Dr. Marcia Owens
Marcia Allen Owens serves as Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Director for the Center for Faculty ADVANCEment. She is the first Black woman to earn tenure and ascend to the rank of Full Professor in the FAMU School of the Environment. Dr. Owens earned a B.S. in Biology from Jackson State University and the Ph.D., J.D., and M.Div. degrees from Emory University. An environmental lawyer and transdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Owens’ specific research interests and publication areas include environmental literacy, environmental justice, and religion and ecology. Her current and past impact as thesis/dissertation chair and committee member results in more than 20 Black students earning master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science. Another area of significant research is the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Black women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and social and behavioral sciences (SBS) professions, with a specific interest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
As Principal Investigator of FAMU’s $2.97 million National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant (HRD-1824267), she serves as the founding Director of The Center for Faculty ADVANCEment at FAMU. Dr. Owens is leading the effort to examine and change institutional policies and practices that impact women’s recruitment, retention, and promotion in STEM and the social and behavioral sciences. Her work in The Feminist Wire shed light on the existence of microagressions against Black women in STEM at HBCUs. Her voice is amplified in the acclaimed volume Presumed Incompetent-II: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (2020) and Maternal Connections: When Daughter Becomes Mother (2022). Her views on gender equity in STEM have also been featured on several podcasts and panels, including NSF ADVANCE, STEMming in Stilettos, Engineering Change, and Modern Figures.