Stephen Secules

Stephen Secules
Florida International University | FIU · SUCCEED

Ph.D.

About

38
Publications
6,546
Reads
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221
Citations
Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Florida International University. I have degrees in engineering and acoustics, and a PhD in education focused on culture and equity in engineering education. In my work, I use critical qualitative, video-based, participatory, and ethnographic methods to look at everyday educational settings in engineering and shift them towards equity and inclusion. I have ongoing projects related to critical analysis of dominant cultural norms in classroom spaces, and theoretical approaches to co-curricular support practices.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - June 2019
Purdue University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2014 - June 2017
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Worked as teaching assistant, lab coordinator, and now classroom instructor for the Introduction to Engineering Design course for all starting engineering students.
Education
August 2013 - May 2018
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Curriculum and Instruction (Engineering Education)
September 2007 - June 2008
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Field of study
  • Architectural Acoustics
September 2003 - June 2007
Dartmouth College
Field of study
  • Engineering

Publications

Publications (38)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In light of an emerging mental health crisis and the increasing diversity of the student body in undergraduate engineering education, this qualitative study explores student perceptions of university support regarding their wellbeing. We conducted focus groups with 16 undergraduate engineering students from a large R1 public minority-serving instit...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the persistent lack of diversity in the engineering profession along intersections of race, gender, and other key demographic categories (e.g., sexual orientation, socioeconomic status). After outlining specific circumstances that have influenced the lack of diversity in engineering, the chapter outlines particular challenge...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work-in-progress research paper presents progress towards the creation of a survey instrument for assessing engineering faculty knowledge and understandings of DEI. We initiated survey development by conducting a small qualitative pilot interview study with faculty to discuss the roles of DEI in their classroom contexts. Participant discussion...
Article
Full-text available
Background Shame is a deeply painful emotion people feel when they perceive that they have fallen short of socially constructed expectations. In this study, professional shame refers to shame experiences that stem from people's perceptions that they have failed to meet expectations or standards that are relevant to their identities in a professiona...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Critical ethnography studies power relationships in research settings through in-depth and sustained involvement in research contexts. It is a newly emerging methodological approach in engineering education and should be further explored and understood. Purpose: The purpose of this article is to present how critical ethnography has been...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The engineering education research community has increasingly acknowledged the importance of addressing equity and inclusion. Qualitative research approaches have a unique power to reform classroom practice, create empathy for students, understand context, and point towards new paradigms and solutions. In our work, we have found critica...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many engineering education researchers acknowledge that their positionality impacts their research. Practices for reporting positionality vary widely and rarely incorporate a nuanced discussion of the impact of demographic identities on research. Researchers holding marginalized or relatively hidden identities must navigate additional l...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Several known unknowns of inclusion, including international student and mental health concerns, are rarely spoken about in diversity and inclusion topics. Faculty development resources for inclusion are limited, and narrating student experiences could help faculty empathize with and understand their students better. Purpose: We share...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work-in-progress paper presents a rationale for and initial step towards a framework for understanding equity in engineering classrooms. The utility of the framework is conceived as at the interface between theory, research, and practice, where an important theory-and-research-to-practice agenda exists to better understand how to help engineer...
Preprint
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the persistent lack of diversity in the engineering profession along intersections of race, gender, and other key demographic categories (e.g., sexual orientation, socioeconomic status). After outlining specific circumstances that have influenced the lack of diversity in engineering, the chapter outlines particular challenge...
Article
Full-text available
This paper compares an innovative approach to teaching a required introductory C programming course to a traditional C programming course for electrical engineering (EE) students. The novel course utilizes hardware-based projects to motivate students to master language syntax and implement key programming concepts and best practices. In a mixed met...
Article
Full-text available
This paper emerges out of ethnographic scholarship on marginalization in present-day engineering education. I pursue a scholarship of integration to contextualize my own and others’ engineering education research with critical, cultural, and historical accounts of engineering. I structure the narrative around the ethnographic themes of masculinity,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This theory paper contributes to the study of smartness in engineering culture from different disciplinary perspectives. We are interested in the construct of smartness, which is a powerful, yet implicit, driver of students’ experience in engineering education. Smartness in engineering culture can be linked to both the broad narratives and norms th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since its inaugural conference last year, CoNECD has established an emerging community that brings the exploration of diversity and inclusion to the forefront of engineering education, particularly for hidden-but-salient identity dimensions such as sexual orientation, disability, and first generation status. As researchers, we often think about the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Colleges of engineering seeking to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion often do so through co-curricular support, scholarships, and supplemental instruction. Substantial education research has focused on documenting the structure and effectiveness of such practices, primarily from a pragmatic perspective highlighting programmatic features or d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper contributes to the study of undergraduate engineering student beliefs and educational experiences. Several scholars have identified the various perceptions that students have of engineering before beginning their undergraduate education. For example, multiple studies investigated students' self-efficacy beliefs about their capabilities t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Shame provides a key mechanism of social inclusion and exclusion in engineering contexts. In order to better understand how engineering students experience shame, we used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to critically examine the individual experience of shame in the case of a high-performing, White woman who was a junior mechanical e...
Article
Full-text available
Background Quantitative researchers have noted the impact of mentoring and support programming for students from underrepresented groups in engineering. Qualitative researchers have also noted the importance of student agency in persistence through marginalization. Nevertheless, challenges and questions remain in identifying practices which are eff...
Article
Full-text available
Background To explain educational problems such as student attrition, engineering education literature often focuses on the characteristics of individuals. In 2006, Ray McDermott and Hervé Varenne called for examining the “cultural construction” of educational problems, uncovering how multiple actors create and inscribe meaning to the educational p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research in engineering education often takes an orientation which is not anchored in a historical, political, geographical, institutional, or cultural context. Research citing pedagogical best practices are prominent, hypothetically determining the " best practice " for all populations, at all locations, and at all periods in time, past and future...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Studies that explore the academic pathways of Black STEM undergraduates have often generalized these students’ K-12 experiences. Researchers frequently note the impact of underfunded and overburdened majority-Black schools. This structural disadvantage is a presumed cause for African Americans’ underperformance in baccalaureate STEM programs, parti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For the past few years we have offered two versions of our introductory C programming course. The first is a traditional course where students are given individual paper-based programming assignments that do not involve any hardware besides the computer itself and its peripheral devices. In the other course, students do have some individual program...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at New Scholars Poster Session in Council on Anthropology of Education at American Anthropological Association November 2017.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper documents an innovative approach to teaching a 3-credit introductory C programming course to freshman electrical engineering students that has been funded by an NSF DUE grant. The innovation stems from the use of electrical engineering applications and projects to motivate students to master language syntax and implement key programming...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within research on retention and persistence in STEM, the concept of student agency is typically treated as a personal characteristic or as an element of coping and navigational strategies. The act of theorizing about one’s own experiences and persistence is under-explored as a source of taking agency. Through interviews with a woman in the first y...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Systems thinking is an important component of engineering design thinking but one that is often difficult for beginning designers. In this paper, we present an empirically grounded case that sometimes the novice-like design behaviors emerge, not due to a lack of skills/knowledge on part of the student designers, but by the nature of the way the act...
Article
Full-text available
Surprisingly little is known about the specific character of the depreciation of automatic speech recognition (ASR) in reverberation— its primary acoustics causes (e.g. room geometry, reverberation strength) or speech effects (blurring of syllables, plosives, consonants). The focus of this study is to precisely quantify the depreciation of speech r...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Collecting and presenting case studies of critical whiteness and masculinity lenses on engineering culture, including norms of competition and meritocracy.