Congratulations Kass, Engineering Education PhD Student!

Congratulations, Kass Fernandez (They/Them), on being accepted into the inaugural IMAGE program at the University of Florida representing the new Engineering Education Department! Your dedication to inclusive and equitable access for underrepresented minority students in STEM fields is admirable and inspiring.

Mentorship is a critically important component of one’s professional development, especially in STEM fields where quality mentors are often lacking. It is my sincere hope that participating in the IMAGE program will teach me to be the best mentor I can be and provide me with the tools and resources necessary for my continued success.

Kass Fernandez, ECoPaC Ph.D. Student

As a first-year graduate research assistant pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, you have already demonstrated a commitment to engineering education and equity. Your past experience as a Title I science teacher and an adjunct professor at a Hispanic-serving community college highlights your dedication to ensuring positive learning outcomes for all students.

The UF Graduate School IMAGE program (Inclusive Mentor Academy for Graduate Education), which follows a nationally validated curriculum for mentor training, will undoubtedly provide you with valuable skills and knowledge to further enhance your mentoring abilities. This is especially important as you work with undergraduate and early-stage graduate students, who may benefit significantly from your guidance and support.

ECoPaC Engineering Education Research Group is so lucky to have you! Your research on understanding the relationship between institutional culture and transformational change is incredibly relevant and timely. By examining how individuals within an institution utilize their agency to make transformational changes, you contribute to a greater understanding of how we can create more inclusive and equitable educational environments.

Once again, congratulations on this well-deserved achievement. We wish you all the best in the IMAGE program and your future endeavors to promote equity and inclusivity in STEM education.

Stay tuned to Kass’s two accepted papers in ASEE 2023 as a first author.

Are you interested in joining our team? Contact ECoPaC Director Dr. Rivera at

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