Maia Punksungka

Maia Punksungka

Maia Punksungka

Graduate Research Assistant

Sociology of education; higher education; community college; lifelong learning; civic engagement; quantitative research methodology

Wonmai (Maia) Punksungka is a first-year sociology doctoral student and graduate research assistant 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. 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. Her previous work has inspired her current research interests: the role of community colleges in informing student success including the success of first-generation college students, students of immigrant backgrounds, and adult learners. Other areas of interest include lifelong learning, civic engagement, and quantitative research methodology. 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. 

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.