Laura Gelles is a second-year Ph.D. student at Utah State University in the Department of Engineering Education. Born in Reno, Nevada, she received her bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada Reno and her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Dakota. She is currently researching ethical mentoring and hidden curriculum in graduate women students in science and engineering. Her other research interests include mixed-methods research design, integrating sustainability and professional ethics into the engineering curriculum, and communication of science and engineering concepts to non-technical audiences.
Dr. Villanueva is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Education Department at the University of Florida. Her multiple roles as an engineer, engineering educator, engineering educational researcher, and professional development mentor for underrepresented populations has aided her in the design and integration of educational and physiological technologies to research 'best practices' for student professional development and training. In addition, she is developing methodologies around hidden curriculum, academic emotions and physiology, and engineering makerspaces.
Marialuisa Di Stefano is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Utah State University, advancing research projects on bilingual education in New England and in Puerto Rico. She is an education researcher and advocates for historically marginalized groups in elementary education. Her research interest lies in bridging perspectives between transnational civic education, bilingual education, and STEM education, and how such intersections may lead to a more equitable education system. During the last 5 years, she worked specifically with emergent bilinguals in Utah and in the Boston area, looking at the ways students’ funds of knowledge, especially languages and belonging, intersect with their identity development, and their understanding of mathematics and science contents. She approaches her study through a culturally sustaining pedagogy lens that she developed through her experience teaching, tutoring, and observing K-12 students in Italy and in the United States for the past 15 years.
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