Joel Alejandro Mejia is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at West Virginia University. He is interested in research regarding underrepresentation of minority groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), especially the use of culturally responsive practices in engineering education. He is particularly interested in the use of comprehension strategy instruction in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms; physical and digital manipulatives and their application in engineering courses; engineering identity; cultures of engineering; retention, recruitment, and outreach for underrepresented minorities in STEM.
Dustin Drake is currently a graduate student at Utah State University. While being raised in a small town in southern Utah, Dustin had very few experiences with regards to diversity in his community. As a young adult, he had the opportunity to live in Guadalajara, Mexico, for a few years. He immersed himself in this new culture, learned the language, and loved experiencing new ways of seeing the world. Through this foreign experience, Dustin recognized a shift in his identity. These experiences also led him to become a language educator. He now teaches ESL courses to Spanish speakers, basic Spanish to English speakers, and English and Composition to fluent English speakers. Because of the interwoven nature of culture, language, and identity, Dustin studies explore identity development in different educational and cultural contexts.