W. Carson Byrd

Associate Research Scientist

Carson Byrd

Marsal Family School of Education
Room 2117
610 East University Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

W. Carson Byrd

Associate Research Scientist

Carson Byrd is an Associate Research Scientist in the Center for the Study of Higher & Postsecondary Education in the College of Education. His research examines the mechanisms of racism within higher education and in broader society, racialization of science and knowledge production, and critical quantitative approaches for improving the study of social inequalities. His current work explores the impacts of affirmative action bans on the intersectional inequalities of student degree paths and experiences. He is also studying the components of departmental microclimates in STEM fields and their influence on racial inequities and inequalities of those departments, and the contributions of college education to later in life health and social outcomes. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging, among others.


Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology, Virginia Tech (2011) Graduate Certificates: Future Professoriate, Race and Social Policy
Master of Science, Sociology, Virginia Tech (2007)
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Mars Hill College (2005)

Areas of Study

Education, Race and Racial Inequality

Byrd, W. Carson, Brendan Cantwell, and Sanzhar Baizhanov. “But is it Elite? Organizational Status, Boundaries and Crafting Elite and Flagship Universities.” Review of Higher Education. (early access). https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.0.a925681

Castle, Sarah D., W. Carson Byrd, Benjamin P. Koester, Meaghan I. Pearson, Emily Bonem, Natalia Caporale, Sonja Cwik, Kameryn Denaro, Stefano Fiorini, Yangqiuting Li, Chris Mead, Heather Rypkema, Ryan D. Sweeder, Montserrat B. Valdivia Medinaceli, Kyle M. Whitcomb, Sara E. Brownell, Chantal Levesque-Bristol, Marco Molinaro, Chandralekha Singh, Timothy McKay, and Rebecca L. Matz. “Exposing Inequity: A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Systematic Advantages in Introductory STEM Courses.” International Journal of STEM Education. (early access). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-024-00474-7

Lee, Jiwon, and W. Carson Byrd. “The Mechanisms of Ethnoracialization and Asian American Support for Race Conscious Admissions.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. (early access). https://doi.org/10.1177/23326492231193399

Martinez, David, Daniel Collier, W. Carson Byrd, and Isabel McMullen. “A Promise Kept for Whom? College Access, Success, and the Limits of Race-Neutral Tuition-Free Programs.” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. (early access). https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/dhe0000483

Ovink, Sarah M., W. Carson Byrd, Megan Nanney, and Abigail Wilson. 2024. “‘Figuring Out Your Place at a School Like This:’ Intersectionality and Sense of Belonging among STEM and non-STEM College Students.” PLoS ONE 19(1): e0296389. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0296389