Well-BellingAdvocating for WISER & More Inclusive Public Policy


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About WISER. Founded on International Woman’s Day 2016, the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)3 research institute. WISER’s mission is to expand women-focused policy research to include the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American and multi-racial women. WISER believes the well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American and multi-racial is vital for social and economic progress.
WISER’s interdisciplinary research team includes distinguished scholars from the social sciences, humanities and STEM disciplines who conducts quantitative and qualitative research that examines the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality.
WISER is the first think tank to focus solely on the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American and multi-racial women.

Get to KnowOur Leadership Team

Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe is founder and president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race, the first think tank to focus solely on the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of women of color.

Rhonda’s research focuses on three areas: gender and racial inequality; the diversity of STEM; and the demography of higher education. Her recent publications include: “Who Attends For-Profit Institutions? The Enrollment Landscape” (with William Darity, Jr. and Steve Stokes) in For-Profit Universities: The Shifting Landscape of Marketized Higher Education : “Mentoring Programs” (with Nicole Lewis) in People of Color in the United States: Contemporary Issues in Education, Work, Communities, Health and Immigration; “Poverty in Global Perspective” (with Kendal Swanson) in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies; and “HBCUs: Creating a Scientific Workforce Outta 15 Cents” in Setting a New Agenda for Student Engagement and Retention in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Other publications include a co-edited volume Black Female Undergraduates on Campus: Successes and Challenges (with Crystal Chambers) (Diversity in Higher Education series); “What Type of Institutions are Successful at Replicating the Diversity of the Full-Time Student Population in the Pool of Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded for STEM-Disciplines” in Beyond Stock and Stories of Folk Tales: African Americans and the Pipeline to the Professoriate and Evidence Based Examination of STEM Fields (Diversity in Higher Education series); and “America’s Future Demands a Diverse and Competitive STEM Workforce” in Jobs Rebuild America: Putting Urban America Back to Work.

She has served on the faculty at Barnard College, Bennett College, Bucknell University, Columbia University, Duke University, and the University of Vermont. She is the co-founder (with Sandy Darity) of the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics (DITE) for which she served as the Associate Director from 2008 to 2014. She was the 2008-09 Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance Fellow at the University of Houston Law Center. She is the co-recipient of the 2004 Rhonda Williams Prize from the International Association for Feminist Economics. She was a Carolina Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in the economics department at UNC-Chapel Hill. She completed her undergraduate studies in Mathematics at North Carolina Wesleyan College. She hold master’s degrees from Clark Atlanta University (Applied Mathematics), Stanford University (Operations Research) and Claremont Graduate University (Economics). She completed her doctorate in Economics/Mathematics at Claremont Graduate University.

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