About ISC@PDX Team

Principal Investigator:

Karlyn R. Adams-Wiggins, Ph.D.

Visiting Muumimuseo during EARLI 2017 in Tampere, Finland
Prof. Adams-Wiggins

Karlyn Adams-Wiggins (Ph.D., Rutgers University; B.A., Lafayette College) is an educational and developmental psychologist, broadly interested in the intersection of academic achievement motivation and identity, with a specific focus on how adolescents’ identities are negotiated in social interactions. They are currently the president-elect of the Scholarly Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education (SCIPIE) and previously chaired the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Adolescence & Youth Development SIG. Karlyn is also a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow during 2021-2023.

Karlyn’s current work addresses social interaction and identity construction through two primary research themes: 1) achievement motivation from a situative perspective in reform-oriented science learning environments and 2) Black/African diaspora youths’ construction of identities in context. In Karlyn’s science education research, marginal identities are conceptualized as reflecting power relations in the local social context as well as in broader social systems (Adams-Wiggins, 2020; Adams-Wiggins et al., 2020; Adams-Wiggins & Tierney, 2021). Karlyn is collaborating with graduate students and former graduate students to examine similar processes in undergraduate research experiences for students of color and first-generation college students (e.g. Cerda-Lezama, Lindwall, & Adams-Wiggins, 2021). Their newer work examines Black/African-diaspora youths’ identity development using a critical and sociohistorical lens to address themes of coloniality as a classed phenomenon in youths’ lived experience (Adams-Wiggins & Taylor-Garcia, 2020; Adams-Wiggins, accepted).

Across projects, Karlyn employs a critical and sociohistorical psychology lens in service of addressing social inequality and social justice aims. This ethically-committed approach also has informed Karlyn’s heavy use qualitative methods, which includes video-recorded observations, field work, and interviewing.

ORCID Researcher Profile: ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4123-7077


Student Research Assistants

Student research assistants are a vital component of the ISC@PDX research team. Doctoral students, BUILD EXITO undergraduate research scholars, PSU Honors College students, undergraduate students, and post-baccalaureate students have all been research assistants on ISC@PDX’s projects to date. These students researchers come from a wide array of majors, including but not limited to psychology, public health, and social sciences. Current students interested in pursuing an ISC@PDX research assistantship should fill out the application found here either by hand or electronically and send it to Dr. Adams-Wiggins with “Undergraduate Research Assistant Application” in the subject line of the email. If you do not use the correct subject line, your email will not be seen.

Prospective doctoral students should review Dr. Adams-Wiggins’ publications and current projects before reaching out to confirm that there will be new doctoral students admitted for the next academic year. The number of admitted students can vary from year to year dependent on funding, as we currently fund all of our admitted students. For prospective doctoral applicants seeking to become Dr. Adams-Wiggins’ mentee, all emails should have the subject line “Prospective Doctoral Student”. If you do not use the correct subject line, your email will not be seen.


Last Update: 6/10/2021