathways: From Florida’s Two-Year Institutions to Computing Degrees.”
Currently, she holds appointments as an Affiliated Faculty member in the Department of Sociology; an affiliate of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice; an alumni fellow of the Pathways to Adulthood Programme for the Comparative Study of Productive Youth Development, and a member of the international Network Gender and STEM.
At the university level, Dr. Perez-Felkner has been active in various roles including current service as Program Coordinator for FSU’s Higher Education graduate program, Co-Chair of the Latinx Faculty and Staff Collective at Florida State, a member of the APLU iChange ASPIRE alliance team, and a member of the President’s Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion. Since joining the faculty, she received FSU’s Transformation through Teaching Award in 2014, was a 2015 finalist for the FSU College of Education’s Robert M. Gagne Research Award, won the 2016 Hardee Center Supervisor/Mentor Award, and received the 2019 FSU Graduate Faculty Mentor Award.
Dr. Perez-Felkner earned her B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. At Chicago, she served as a Resident Head in the College and served on an NSF AGEP-supported Social Sciences Division Taskforce on Diversity for the Professoriate. While earning her B.A. at Wesleyan University, she also worked in residence life, admissions, and student leadership.