ConnectEd Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in California, United States. Our mission is to promote equality in education, cultivate next-generation scholars, and help students from diverse backgrounds to thrive in academia. To serve our mission, we collaborate with student organizations and on-campus programs, as well as professors and researchers in well-known universities to organize online presentations, workshops, interviews and social events. These academic and social events enable us to build an inclusive, diverse and supportive academic community and break the invisible ceiling caused by disadvantaged cultural, social and economical status. Meanwhile, we help professors to increase the visibility of their research and reach out to students who share similar research interests. With all these efforts, we hope to build a bridge between academic resources and the disadvantaged student population, and ensure all students who are passionate about research can pursue their dreams and thrive in academia.

Professor & Students


While academia is profiled as the institution of knowledge, rationality, and truth reached through merit, critical scholars identified it as an inequality regime (Bourabain, 2021; Arday, 2021). A plethora of problems within higher education repeatedly reinforce the racist structure, inequality, and discrimination (Arday, 2021; Dupree & Boykin, 2021; McKay & Devlin, 2016; ). Indeed, research suggests that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to persist or to attend graduate school. This vulnerable population includes students from low SES families (Walpole, 2003), students of color (Dupree & Boykin, 2021; Naylor et al., 2015; Perna, 2004), female students (O’Meara et al., 2018), first-generation college students (NCES 2018), and international students (Zhou, 2010).

Inequality also exists in the field of research and academia, where evidence shows that people from historically disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to get tenure track positions (Clauset et al., 2015). Lack of resources, academic mentorship and peer support is one of the main reasons that exacerbates this inequality.


  • Arday, J. (2021). Fighting the tide: Understanding the difficulties facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Doctoral Students’ pursuing a career in Academia. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53(10), 972–979. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2020.1777640

  • Bourabain, D. (2021). Everyday sexism and racism in the ivory tower: The experiences of early career researchers on the intersection of gender and ethnicity in the academic workplace. Gender, Work & Organization, 28(1), 248-267.

  • Cataldi, E. F., Bennett, C. T., & Chen, X. (2018). First-Generation Students: College Access, Persistence, and Postbachelor's Outcomes. Stats in Brief. NCES 2018-421. National center for education statistics.

  • Clauset, A., Arbesman, S., & Larremore, D. B. (2015). Systematic inequality and hierarchy in faculty hiring networks. Science Advances, 1(1), e1400005. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400005

  • Dupree, C. H., & Boykin, C. M. (2021). Racial Inequality in Academia: Systemic Origins, Modern Challenges, and Policy Recommendations. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(1), 11–18. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732220984183

  • McKay, J., & Devlin, M. (2016). ‘Low income doesn’t mean stupid and destined for failure’: Challenging the deficit discourse around students from low SES backgrounds in higher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(4), 347–363. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2015.1079273

  • Naylor, L. A., Wyatt-Nichol, H., & Brown, S. L. (2015). Inequality: Underrepresentation of African American males in US higher education. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 21(4), 523-538.

  • O’Meara, K., Templeton, L., & Nyunt, G. (2018). Earning Professional Legitimacy: Challenges Faced by Women, Underrepresented Minority, and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty. Teachers College Record, 39.

  • Perna, L. W. (2004). Understanding the Decision to Enroll in Graduate School: Sex and Racial/Ethnic Group Differences. The Journal of Higher Education, 75(5), 487–527. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2004.0032

  • Walpole, M. (2003). Socioeconomic status and college: How SES affects college experiences and outcomes. The review of higher education, 27(1), 45-73.

  • Zhou, Y. (2010). Understanding of international graduate students' academic adaptation to a US graduate school (Doctoral dissertation, Bowling Green State University).