Allison Dennis smiling.


Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Major: Mathematics BS

Allison is a rising senior majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education. Allison is from Montgomery, Texas. Her hobbies include reading (anything by Jane Austen), watching Gilmore Girls, eating breakfast foods, being with family & friends, and exploring coffee shops (Rochester has the best). Outside of her studies, Allison works as a Teaching Assistant for Math and Computer Science at Texas A&M, along with tutoring K-12 Math and Reading. Allison also participates in undergraduate research in Multistationarity in Biochemical Networks at Texas A&M and Computational Mathematics for Data Science at Emory University.

Allison is working with Dr. Franklin and Dr. Wong to analyze longitudinal RIT student data to evaluate the impact of the student demographic composition of STEM classrooms on the academic pathways of undergraduate students. They are looking at how the presence and representation of different demographic group identities (e.g. gender, AALANA, first-generation, deaf & hard-of-hearing) in STEM courses predicts the long-term success of students in their majors and pathways they take through their college careers (e.g. 6-year graduation rates, yearly transition rates, the likelihood of switching majors, the size of persistence, and performance gaps between student demographics).

Allison was interested in joining RIT’s STEM Education REU because she was confident that it would offer a valuable experience in Math and Physics Education, specifically through working with Dr. Franklin and Dr. Wong to use education data analytics to understand how student identities create different learning experiences within STEM environments. She has not only had a professionally growing experience as a researcher, but she has also had a wonderful time getting to know the other REU students and exploring the Rochester area. Her favorite part of the program has definitely been the multitude of cooking lessons she has received from her fellow REU students! 

Through STEM Education, Allison is excited to have the ability to combine her background in Math with her passion for education to research how the education community can improve Math learning environments in Secondary Education. During her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Math Education, she hopes to research how the structural gap among students in Math understanding can be closed, whether that be through the development of inclusive Math curriculum, teacher preparation in inclusive Math instructional practices, or the expansion of programs aimed at changing the deficiency of STEM exposure to underrepresented students.