President’s Award for Gender Equity: Bryce Hughes, Founders Day Faculty Awards, Academic Year 2022-23. Portrait of Bryce Hughes.

Bryce Hughes

Bryce Hughes, associate professor in the Department of Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Development, has received the President’s Award for Gender Equity, which honors a faculty or staff member who has established a record of working to improve issues related to gender equity at MSU. The award is sponsored by the president’s office and comes with a $2,000 honorarium.  

Hughes has served on several committees related to gender equity, including the Advance research team and Queer Faculty and Staff Association. He also led a task force through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to diversify course content and co-developed a workshop about preventing microaggressions in the classroom. In 2016, Hughes was the keynote speaker at MSU’s inaugural Lavender Graduation, a ceremony honoring LGBTQ and ally students. In 2018, he received the Lavender Leader Award for working to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ students. 

Hughes’ research efforts on gender equity and inclusion also have been impressive, his award nominator wrote. His 2018 publication in the journal Science Advances showed that undergraduate students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer were 7% less likely than heterosexual peers to complete their STEM degree. 

In 2021, Hughes received a $695,000 National Science Foundation CAREER award, considered the premier award given to early-career researchers. Hughes is using the award to explore the experiences of LGBTQ undergraduates in STEM fields to better understand the systemic barriers to participation they face, as well as identity policies, practices and interventions to address those concerns. Hughes also received an NSF engineering leadership grant that created undergraduate research opportunities for women and nonbinary students.