Renee Rigrish Pelan is an Engineering Education graduate student at The Ohio State University. She is working on the AISL grant as a Graduate Research Associate under Dr. Rachel Louis Kajfez. She holds an M.S. degree in Industrial & Human Factors Engineering and a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Wright State University. Her research interests include diversity in engineering, teaching methods, and informal learning environments.
Tylesha D. Drayton, EIT is pursuing a PhD as a graduate student in the Engineering Education Department at The Ohio State University. She earned a BS in Civil Engineering, a MS degree in Environmental Engineering, and a MS degree in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interest includes engineering education, student entrepreneurship and innovation, culture and identity, makerspaces and technology-assisted learning.
Dr. Rachel Louis Kajfez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Ohio State and earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her research interests focus on the intersection between motivation and identity of undergraduate and graduate students, first-year engineering programs, mixed methods research, and innovative approaches to teaching. She is the faculty lead for the Research on Identity and Motivation in Engineering (RIME) Collaborative.
Julia Armstrong is the Director of the OHI/O Informal Learning Program at the Ohio State University (OSU). She combines engineering (BS ECE), public teaching of gifted education (M.Ed.) and industry experience (PMP, CSM) to grow the offerings and strength of the program and build rapport with the industry partners. She uses her diverse interests and skills to bridge the gap between curricular education and skills of the working professional. In 2018, Armstrong was part of a multi-disciplinary team from Ohio State to receive a 3-year NSF award for Advancing Informal STEM Learning.
In her two years at Ohio State, Armstrong designed and partnered on a wide variety of educational events for students to explore through active learning experiences. She focuses on current trends and connecting students to industry representatives, emphasizing open-ended problem-based learning, encouraging students to continue exploration of topics and challenges of interest. Armstrong has grown the OHI/O Informal Learning Program from a few events to two dozen, now serving over 1,200 students annually, including several K12 outreach events.
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