Emily Daina Šaras

About Me

I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Florida State University and the Director of Business Development and Data Scientist at Knowli Data Science.

My career is centered on identifying and understanding social inequalities and supporting the development of policy and programmatic solutions.

My areas of research and analysis include education, public health, early-career workforce inequalities, and strategic interventions that support racial-ethnic minorities in STEM and college students facing food and housing insecurity.

Email me: emilydainasaras@gmail.com

In the Classroom

I teach my students how to critically analyze our complex social world. Through my interactive and engaging courses, students thoughtfully explore the complex connections between sociological concepts and our social, cultural, political, and economic lives.

Leading interactive class discussions, modeling relevant current events analysis, and guiding collaborative case-study analysis, I teach students how to reflect meaningfully on social norms and prepare for meaningful engagement in civic society.

“Emily Saras has been my most comfortable experience with a professor, nonetheless a math professor! She takes the time to listen to her students and guide them as much as possible. Hers may be the first A in a math course I will have received since 6th grade which means more than you will ever know. The icing on the cake is how wonderful of a personality she has and how she talks to our class as equals.”

– Anonymous Student from Fall 2019 Social Statistics Course, through the Thank-A-Professor Program at FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Throughout my Social Statistics course, I teach students how to overcome math anxiety and help them develop strengths in statistical analysis.

Many students begin this course doubtful of their ability to succeed in math. This course is designed to introduce new ways of thinking about math that are accessible to all kinds of learners. First, we build up our math ability beliefs while mastering the basics of probability and descriptive statistics. Over the course of the semester, we strengthen our intermediate analytic skills through examples grounded in applied sociological analysis.

Research

My main sociological research agenda focuses on social inequalities as replicated within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, particularly the university programming designed to support students from minority backgrounds. I am especially interested in processes of social reproduction within the higher education context, and the mitigation of barriers that prevent education equity through the development and assessment of strategic intervention programs.

I am currently engaged in several other qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods projects that explore disparities in education and employment outcomes across race, class, and gender.