Makini Beck Headshot

Makini Beck

Assistant Professor

Academic Affairs

Office Location

Makini Beck

Assistant Professor

Academic Affairs


BA, State University College at Old Westbury; MSED, St. Bonaventure University; Ph.D., University of Rochester



B.A., American Studies, SUNY College at Old Westbury
M.S.Ed, Social Studies, St. Bonaventure University
Ph.D., Teaching & Curriculum, University of Rochester

Teaching interests:

Social and Cultural Foundations of Education; Research Methods; Urban Poverty; Foundations of Sociology; Hip Hop Music and Culture; Minority Relations

Research Interests:

Dr. Makini Beck focuses her academic inquiry on immigrant women teachers in the U.S., mentoring women of color in academia, narrative inquiry and autoethnographic research methods.  She has presented her research at various national and international conferences, and has published her work in handbook chapters and peer-reviewed journals.  

Selected Publications  

Beck, M., Unterreiner, A., De Four-Babb, J. (2017).  Keeping our boots on the ground: Independent scholars maintaining academic identities.  A Professing Education: A Journal of The Society of Professors of Education, 16(2), 67-84. 

Nganga, C., Beck, M. (2017).  The power of dialogue and meaningful connectedness: Conversations between two female scholars. The Urban Review, 49, 551-567. 

Beck, M., & Nganga, C. (2016). Narratives of foreign-born teachers: Implications for dialogic leadership for social justice. Educational Leadership Review 16(3), 58-71. 

De Four-Babb, J., Pegg, J., & Beck, M. (2015).  Reducing intellectual poverty of outsiders within academic spaces through informal peer mentorship. Mentoring and Tutoring Journal, 23(1), 76-93. 

Esnard, T., Cobb-Roberts, D., Agosto, V., Karanxha, Z., Beck, M., Wu, K., & Unterreiner, A. (2015). Productive tensions in a cross-cultural peer mentoring women’s network: A social capital perspective. Mentoring and Tutoring Journal, 23(1), 19-36.   

Book Chapters 

Thorsos, N., Johnannessen, G., Beck, M., Nganga, C., (2016).  Synergy, care, and constructive chaos: Understanding the dynamics of an international co-mentoring network. In G. Guzman-Johnannessen (Ed.), Mentoring outside politics, policies, and practices in institutions of higher education. p.57-71. New York, NY: Springer.   


Encyclopedia Entries:

Beck, M. (2017). Infertility. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Beck, Makini, et al. "Critical Feminist Analysis of STEM Mentoring Programs: A Meta-Synthesis of the Existing Literature." Gender, Work & Organization 29. 1 (2022): 167-187. Print.
Beck, Makini, et al. "Mentoring From Within: Developing a Virtual Mentoring Curriculum for a Network of Culturally Diverse Women Faculty." Journal of Faculty Development 36. 1 (2022): 71-81. Print.
Nganga, Christine W., Makini Beck, and Joyanne De Four-Babb. "Making sense of spirituality in our academic lives through co-menetoring." Journal for the Study of Spirituality 11. 1 (2021): 61-74. Print.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
Students will write a library-based research paper or research proposal, bringing to bear the knowledge, methodological skills, and theoretical perspectives accumulated during the prior years of study.
3 Credits
Sociology is the study of the social world and socialization processes. Sociologists study the broader picture of how societies are structured and organized through a macro-sociological analysis as well as how individuals create their own social reality symbolically through their interactions with others in a micro-sociological analysis. Students in this course will learn the fundamentals of each approach and come away with a sociological framework which they can critically apply to their own lives.
3 Credits
This course examines the historical and contemporary conditions of Blacks in the U.S. We will explore African American culture as it is perceived by many African-Americans, and consider theoretical concepts related to immigration and the segmented assimilation of Black immigrant groups coming into the U.S. We will also address identity politics as it relates to race, class, and gender, oppression, as well as the art products that originate in Black communities. A particular emphasis will be placed on Hip Hop music, dance, and style as an expression of Black culture, identity, activism, and social influence (both nationally and globally).
3 Credits
With a focus on forms of (in)justice in urban communities worldwide, we investigate the impact of race, class, and gender and related systems of unequal power relations on perpetuating patterns of social, political, economic, and environmental oppression (policing, hunger, pollution, violence, disease). How do ways of governing urban populations affect the lives of inner city residents and their demands for justice when attempting to navigate the everyday urban worlds? Specific course topics include both historical and contemporary perspectives on urban (in)justice locally, in Rochester NY, and nationally, across the U.S., and in a global comparative framework. Thereby the effects of crime, violence, and inequality on people in urban neighborhoods are also examined among and within nations. By the end of the semester, students should be able to identify and explain various theories that seek to explain (in)justice patterns in the urban context at local, national and global levels.
3 Credits
Urban poverty has been recognized as a persistent problem in the United States since the middle of the last century. In many cities, poverty is associated with high levels of teenage pregnancy, low levels of employment, limited educational attainment, chronic community-based health problems, and high levels of crime. This course examines causes, consequences, and proposed policy solutions to urban poverty. Special emphasis will be paid to U.S. urban poverty.
3 Credits
Students will write a library-based research paper or research proposal, bringing to bear the knowledge, methodological skills, and theoretical perspectives accumulated during the prior years of study.
3 Credits
This course examines how to understand the individual’s role and ethical responsibilities in civil society, the economy, and the globe. The course is exploratory, collaborative, and participatory. The course will involve reading, discussion, and reflection on notable texts about individualism from antiquity to the present, as well as discussion sessions with notable individuals in our community. In consultation with the faculty instructor, students will develop a research and action plan based on their own sense of individuality.
3 Credits
In this course, students will conduct research in the field of cultural studies. More specifically, the course will focus on the sociological, cultural, ethical, and ideological contexts of such research as well as its practical applications. The course will cover how to conduct research using various methodological approaches and how to critically read, analyze, evaluate, and conduct a comprehensive literature review. To this end, students will draw upon coursework, their personal experiences, and professional interests to develop a research proposal on a topic of their choosing. Students will also have the unique opportunity to visit a country outside of the U.S. since this course features a study abroad component. While abroad, students will visit art and historical museums, eat traditional and authentic cuisines, engage in participatory research, conduct informal sociological observations, and conduct interviews with willing participants on a topic of their choosing. Study abroad is a required component for this course. Therefore, all enrolled students must be prepared to meet the additional financial obligations which includes the cost for airfare, transportation, meals, tours, lodging, and any other medical or government requirements for travel abroad.
1 - 6 Credits
Independent study.
3 Credits
A capstone class for students in the applied arts and sciences bachelor of science degree program. Course provides students an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance the many aspects of their individualized educational programs and focus on future goals.