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Anna Woodcock, Ph.D

Anna Woodcock, Ph.D

Research Faculty

Office: SBSB 3133-B
Hours: Spring 2020, 2:30-3:30 Tuesdays or by appointment

Anna Woodcock, Ph.D

My research interests lie in the broad areas of diversity, prejudice, and stereotyping. Specifically I am interested in understanding the contextual factors that promote and reinforce social disparities such as the underrepresentation of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Specifically I am interested in:

  1. The processes by which stereotype threat operates and what contexts may ameliorate its negative effects.
  2. The impact of implicit biases on behavior, and strategies to reduce implicit bias.
  3. The processes underlying effective interventions for broadening participation in STEM fields.
  4. The role of Person and Thing Orientations in academic choices and performance.

Graduate Research Assistant Position - Fall 2020

Drs. Anna Woodcock and Wesley Schulz are actively recruiting a graduate research assistant to work in the Applied Social Psychology Lab at CSUSM as part of the Masters’ degree in Psychological Sciences. This is an opportunity to be part of an enthusiastic research team working towards increasing the representation of women and under-represented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Active projects address the impact of stereotypes, prejudice, and social identity on diversity in STEM in large-scale longitudinal research, and laboratory experiments. We have a paid research assistant position of up to $15,000 per year for a graduate student who is interested in working with us while earning a Masters’ degree. We are seeking someone who likes being challenged, is highly inspired to do research, is persistent, and is interested in pursuing a research career.

For inquiries and details, contact Anna Woodcock ( or Wesley Schultz ( Applications are due February 1st, 2020.


Ph.D., Social Psychology. Purdue University, 2012

M.A., Experimental Psychology. California State University San Marcos, 2004

B.A., Psychology. Macquarie University, NSW, Australia, 1997


  • My College Pathways

    Becoming a Scientist: A Longitudinal Study of Identity Balance and the Persistence of Hispanic Undergraduate Students in Engineering and Biological Sciences

    Co-PI: NSF 1920786  - 08/01/2019–07/31/2024

    Research Goals: To test the extent to which establishing balanced identities supports academic persistence and success among underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities on their pathway to a career in STEM.

    Summary: Advancing a diverse and technically competent STEM workforce is critical for contributing to the progress of science and the health, prosperity and welfare of our nation. While the number of Hispanic students, who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents, earning STEM bachelor’s degrees has increased during the last decade, Hispanic students enrolled in STEM programs are leaving college or switching majors at higher rates than their White peers. 

    Research suggests that developing and maintaining a strong STEM identity is an important predictor of persistence and success in STEM disciplines.  Understanding the complexity of Hispanic students’ identity, and the balance of identity in the context of social stereotypes, could lead to improved academic programs, STEM undergraduate research experiences, and internship programs, which would advance persistence to bachelor’s degree completion.   

    We are exploring a framework that considers both implicitly and explicitly held identities for understanding how students achieve and maintain a strong STEM identity across time, and what experiences facilitate or hinder this process.  We hypothesize that the strength and nature of the balance between implicitly held associations and identities influence student’s explicitly held STEM identity, and that these processes are qualitatively different due to prevailing stereotypes for White and Hispanic undergraduate students, enrolled in Engineering and Biological Sciences degree programs.  We are also examining the identity trajectories of White and Hispanic undergraduate students as they make critical career and academic decisions. 

    Results from the research are advancing knowledge about balanced STEM identity for historically underrepresented minorities.  Findings inform university administrators and educators about how their institutions might make evidence-based modifications to undergraduate research, internship and academic programs that impact minority STEM student retention and persistence to degree completion.

My College Pathways

  • Teacher Pathways

    Project ACCEPT: Aligning the Common Core for English Learners, Parents and Teachers: A Professional Development Community in Dual Language Education.

    Lead Researcher: Department of Education T365Z160228 - 09/01/2016-08/31/2021

    Project Goal: This project’s professional development offerings lead to improved academic achievement for English Language Learners.

    Research Goals: To quantify both the short and long-term effectiveness of Bilingual Aushtorization (BILA) programs. 

     Teacher Pathways Participant Recruitment Video


Teacher Pathways

  • CodeQueens: Extended Women's Hackathon

    Inspiring Commitment for STEM Career Paths through Extended Women's Hackathons

    Co-PI: NSF 1615255    -   09/15/2016-08/31/2019

    Computer Science and Education Collaboration

    Project Goal: The project, targeting high school Hispanic girls, will research how a coherent set of experiences supports student competency, motivation and persistence for productive participation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). workforce of the future.

    Resarch Goal: The project’s research goal is to study how the relationships among interest, competency, self-efficacy, identity, and values influence commitment to pursue an ICT career pathway for young women, especially Latinas. We will focus on understanding the process by which skills and interest are transformed into commitment to an ICT career, particularly for Latinas, through these two overarching research questions:

    1. To what extent does the extended Hackathon program foster and sustain participants’ sense of self-efficacy and identity with ICT careers, and align their perceptions of ICT workforce with their values?
    2. To what extent do self-efficacy, identity, and values build on interest and skills to increase participants’ commitment to an ICT career path?


     Spring 2019 Showcase

Extended Women's hackathon

Early Career Scholars Project

  • My Science Journey

    MyScienceJourney is a four-year longitudinal study of the academic and career trajectories of promising undergraduate minority science students from the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The aim of the study is to understand the psychological, contextual, and experiential factors that predict minority student persistence and success in the sciences.. My Science Journey Website


My Science journey

  • The Science Study

    A quasi-experimental research project aimed at understanding the underrepresentation of minority scientists in biomedical research careers, gathering longitudinal data on a panel of minority science students for over nine years as they navigate the educational pipeline from undergraduate education to graduate school and professional scientific careers.

The Science Study



Deans Award

PSYC 220 Introductory Statistics in Psychology: Basic statistical methods for analysis of data in psychology; descriptive and inferential statistics; hypothesis testing; parametric tests of significance. Introduction to linear regression and correlation; analysis of variance; nonparametric techniques. The requirements will include participation in low-risk psychological experiments or completion of additional short papers.

PSYC 332 Social Psychology: Study of individuals and groups as they are affected by social interactions. Subjects include social influence (conformity, obedience), attitudes and attitude change, attraction, altruism, aggression, social perception and cognition, interpersonal influence, and group processes.

PSYC 333 Psychology of Prejudice: Examines psychological theory and research on prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping from the perspectives of both the holders and targets of prejudice. In particular, the course emphasizes the cognitive, motivational, and social bases of prejudice, racism, sexism, as well as prejudice reduction.

PSYC 396 Labratory in Social Psychology: Advanced research methods in social psychology.

PSYC 520 Graduate Statistics: Introduction to theory and application of some of the more advanced parametric and nonparametric statistical techniques employed in psychological research. Topics will include but are not limited to multiple regression, analysis of covariance, factor analysis, causal modeling, and discriminant function analysis


Student Awards

Congratulations to our student award winners!

dr woodcock, president haynes and ivan hernandez

Dr. Anna Woodcock, President Karen Haynes, Ivan Hernandez and Dr. Ranjeeta Basu (Interim Dean)

Dean's Award and President's Award, 2017

dr woodcock and ivan hernandez

Dr. Anna Woodcock and Ivan Hernandez CSUSM Graduation 2017

ivan hernandez

ashley bonilla

Dr. P. Wesley Schultz and Ashley Bonilla, Research Competition at CSUSM, 2018

student awards

Caitline Castillo and other winners at CSU Student Research Competition in Sacramento, 2018

student awards

Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Charlene Andreason, and Dr. Anna Woodcock, Empirical Research Library Award, 2017

student awards

Caitline Castillo, CSU Student Research Competition in Sacramento, 2018

student award

Caitline Castillo, Ashley Bonilla CSU Student Research Competition in Sacramento, 2018

student awards

Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Ashley Bonilla, and Caitline Castillo, CSU Student Research Competition at CSUSM, 2018

student awards

Caitline Castillo, CSU Student Research Competition in Sacramento, 2018

2nd Place Winner, Developing STEM Identities Among Latino and White Students

student awards

Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Dr. Anna Woodcock, Alondra Calva, Caitline Castillo, and Charlene Andreason at Empirical Reserach Library Award, 2017


Student Research Presentations

lab sccur

Brittany Flores, Kianna Avilez, Kyra Terry, Dr. Anna Woodcock, Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Charlene Andreason, Hayley Stevenson, Ashley Bonilla, and Nancy Moreno at SCCUR, (Southern California Conference of Undergraduate Research), San Marcos, 2019.


Kianna Avilez at SCCUR, San Marcos, 2019.

The Impact of Bilingual Instruction Training on Increasing Bilingual Teacher Identity and Feelings of Preparedness in the Classroom.

kianna and charlene

Kianna Avilez and Charlene Andreason at SCCUR, San Marcos, 2019.

The Impact of Bilingual Instruction Training on Increasing Bilingual Teacher Identity and Feelings of Preparedness in the Classroom.

student research

Alondra Calva, Charlene Andreason, and Dr. Anna Woodcock, 20th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, February 2019, Portland, OR.

Effects of Self-Affirmation on Balancing Gender and Math Identity

Wesley Walter and Kristiana Aguilar

Wesley Walter and Kristiana Aguilar, 25th Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, May 2018, San Marcos, CA.

Devloping STEM Identities Among Latino and White Students

student research

Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Alondra Calva, Leslie Lopez, Caitline Castillo, and Juliann AwadUnderrepresented Minorities in Science: Self-Efficacy, Identity Integration and Stereotype Threat

kyra and allondraKyra Terry and Alondra Calva, CSUSM Student Poster Showcase, 2018, An Extended Hackathon Increases Computer Science Interest and Self-Efficacy among Adolescent Girls

student research

Rodolfo Rodriguez III, Research Fair, 2018 25th Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, May 2018, San Marcos, CA.

Identity and Well-Being Among Black and Latin STEM Majors

student research

Ashley Bonilla, Dr. Anna Woodcock, and Chaltu Hambissa,20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, February 2019, Portland, OR

Grant Writing Self-Efficacy Among Underrepresented Early Career Scientists

student researchRodolfo Rodriguez III at CSUSM Student Research Competition, 2018.

Science and Ethnic Identity.

Ivan's Presenation

Ivan Hernandez, Poster presented at the 2016 CSUSM Student Research Spotlight, San Marcos, CA.

Social Mobility Perceptions Among Underrepresented Science Students

charlene, ivan, dr woodcockDr. Anna Woodcock, Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Ivan Hernandez, Charlene Andreason, True Nare, Alondra Calva, 2016,17th Annual Convention for SPSP, San Diego, CA.

Alligning Identities and Diversifying STEM

Ivan Hernandez

Ivan Hernander, Poster presented at the 2015 CSUSM Student Poster Showcase, San Marcos, CA.

Aligning identities and diversifying STEM.


Prisclla Fernandez, Joey Schmitt, and Maria Aguilar

Winning More than Accolades: Scientific Awards Impact Intention to Pursue a Research Career in Highly Threatened African-American Science Students

Alondra Calva, 2018, CSUSM Poster Showcase, San Marcos, CA.

"Affirming the Self Can Increase Math Identity and Performance Among Women"

Charlene Andreason, Ashley Bonilla, Caitlyn Castillo, Alondra Calva, Jamie Rund, Wesley Walters, Chaltu Hambissa, Rudy Rodriguez, Becky Calica, 2017, CSUSM Student Research Showcase, San Marcos, CA

Science Careers: How Minority Scientists Balance Multiple Identities

Charlene Andreason, Ashley Bonilla, Caitlyn Castillo, Alondra Calva, Jamie Rund, Chaltu Hambissa, Rudy Rodriguez, Becky Calica, 2017, CSUSM Student Research Showcase, San Marcos, CA

Science Careers: How Minority Scientists Balance Multiple Identities

charlene, kianna, hayley

Kianna Avilez, Hayley Stevenson, and Charlene Andreasonat SCCUR (Southern California Conference of Undergraduate Research), San Marcos, CA, 2019.

The Impact of Bilingual Instruction Training on Increasing Bilingual Teacher Identity and Feelings of Preparedness in the Classroom.

kyra brittany

Kyra Terry and Brittany Flores at SCCUR, San Marcos, 2019.

CodeQueens: Increasing Identification with Computer Science among High School Girls


Kyra Terry at SCCUR, San Marcos, 2019.

CodeQueens: Increasing Identification with Computer Science among High School Girls


Nancy Moreno at SCCUR, San Marcos, 2019.

Identity Balance of Female and Male Engineering Students

charlene jami and nancyJami Rund, Charlene Andreason, Nancy Moreno, 25th >Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, May 2018, San Marcos, CA.

Program Effectiveness for Bilingual Authorization (BILA) Preservice Teachers

student research

Brittany Robb, Nancy Moreno, Charlene Andreason, and Soleil Olsen, CSUSM Student Poster Showcase, November 2018, San Marcos, CA.

The role of GRIT in Bilingual Teacher Training.

student research

Ashley Bonilla and Leslie Lopez, Western Psychological Association (WPA) Conference, April 2019, Pasadena, CA.

Work-life Conflict Among Underrepresented Early Career scientists

student research

Rodolfo Rodriguez III, Jami Rund, Marisa Maldonado, Charlene Andreason, Nancy Moreno, Chaltu Yonas Hambissa, and Natalie Maldonado, 25th Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, May 2018, San Marcos, CA.

student research

Soleil Olsen, Nancy Moreno, Charlene Andreason, Dr. Ana Hernandez, Dr. Anna Woodcock, Kyle Landin, 26th Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, 2019, San Marcos, CA

The Impact of Bilingual Instruction Training on Sustaining Bilingual Teacher Identity.

soleil, charlene, nancy

Soleil Olsen, Charlene Andreason, and Nancy Moreno, 26th Annual CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, 2019, San Marcos, CA

The Impact of Bilingual Instruction Training on Sustaining Bilingual Teacher Identity.

rudolfo codequeensRodolfo Rodriguez III at CodeQueens Celebration 2018 in San Marcos, CA

jessica schabowJessica Schabow, CSUSM Psychology Student Research Fair Poster Showcase, 2016, San Marcos, CA

The relationship bewteen leadership experiences, self-efficacy, and transformational leadership

group photo

Athena Shepherd, Charlene Anderson, Ivan Hernandez, and Stephen Quartucci, Poster presented at the 2015 CSUSM Student Poster Showcase, San Marcos, CA.

Aligning identities and diversifying STEM.

lilibethLilibeth Flores, 2015, 7th Annual Conference on Understanding Interventions, San Diego, CA.

Attracting Person and Thing-Oriented People to STEM

100_3341Prisclla Fernandez and Maria Aguilar, 2012, Poster presented at the 13th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologyof SPSP in San Diego, CA.

Feel Good About What You Do: The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem in Acadmeic Identity and Hapiness


In the News


  • CSUSM Gets Nearly $2M Grant to Study STEM Students.

    California State University San Marcos has received a grant of almost $2 million from the National Science Foundation to do research that will help increase the number of students graduating with college degrees in STEM studies.

    The grant of $1.9 million covers five years and was awarded to a group headed by Dr. Wesley Schultz, a psychology professor and the dean of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at Cal State San Marcos. Schultz will lead the project with Dr. Anna Woodcock, research faculty in the CSUSM psychology department, and Dr. Paul Hernandez, a professor at Texas A&M University and a CSUSM alumnus.

    Schultz and his team will aim to answer the question of how the development of an identity as a scientist affects a student’s persistence and success within a STEM discipline, and how that identity aligns with the student’s other identities.

    “Say you’re a Hispanic student at Cal State San Marcos and you’re interested in engineering,” Schultz said in a statement. “But there’s a stereotype that says engineers are white. How does the student reconcile that? Is it even important that they reconcile it? We don’t know. I suspect it’s critically important to see that the groups you’re a member of and the activities you’re engaging in are aligned with each other. Those are the things that we’re measuring.” ... Read STEM Grant Article

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STEM Scholars

  • CodeQueens Mentors Make Impact on High School Students.

    Ashley Jacobs and Marissa Beltran each bring a unique perspective to the CodeQueens Club, a 12-week after-school program coordinated by Cal State San Marcos that introduces high school students to computer coding.

    Today, Ashley and Marissa work as mentors to high school students participating in the program, but it wasn’t long ago that both were CodeQueens participants themselves.

    “It’s really exciting because most of the girls haven’t been exposed to computers or computer science early,” said Ashley, a second-year computer science student at CSUSM. “It’s a new thing for them, and they might not have been exposed to the field otherwise.”

    “CodeQueens has a great impact, the greatest one being exposure to the field,” added Marissa, a first-year software engineering student.

    Ashley and Marissa will both be at nearby Mission Hills High School on Saturday for the CodeQueens Showcase, an annual event where participants share the online games they created during the semester. The assignment for this semester’s showcase was to create a game to combat distracted driving. ... Read CodeQueens Article

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Ashley Jacobs CodeQueens

(Ashley Jacobs, CodeQueens mentor) CSUSM News, May 2nd, 2019.

  • Developing a New Software Engineering Program at CSUSM.

    Dr. Yongjie Zheng is a computer science and software engineering expert. Now he’s on the ground floor of Cal State San Marcos’ new software engineering program, a program that will offer its first courses next fall and will graduate its first class of students in 2021.

    Zheng is one of the program’s first two faculty members, and he has been working on the curriculum and outreach since this past summer. The other inaugural faculty member, Dr. Simon Fan, arrives in January.

    “There are an increasing number of universities in the country that have an independent software engineering program, and this is a great opportunity to have an impact on building something new,” Zheng said. “We held outreach workshops, and current students will enroll in upper-division software engineering courses next year. We’re also generating interest from students looking at transferring here from the community colleges.”

    CSUSM launched its Bachelor of Science degree program in software engineering thanks to a $6 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education, a $1.5 million donation from Carlsbad-based communications company Viasat and its employees, and a $100,000 gift from San Marcos-based Hunter Industries. The donation is funding the renovation of laboratories and classrooms, purchasing new engineering equipment and instrumentation, and supporting faculty and student work. Construction of a new CSUSM Viasat Engineering Pavilion is now underway. ... Read Engineering Program Article

developing new software

Dr. Yongjie Zheng

(Dr. Yongjie Zheng) CSUSM News, November 24th, 2018.


times of san diego


(CodeQueens members on the CSUSM campus) Times of San Diego, April 23rd, 2018.

  • Showcase Event Highlights Impact of Young Women in Coding.

    Mission Hills High School junior Mitra Zarinebaf is like a lot of her friends. When it comes to using the latest technological gadgets, she was a pro. When it comes to understanding the technology behind those gadgets, not so much.

    Until now. Thanks to a three-year, Cal State San Marcos-led effort funded through a National Science Foundation grant, Mitra and nearly 60 other North County high school girls are learning the ins and outs of computer coding as part of a larger effort to increase the number of women motivated to pursue careers in the field of information communication technology. The grant’s second year culminates with an April 28 showcase at Rancho Bueno Vista High School, where participants – who belong to what they affectionately refer to as the CodeQueens Club – will talk about their projects, detail the technology involved, and answer questions from judges.

    “We’ve learned so much over the past year, it’s going to be exciting to show how far we’ve come,” said Mitra, who was part of a team that created an educational game app addressing environmental issues. “We’ve worked so hard as a team and have been so determined to develop this app. We’re really looking forward to it.” ... Read Young Women In Coding Article

codequeens mentors


(CodeQueens club during a meeting) CSUSM News, April 24th, 2018.

  • CodeQueens to Showcase Computer Games Designed to Address Real-World Issues.

    High school girls from North County San Diego will present computer games they have designed as part of the CodeQueens Club, a 16-week afterschool program coordinated by Cal State San Marcos.

    Student mentors from CSUSM’s Computer Science Department lead club meetings and teach participants the fundamentals of computer programming while engaging them in activities that build their self-efficacy and identity as programmers and problem solvers.

    The CodeQueens Showcase is from 1:30-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 at Rancho Buena Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served after the girls present their games from 1:30-2:45 p.m. Computer industry professionals will judge projects and prizes will be awarded. ... Read CodeQueens Showcase Article

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(CodeQueens club during a meeting) CSUSM News, April 23rd, 2018.

  • Top 2017 Graduates Honored with Awards.

    More than 3,300 students are expected to graduate from Cal State San Marcos this month. On May 1, six standouts from the Class of 2017 were honored at a special awards dinner to celebrate their achievements.

    Honorees were nominated by faculty or staff and endorsed by their college’s dean. Here is a closer look at each award winner:

    Ivan Hernandez, B.A. Psychology

    President’s Outstanding Graduate

    Dean’s Award, College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences

    Ivan’s parents moved to the United States from Mexico shortly before he was born, and he is the first in his family to earn a college degree.

    Throughout high school and into college, Ivan was focused on working as a way to contribute to his family. However, seeing his younger siblings begin to follow his path caused Ivan to make education his top priority to set a positive example. ... Read 2017 Graduates Article

2017 awards

2017 awards

(Dr. Anna Woodcock, President Karen Haynes, Ivan Hernandez, and Ranjeeta Basu) CSUSM News, May 16th, 2017.


  • Celebrating the Best in Student Research.

    It’s all about developing student scholars.

    So says Dr. Jennifer Fabbi, Dean of the University Library, in discussing the 2nd annual Library Award for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity – a Cal State San Marcos honor recognizing students demonstrating sophistication and originality in their research projects and creative works.

    Winners of the 2nd annual awards will be formally announced at an awards reception held in the winners’ honor on May 11 at the Kellogg Library.

    “Undergraduate research is very important at Cal State San Marcos,” Fabbi said. “This award and the Library’s role fit in with the mission and culture of our university.”

    Indeed, the Library places a premium on information literacy and helping students learn lifelong skills to navigate an increasingly complex digital world.

    “Learning to do quality research isn’t just necessary to do well in school or your career,” said Yvonne Nalani Meulemans, CSUSM’s Director of Information Literacy program. “Understanding how information is created, shared and used is fundamental to being part of a democratic society.” ... Read Student Research Article

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elizabeth jaffari

(Elizabeth Jaffari) CSUSM News, May 8th, 2017.


  • Project ACCEPT Preparing Bilingual Teachers.

    Ana Hernandez knows the value of being bilingual in the teaching profession.

    At the end of March, she took 16 Cal State San Marcos School of Education students to the California Association for Bilingual Education conference in Anaheim.

    She has already heard from school districts wanting to interview them.

    “They’re worth their weight in gold because they get a regular credential and then on top of that they’re bilingual and they’re credentialed to teach in a bilingual class,” said Hernandez, an associate professor of multilingual and multicultural education and coordinator of CSUSM’s Bilingual Authorization Program, Dual Language Certificate and Multicultural Specialist Certificate in the School of Education. ... Read Bilingual Teachers Article

bilingual teachers

Bilingual Teachers

(Dual Language Certificate Program) CSUSM News, April 24th, 2017.


  • Extended Hackathon Opens Doors to STEM Career Paths.

    Youwen Ouyang is grateful for the Cal State San Marcos student mentors she has assisting with a grant that aims to help high school girls learn more about STEM career paths.

    “They’re so dedicated,” said Ouyang, CSUSM’s computer science department chair. “They really work well as a team. They engage the students, and that’s what we want.”

    Ouyang is the principal investigator on the $1.2 million, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation titled, “Inspiring Commitment for STEM Career Paths through Extended Women’s Hackathons.” Ouyang is supported by Moses Ochanji, an associate professor in the School of Education, and Anna Woodcock, a research faculty member in the psychology department, who are co-principal investigators on the grant. ... Read Hackathon Article



(Extended Women's Hackathon) CSUSM News, March 13th, 2017.


  • CSUSM Study Team Receives National Award for Findings in 10-Year Study.

    Diversity in the Sciences Boosted by NIH Funded Undergraduate Research Programs

    Diversity—of ideas, perspectives and backgrounds—is essential to good science. Research has shown that highly diverse teams not only generate more innovative ideas than homogeneous teams, but they are more effective problem solvers. Yet, despite some progress over the last few decades, diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields remains a significant challenge.

    However, an award-winning research team, led by Dr. Wesley Schultz, Cal State San Marcos dean of Graduate Studies, with Drs. Anna Woodcock of Cal State San Marcos, Mica Estrada of the University of California San Francisco, and Paul Hernandez of West Virginia University, has shown that National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded training programs, such as CSUSM’s Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC programs, are effective at sustaining undergraduate minority students through graduation in science.

    “Science not only needs diversity but people from all backgrounds also need access to a full range of career opportunities,” said Woodcock. “Careers in the sciences can be very rewarding and, in some instances, high paying and prestigious—the thought that certain groups of people should be excluded from these opportunities is egregious.” ... Read Diversity Article

TOL Award

("TOL" Award recieved by P. Wesley Schultz, Dr. Anna Woodcock, Mica Estrada, and Paul Hernandez) CSUSM News, August 5th, 2016.


  • Turning Students into STARs

    Both the RISE and MARC programs were created to prepare talented and motivated minority students majoring in the sciences to enter and succeed in doctoral studies. Students work in a research laboratory, attend seminars and scientific meetings to present research, participate in a training program and are mentored by faculty. In return, the students not only garner hands-on research experience but receive a small stipend, the reimbursement of travel expenses and, in the case of the MARC program, partial support for tuition.

    Schultz said the programs are successful because they help underrepresented students create identities as scientists.

    “These programs create access to science, but underrepresented students have a special burden because they have to reconcile their identity and see themselves as scientists in a society that often doesn’t provide exemplars of their racial group in science,” Shultz said. “Being involved in meaningful research experiences as an undergraduate along with access to a faculty mentor—these two things drive successful outcomes.”

    Ivan Hernandez, a first-generation psychology major, is a CSUSM MARC program success story. He took first place at the California State University Statewide Research Competition in April for his project titled, “The Influence of Minority Training Programs on Individuals’ Social Mobility Mindset.”

    “I never thought a Ph.D. was possible for me,” Ivan said. “When I started doing undergraduate research I wasn’t confident. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I didn’t identify as a scientist. The MARC program is like a family of people with the same interest, mindset and goals—they mentor you to write and present, encourage you to travel to conferences, and coach you on how to be a better candidate for grad school. Now I’m seeing my peers get accepted into graduate programs all over the country and I can see that for me in my future, too.” ... Read Student STARS Article


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ivan hernandez

(Ivan Hernandez and Stephen Quartucci) CSUSM News, September 23rd, 2016.


  • Female Engineering Students Underestimate Their True Ability.

    Anna Woodcock, professor of psychology at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), and Diana Bairaktarova, professor of engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, have been researching women and engineering since 2010. Together the two have teamed up to study the impact of gender differences in first-year engineering students’ self-evaluations of their engineering ability.

    “We wanted to see how female and male students performed on an engineering task and how accurately they estimated their own performance,” said Woodcock. “We asked large group of male and female first-year engineering students to create an assembly procedure for a model solar powered boat. At the completion of the task we asked the students to evaluate how well they thought they performed and then we sent the students’ assembly procedures to a panel of practicing engineers to provide objective evaluations of the quality of the work.”

    Their findings concluded that a large gender gap exists in first-year engineering students’ confidence in their engineering ability; female students grossly underestimated their performance despite no objective gender differences in ability according to the ratings of professional engineers. ... Read Female Engineers Article


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alondra and dr woodcock

(Alondra Calva and Dr. Woodcock) CSUSM News, April 25th, 2016


  • Are you a "People Person," a "Thing Person," or both? Retaining person-oiented engineering

    Consider your interest in the following activities: Watching a machine work and meeting a new neighbor. Are you interested in one more than the other – or both? These questions capture interests in things versus people.

    Students scoring high in thing orientation are often drawn to majors like science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) because these endeavors align with their interests in things. However, many of these students are high in both person and thing orientations.

    The September 2015 issue of PRISM magazine reports on our recent research on the impact of person and thing ordinations on socially-minded undergraduates. We found that person-orientation has an indirect effect on retaining engineering students via encouragement to participate in undergraduate research. ...Read Are You A People Person Article

    Branch, S. E., Woodcock, A., & Graziano, W.G. (2015). Person orientation and encouragement: Predicting interest in engineering research. Journal of Engineering Education, 104, doi:10.1002/jee.20068


a hook for people persons

CSUSM News, September, 2015.


  • Retaining Minority Science Students: Chronic Stereotype Threat Affects Science Identity.

    Stereotype threat impairs performance across many domains, and is one explanation as to why African Americans and Hispanic/Latino(a)s “leak” from each juncture of the academic scientific pipeline in disproportionately greater numbers than their White and Asian peers.

    Beyond the immediate impact on performance, the experience of chronic stereotype threat is hypothesized to lead to domain disidentification and eventual domain abandonment. Our longitudinal research findings were highlighted on We tested the stereotype threat-disidentification hypothesis across 3 academic years with a national longitudinal panel of undergraduate minority science students. Chronic stereotype threat was associated with scientific disidentification, which in turn predicted a significant decline in the intention to pursue a scientific career. The effect was evident for Hispanic/Latino(a) students but not for all African American students.

    Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P. R., Estrada, M., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). The consequences of chronic stereotype threat: Domain disidentification and abandonment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 635-646. doi: 10.1037/a0029120

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two students in lab setting

(Student working in a STEM lab.) CSUSM News, 2012.