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Tuesday, March 2 • 11:00am - 11:45am
Keynote 3: Alex Mejia

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Broadening the Participation of Latinx Students in Engineering Education through Asset-Based Practices

Research has revealed that the language used to describe Latinx students and other minoritized groups in STEM has focused on highlighting their “deficiencies” first rather than challenging deficit models or the structural conditions these students constantly face. The legitimization of certain forms of knowing in STEM, particularly in engineering, has led to the perceived notion that students of color have particular “needs” that need to be “fixed” in order for them to be functional or successful in those spaces. This narrow conceptualization of what knowledge is and how it is generated fails to recognize these students and their communities as holders and creators of knowledge. Scholars have asserted that asset-based approaches, such as funds of knowledge, can be used as a multilayered counter-discourse to the damaging mainstream conceptualizations of minoritized children, their families, households and communities. This talk will focus on the significance of acknowledging various forms of knowledge and knowledge construction to provide better opportunities for participation and inclusion for marginalized students, particularly Latinx students. These asset-based approaches seek to bring more culturally responsive engineering education, greater participation in STEM, and better initiatives to achieve equitable access to engineering.

Biography:
Dr. Joel Alejandro (Alex) Mejia is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering at the University of San Diego. His research has contributed to the integration of critical theoretical frameworks and Chicano Cultural Studies to investigate and analyze existing deficit models in engineering education. Dr. Mejia’s work also examines how asset-based models impact the validation and recognition of students and communities of color as holders and creators of knowledge. His current work seeks to analyze and describe the tensions, contradictions, and cultural collisions many Latinx students experience in engineering through testimonios. He is particularly interested in approaches that contribute to a more expansive understanding of engineering in sociocultural contexts, the impact of critical consciousness in engineering practice, and development and implementation of culturally responsive pedagogies in engineering education.

Speakers
avatar for Alex Mejia

Alex Mejia

Assistant Professor, Integrated Engineering, University of San Diego
Dr. Joel Alejandro (Alex) Mejia is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering at the University of San Diego. His research has contributed to the integration of critical theoretical frameworks and Chicano Cultural Studies to investigate and analyze existing... Read More →


Tuesday March 2, 2021 11:00am - 11:45am CST
Zoom