Beth Quinn

Beth Quinn

University of Colorado Boulder
Senior Research Scientist & Director of EngageCSEdu

Dr. Beth Quinn is an interdisciplinary social scientist working broadly on workplace and educational equity and processes of change within complex organizations. She serves as a Senior Research Scientist and Director at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. At NCWIT, Beth’s work focuses on post-secondary initiatives to broaden the participation of women in computing. Beth brings 14 years of experience as a faculty member and several years at a small software development company to this work.

Beth’s early research focused on disputing processes in the workplace, particularly the power dynamics of sexual harassment and the conflicting roles that human resources serve in these disputes. She has developed and taught courses in, e.g., Social Theory, the Sociology of Law, Law and Inequality, and Social Stratification at Montana State University (as a tenured faculty member) and the University of Wisconsin (as a visiting scholar). As a teacher, Beth has always been an “early adopter” and keenly interested in active learning and new methods of engaging students.

In 2010, Beth left academia to "go build things" and work directly with a team committed to developing new methods for engaging students. While at the award-winning Filament Games, Beth served as PI/Co-PI on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants totaling over $2,000,000 to develop games for STEM and civics education.

Beth joined NCWIT in 2014 to direct the NCWIT EngageCSEdu project ( EngageCSEdu is an online collection of peer-reviewed teaching materials for introductory computer science courses that emphasize the use of engaging teaching methods. This work has included overseeing the development of the NCWIT Engagement Practices Framework, leading several redevelopments of the platform, conducting evaluation research, and publishing a series of interviews with leading computer science educators. As a member of NCWIT’s research team, Beth has conducted research exploring the experiences of community college students in introductory computing courses, the changing patterns of how computing departments evaluate the work of teaching track faculty, and interventions to improve the faculty hiring process.

Beth holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and an M.A. from the School of Social Ecology at the University of California-Irvine and a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University. Beth’s scholarship has been published in a variety of academic and popular venues in sociology, law, and education.

Beth is a trained mediator and a “Peregrina,” having walked the entirety of the Camino de Santiago Frances in 2013. She is still not fluent in Spanish, despite a ridiculous amount of effort.

View Beth's CV here.