Wendy Roldan, a PhD student in Human Centered Design & Engineering, has received the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program selects, recognizes, and financially supports outstanding student researchers who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers. Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend along with an education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited us institution.
This award will support Roldan's work aimed at broadening participation of women in makerspaces. Despite increased enrollment of women in university engineering programs, women remain underrepresented in STEM professions. Roldan is interested in exploring how broadening participation of women in makerspaces—by leveraging their assets, knowledge and unique perspectives—can support their retention and success in engineering. She is particularly interested in studying the design of artifacts and organizational strategies within makerspaces that encourage greater participation from individuals from minority populations, including women of color and women from low-income backgrounds.
Roldan hopes that this research will influence the design of more inclusive spaces, and support the retention of minority students in engineering by understanding how makerspaces can support the cultural assets minority students bring to engineering contexts.
Find additional information about the Graduate Research Fellowship here.