Maia Punksungka

Maia Punksungka

Maia Punksungka

Graduate Research Assistant

Sociology: Higher education; higher education administration; academic affairs; community college; college transfer partnership; institutional belonging; advanced quantitative methods; mixed methods

Wonmai (Maia) Punksungka is a doctoral student and a graduate researcher in the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), Education and Health Hub at George Mason University (GMU). She is also a Presidential Scholar at GMU. Her research background is in sociology of higher education. Using advanced quantitative techniques and institutional data, her dissertation topic focuses on measuring and validating diversity, equity, and inclusion climate on college campuses. Her research goal is to identify mechanisms that positively contribute to institutional belonging and promote an equitable workplace and learning space for faculty and students of marginalized-minoritized communities.

Previously, she worked two years as a research associate and project manager in the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she provided research and administrative support for projects focused on community colleges, vocational institutions, and the development of adults' literacy, numeracy, and digital problem-solving skills. She has also provided program evaluations for community colleges and not-for-profit organizations, including an evaluation of a college transfer pathway partnership and a neighborhood revitalization project, in the DMV area. Her work has been published in the Journal of Adult and Continuing Education and Education and Urban Society.

She received her BA and MA in sociology and applied sociology, respectively, from UMBC. She is also a proud alumnus of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) where she received her AA and studied the social sciences, theatre, and a variety of other creative arts. 

Selected Publications

Punksungka, W., Yamashita, T., Helsinger, A., Karam, R., Cummins, P., & Kramer, J. (2021). Re-examining Adult Education and Training Participation by Education, Literacy, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education.

Punksungka, W., Yamashita, T., & Eckert, J. K. (2021). Examining Civic Outcomes Between 2-and 4-Year Colleges: A Case Study of Two Postsecondary Institutions. Education and Urban Society.

Yamashita, T., Punksungka, W., Van Vleet, S., Helsinger, A., & Cummins, P. (2021). Experiences of Older Adults during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S.: An Initial Exploration of Nationally Representative Data at the Intersections of Gender and Race. Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Courses Taught

Sociology 101: "Introduction to Sociology" at Baltimore City Community College, Fall 2021.

Anthropology 101: "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" at Baltimore City Community College, Spring 2022. 


Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, May 2022. 

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, May 2018. 

Associate of Arts (AA) in Humanities and Social Sciences from the Community College of Baltimore County, May 2016.

Recent Presentations

Punksungka, W., Yamashita, T., Karam, R., Cummins, P. Kramer, J, & Helsinger, A. (2021, May 11-18). Basic skills in U.S. Subbaccalaureate STEM programs [Video presentation]. STEM for All Video Showcase.

Punksungka, W., Yamashita, T., Helsinger, A., Kramer, J., Cummins, P., & Karam, R. (2022, April 22-25). Re-examining Adult Education and Training Participation by Education, Literacy, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the U.S. [Paper presentation]. American Educational Research Association.

Punksungka, W., Yamashita, T., Narine, D., Helsinger, A., Kramer, J., Karam, R., & Cummins, P. (2022, April 6-9). ICT Skills and Civic Engagement: A Look at Digital Problem-Solving Skills and Generalized Social Trust Using PIAAC Data. [Paper presentation]. Southern Sociological Society.

Punksungka, W., Helsinger, A. (2021, October 6). Skill Use Patterns in the STEM and Non-STEM Occupations in the U.S. [Conference presentation]. National Council for Workforce Education.