Joel R. Schneider

educator | chemical engineer | surface scientist

Hi, I'm Joel

I'm interested in how small-scale, seemingly invisible interactions have visible impacts on society and communities.

I am currently a postdoc in the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota investigating intro STEM classrooms. I completed my PhD in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, focusing on nanotechnology and fundamental surface science. From poring over “The Way Things Work” (by David Macaulay) and working on hybrid corn farms growing up, to teaching calculus and engineering at MIT, I have always been fascinated by the hidden Whys.

My current research focuses on the dynamics of both race and gender in introductory biology classrooms, how curricula can reinforce or break down student biases, and the experiences of students and faculty. My work brings to light complex and sensitive phenomena so classrooms can be more inclusive, just, and educational. Broadly, my interests span pedagogy, community, chemistry, and materials. Beyond my work I appreciate cooking, traveling, and a cozy mug of tea.


Qualitative &
Quantitative Research

Mentorship &

Mission Statement

To make seemingly invisible processes visible for understanding and thriving

To bridge theory and praxis, connecting the “why” and the “how”

To practice research and teaching as liberatory work that builds up community

To support and empower others to do the same