Research Associate Professor Profile Image
Research Associate Professor Center for Science Mathematics & Computer Education and Department of Sociology (402) 472-8965 251C Avery Hall

Curriculum Vitae

Current Research

I am a research associate professor of sociology at the Center for Science, Mathematics, & Computer Education (CSMCE) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research focuses on broadening participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in K-22 informal and formal education and the professorate. I want science and scientific research to be inclusive, especially for people who belong to groups who have been historically excluded from STEM, and I want STEM to accessible and equitable for all.

As a research professor, I work as a co-investigator and/or evaluator on various federally funded grants including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. My work is very interdisciplinary, and I have had the opportunity to work with researchers at the University of Nebraska across STEM fields, and in the arts and humanities. I have also had the privilege of partnering with teachers and administrators in K-12 schools and with informal education professionals in libraries, museums, 4H, and community learning centers. I am passionate about serving my community and partnering with a broad range of people to bring sociological methods and ideas to the everyday world.


Selected Publications

Hill, P.W., Kelly, G., McQuillan J., Phillips, M., Melson, M., Blake, J. (2023) “Mapping Teacher Informal Advice Networks as a Tool for District Administrators: A Case Study.” Science Educator, 29(1):1-11.

McQuillan, J., Hill, P.W., Jochman, J. & Kelly, G. (2023) “Decline is Not Inevitable: Changes in Science Identity During the Progression Through a U.S. Middle School among Boys and Girls. Socius, 9:1-16. https://doi:10.1177/23780231231152195

Hill, P.W., Diamond, J., McQuillan, J., Spiegel, A.N., VanWormer, E., & Leadabrand, M. (2022) “Accuracy of COVID-19 relevant knowledge among youth: The Number of Sources of Information Matters” PLOS ONE, 7(12):e0267871. https://doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0267871

Diamond, J., Hill, P. W.,  McQuillan, J., Spiegel, A., Leadabrand, M. & VanWormer, E. (2021) “Developing Pandemic Comics for Youth Audiences." Journal of STEM Outreach, Jul; 4(2).

Hill, P. W.,  McQuillan, J., Hebets, E., Spiegel, A. & Diamond, J. (2018) Informal Science Experiences among Urban and Rural Youth: Exploring Differences at the Intersections of Socioeconomic Status and Gender.  Journal of STEM Outreach, 1(1):1-12.

Hebets, E., Hill, P. W.,  Matthews, A., Phillips, K., Weller, S., Whitney, C.S., and Corey, T.B. (2020) “Using a College Curriculum for Community Engagement: Vertically Integrated Science Learning Opportunities for University and Middle School Students.”  JournalRap of STEM Outreach, 3(2):1-17.

Hill, P. W.,  McQuillan, J., Spiegel, A. N., and Diamond, J. (2018) Discovery orientation, cognitive schemas, and disparities in science identity in early adolescence. Sociological Perspectives, 61(1), 99-125.

Hill, P. W.,  McQuillan, J., Talbert, E. J., Spiegel, A. N., Gauthier, G. R., & Diamond, J. (2017). Science Possible Selves and Desire to be a Scientist: Mindsets, Gender Bias, and Confidence during Early Adolescence, 6(2), 55.

Gauthier, G. R., Hill, P. W., McQuillan, J., Spiegel, A. N., & Diamond, J. (2017). The potential scientist’s dilemma: How the masculine framing of science shapes friendships and science job aspirations. Social Sciences, 6(1), 14.


Recent Grants

Co-Investigator - NSF EPSCOR Track II: Using Mentored Research Relationships to Empower Underserved Students and Improve Early Retention in STEM Majors (2225837, 2022-2027)

Principal Investigator – Subaward - NSF ADVANCE Catalyst: A Data Driven Critical Needs Assessment of STEM Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion for George Mason University (2136375, 2022-2024)

Co-Investigator - NIH Science Education Partnership Award (NIH SEPA) grant, “Worlds of Connections: Engaging Youth with Health Research through Network Science and Stories in Augmented Reality.” (1R25GM129836, 2018-2023)

Co-Investigator - NSF Broadening Participation in Engineering (NSF BPE), “Statewide effort to diversify undergraduate engineering student population.” (1848696, 2018-2022)

Co-Investigator - NSF COVID: RAPID: Using Popular Media to Educate Youth About the Biology of Viruses and the Current COVID-19 Pandemic (2028026, 2020-2022)

Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Areas of Specialization:

  • Broadening Participation in STEM
  • Gender
  • Adolescence
  • Health
  • Inequality
  • Education
  • Rural
  • Research Methods