Dr. Robert Nagel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Nagel joined James Madison University after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. Nagel teaches and performs research related to engineering design. Specifically, through research, Nagel explores how design interventions commonly used to teach design influence student learning.
Dr. Melissa Aleman (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is Professor of Communication Studies at James Madison University and has published research using qualitative interviewing, ethnographic and rhetorical methods to examine communication in diverse contexts. She is particularly interested in multidisciplinary studies of communication, culture, and learning in makerspaces, as well as broadening participation of women and underrepresented minority students and faculty in STEM fields.
Megan E. Tomko is a Ph.D. graduate student in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the guidance of Dr. Julie Linsey. She completed one semester in her graduate studies at James Madison University with Dr. Robert Nagel as her advisor. Her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering is from the University of Pittsburgh where she also worked as a Field Telecommunications Intern for three consecutive summers at EQT, a natural gas company headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Megan’s research interests correspond to identifying ways to teach students how to become better designers and learners through creative and non-traditional means.
Dr. Julie S. Linsey is an Associate Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technological. Dr. Linsey received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas. Her research area is design cognition including systematic methods and tools for innovative design with a particular focus on concept generation and design-by-analogy. Her research seeks to understand designers’ cognitive processes with the goal of creating better tools and approaches to enhance engineering design. She has authored over 150 technical publications including over forty journal papers, and ten book chapters.
Oumaima Atraoui is an undergraduate research assistant for the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. She has been involved in observing and researching makerspaces and informal learning environments with an emphasis on leadership development. Oumaima is passionate about studying human behaviors and incorporating that knowledge within the scope of engineering.
Caroline Clay is a graduate student pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education Systems and Design at Arizona State University. As an undergraduate at James Madison University, she studied how engineering students learn in informal learning environments and makerspaces, with an emphasis on how students learn in structured and unstructured settings. After participating in the University Innovation Fellows program Caroline also completed an honors thesis that studied how students learn to become changemakers. Following graduation, Caroline plans to work in the intersection between entrepreneurship, engineering, and education.
Zachary De Bey is an undergraduate student researcher at James Madison University in the Department of Engineering. He researches informal learning environments and makerspaces with an emphasis on how trust in engineering teams plays a role in learning. He is passionate about engineers using integrated electronics and computer programming to solve contemporary issues.
Johannah Daschil is a junior engineering major minoring in political science and math at James Madison University. Daschil is a continuously curious individual who is always asking question of how and why. This curiosity has driven Daschil to explore the bridges between engineering and political science, particularly the influence of gender in the decision making processes of both disciplines. Daschil currently works on a research project to understand how learning occurs in informal learning processes such as making and the influence of gender on learning.
Bethany Popelish is a Communication and Advocacy graduate student at James Madison University researching learning in makerspaces as communities of practice. Bethany holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mary Baldwin University. Her scholarly interests include exploring methods of qualitative research and the social nature of learning and development.
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