Dr. Bruce Carroll Lands Two NSF Awards

Dr. Bruce Carroll, Associate Professor in the Department of MAE, has two NSF awards up for negotiation. His first is the NSF IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) Engaged Student Learning Level 1 award. This project is titled MAE is Me: Equity-Focused, Evidence-Based Proactive Advising in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Kent Crippen in the College of Education.

MAE is Me is a Level 1 Early-Stage Research Project in the Engaged Student Learning Track that will build on the success of a previously funded IUSE project to improve the quality of engineering education with a person-centered, data-informed approach to proactive advising (both peer and professional) for undergraduate students. Dr. Carroll’s transformative approach, grounded in an evidence-based conceptual framework and explicit equity focus, will involve a proactive advising curriculum building on evidence-based personas and individually optimized programmatic support. The personas will result from a first-of-its-kind multidimensional data integration model. Specially trained peer and professional advisors will use the evidence-based personas, constructed by integrating new forms of person-centered motivational data, as part of the collaborative decision-making process to optimize resources and support in a manner consistent with the student’s strengths and for building efficacy and agency (i.e., is Me!). In addition to addressing the immediate challenge of persistence, the approach offers a rare and potentially revolutionary opportunity for harnessing the potential of big data for understanding, documenting, and informing personalized learning for URM students, which is recognized as one of the grand challenges of engineering.

The second NSF award is for PFE: RIEF (Professional Formation of Engineers: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation). The project title is Factors Affecting Latina Engineering Student Decisions to Enter Graduate School or Engineering Career Pathways. This project will generate new knowledge on the motivations of Latina engineering students to matriculate to graduate school and/or pursue career pathways. The work will improve understanding of the complex psycho-social processes contributing to the persistent and underrepresentation of Latin/x/a/o and Hispanic and gender gap across STEM fields. Results from this work will also contribute to knowledge of the relative strengths and weaknesses of institutional integration theoretical models relative to community cultural wealth models for studying and understanding Latin/x/a/o populations entering STEM graduate schools and STEM workforce pathways.

Great work, Dr. Carroll!

Story by: Emily Swenson
Marketing and Communications Specialist
UF Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
May 31, 2023