I graduated with my B.S. in Psychology in 2019 and am currently working as a Post-Baccalaureate Research Associate on an NSF grant. I am a member of the Beyond Professional Identity research group based in Harding University located in
Searcy, Arkansas. I plan to further my studies in psychology through attending a graduate program for school or child psychology. It is my hope that these processes can lead to a career as both a researcher and practitioner.
Dr. James Huff is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education and teaches courses in design thinking and ethics. In the context of his research lab Beyond Professional Identity (BPI), he mentors undergraduate students, doctoral students, and academic professionals in using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a qualitative research method to conduct psychological investigations on identity as experienced in and out of professional domains. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Huff also received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Harding University
Dr. Nicola Sochacka is the Associate Director for Research Initiation and Enablement in the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Her research interests include interpretive research quality, systems thinking, diversity, STEAM (STEM + Art) education, and the role of empathy in engineering education and practice. Her work has been recognized through multiple best paper awards and keynote presentations at international and national conferences and workshops.
Dr. Joachim Walther is a Professor of engineering education research at the University of Georgia and the Founding Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Education Transformations Institute at UGA is an innovative approach that fuses high quality engineering education research with systematic educational innovation to transform the educational practices and cultures of engineering. Dr. Walther’s research group, the Collaborative Lounge for Understanding Society and Technology through Educational Research (CLUSTER), is a dynamic interdisciplinary team that brings together professors, graduate, and undergraduate students from engineering, art, educational psychology, and social work in the context of fundamental educational research. Dr. Walther’s research program spans interpretive research methodologies in engineering education, the professional formation of engineers, the role of empathy and reflection in engineering learning, and student development in interdisciplinary and interprofessional spaces.
Dr. Benjamin Okai is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds specializations in supervision and technology assisted counseling/supervision. He received his MSc.MFT from Harding University and completed his PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision at Regent University VA. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and a reviewer of conference papers for the American Society for Engineering Education. He has worked in a variety of professional clinical settings including outpatient, inpatient, residential facilities, church-based, and private practice. Dr. Okai has strong motivation and active engagement in scholarship and research in psychosocial studies that spans from the phenomenon of Shame, to Advocacy, Diversity, Marital relationships, and Severe Mental Illness. He presents on topics related to marriage and mental health challenges among children and adolescents in developing countries. He and his wife, Olivia, and their three children have been involved in foster care system since 2012. Dr. Okai’s family reside in Searcy Arkansas and are members of the Cloverdale Church of Christ where he serves as one of the elders.
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