Celebrating Excellence: Dr. Rivera-Jiménez Receives ASEE 2023 ERM Apprentice Faculty Award

We are thrilled to share some exciting news from this year’s American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, held in June 2023. Our very own Principal Investigator, Dr. Sindia M. Rivera-Jiménez, was honored with the Apprentice Faculty Grant (AFG) Program within the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division! This recognition is a testament to Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s dedication, passion, and outstanding contributions to the field of engineering education.

The ERM Apprentice Faculty Award, is a highly competitive award that celebrates promising emerging engineering education scholars who have demonstrated the potential to make significant contributions to the community. Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s selection for this award is a testament to her exceptional work and commitment to advancing engineering education.

Why Dr. Rivera-Jiménez Received the ERM Apprentice Faculty Award

Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s dedication to her work as a tenure-track professor and emerging scholar in our newly formed engineering education department has been truly remarkable. Her passion for her research and her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in engineering academia are evident in all that she does. Dr. Rivera-Jiménez serves as the director of the Engineering Communities & Participatory Change (EcoPaC) Research Group, which focuses on studying the influence of engineering communities in driving participatory and transformational change. Their work encompasses social research and community outreach activities that benefit both academia and industry.

One of the key factors contributing to Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s well-deserved recognition is her emerging research focus on engineering communities within underrepresented groups, particularly Latiné, Black, and Afro-Latiné communities. Her work, which draws upon sociology to examine the social aspects of human behavior within engineering contexts, has illuminated the complex dynamics and experiences of individuals in the field. Through her research, she has explored the impact of professional societies on the integration of social responsibility into engineering curricula and has investigated factors influencing the transition process into engineering programs.

Furthermore, Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s dedication to inclusivity is evident in her use of participatory action approaches that prioritize the voices of underrepresented, underserved, and stakeholder groups. Her research is guided by intersectionality theory, methods, and praxis, reflecting her commitment to understanding and addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by marginalized communities within engineering.

The Importance of Mentorship in ERM Community

Mentorship is a cornerstone of professional growth, particularly in the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) community. It plays a pivotal role in nurturing emerging scholars, offering guidance, and providing a platform for knowledge transfer. In light of this, we are delighted to announce that Dr. Sindia M. Rivera-Jiménez has selected Dr. Julie P. Martin, Ph.D., FASEE, as her mentor for the ERM Apprentice Faculty Award journey.

Dr. Julie Martin’s extensive experience and expertise make her a perfect choice to guide Dr. Rivera-Jiménez on her academic path. As the Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute and a Professor of Engineering Education, Dr. Martin brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. She is not only a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) but also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Her prior role as the program director for engineering education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), managing a substantial portfolio of grants, provides her with a national birds-eye view of the field.

Moreover, Dr. Martin’s expertise in faculty development, including her role as the former Assistant Vice President for Talent and Team Development at The Ohio State University’s Enterprise for Research, Innovation, & Knowledge, further demonstrates her commitment to fostering the growth of emerging scholars.

With such a distinguished mentor by her side, Dr. Rivera-Jiménez is poised to receive invaluable support, guidance, and access to a wealth of knowledge, which will undoubtedly contribute to her successful academic journey and her efforts to advance the ERM community. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact of this mentorship on her career and the broader engineering education landscape.

What the Award Means for ECoPaC and the Engineering Education Community

Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s recognition with the ERM Apprentice Faculty Award is not only a source of pride for our research group but also a significant moment for the entire engineering education community. Receiving the ERM Apprentice Faculty Award holds significant implications for both current and future students within the ECoPaC community. This prestigious recognition of Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s accomplishments enhances the overall academic environment within our research group. It not only elevates our research group’s reputation but also inspires current students, providing them with a role model and mentor who exemplifies dedication and excellence in engineering education research.

For future students, this award signifies a commitment to fostering an inclusive and innovative academic atmosphere within ECoPaC. Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s continued success as a recognized scholar reinforces our dedication to advancing engineering education and serving as a catalyst for positive change. As our research group thrives, future students can anticipate access to research opportunities, mentorship, and an environment that champions diversity, ultimately empowering them to make meaningful contributions to the field of engineering education.

As we celebrate Dr. Rivera-Jiménez’s well-deserved honor, we look forward to the positive impact she will continue to make within our research group and the broader academic community. Her accomplishments inspire us to strive for excellence in our own work and to continually seek ways to contribute to the betterment of engineering education. We have no doubt that her future endeavors will continue to inspire us and further enrich our research group.

Congratulations, Dr. Rivera-Jiménez, on this well-deserved recognition! Your ECoPaC family is proud of your accomplishments and excited about the bright future ahead.

If you want to learn more or join ECoPaC Research group, please email

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