Rachel Chaffee

Headshot of Rachel Chaffee

Senior Education Researcher

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  • University of Rochester, Ph.D. Education & Human Development, 2016
  • SUNY College at Brockport, M.A., English, 2006
  • Roberts Wesleyan College, B.A. English, 2001


Professional Interests:

Dr. Chaffee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Education Research and Evaluation at The American Museum of Natural History. She was a Scandling Scholar at the Warner School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester where she completed her Ph.D. in Education with a focus on science education and gender studies. Her research focuses on the potential ways that informal learning environments can shape youth’s interest in and pursuit of science. In addition to research, Dr. Chaffee has 12 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education at both the graduate and undergraduate level.



Chaffee, R., Gupta, P., Jackson, T., Hammerness, K. (in press). Centering equity and access: An examination of a museum’s mentored research youth program. In B. Bevan & B. Ramon (Eds.), Making Museums More Equitable: Structural Constraints and Enduring Challenges Surfaced through Research and Practice Perspectives. Taylor and Francis.


Chaffee, R., Hammerness, K., Gupta, P., Anderson, K., Podkul, T. (in press). Re-examining Wenger’s community of practice theoretical framework: Exploring youth learning in science research. In P. Patrick (Ed.), Applying Learning Theories in Research Outside the Classroom. New York, NY: Springer.


Chaffee, R., & Gupta, P. (2018). Accessing the elite figured world of science. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 13(3), 797-805.


Chaffee, R., Luehmann, A., & Henderson, J. (2016). “Reflexivity is kicking our asses”: Tensions in

foregrounding photographs in a multimodal ethnographic analysis of participation. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 47(4), 421-443.


Research Experience:

  • American Museum of Natural History, Postdoctoral Research Fellow - 2017 - present
  • University of Rochester, Warner School of Education & Human Development - Research Manager & Program Facilitator, Research Assistant - July 2007 - June 2014


Teaching Experience:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. Director, Writing Center; Associate Director, University Writing Program. Responsible for all aspects of program design and implementation of the Writing Center, from hiring and training staff to program evaluation and teaching. 2014-2016
  • Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, Adjunct Professor. Taught courses on integrating science and literacy; academic writing for educators; and graduate seminar in interview and focus group techniques. 2007-2014
  • Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Rochester. Adjunct Professor. Taught undergraduate seminar in feminist perspectives of science. 2013
  • Roberts Wesleyan College, Adjunct Professor. Taught academic writing and research courses. 2004-2007
  • Monroe Community College, Adjunct Professor. Taught college composition courses. 2004-2005.