Dr. Joel Alejandro (Alex) Mejia of the Angelo State University civil engineering faculty is one of four co-recipients of a $184,672 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Photo by Danny Meyer courtesy ASU
Photo by Danny Meyer courtesy ASU

The grant will establish and host a national conference to promote literacy learning in all levels of engineering education, with a focus on under-represented population groups.

The Literacy for Engineering Access and Participation (LEAP) Conference is scheduled for May in San Antonio. Mejia is working with representatives of the University of Texas at El Paso, Utah State University and the Technical Education Research Centers(TERC) organization to bring together teachers, researchers and engineers; scholars in education, literacy and engineering; and equity specialists from across the U.S.

By hosting expert speakers, workshops and panel discussions, the LEAP Conference will investigate issues of equity and literacy in engineering education from pre-kindergarten through college to broaden opportunities for participation among student groups currently under-represented in engineering fields.

“We hope to create a network of education and industry experts who can promote a national agenda to address issues of literacy and equity in engineering,” Mejia said.

An ASU faculty member since 2015, Mejia has published articles in several engineering and education journals, including the Journal of Engineering Education, and has presented his research at professional conferences. His primary research interest has centered on working with K-12 schools to improve the success of Latino and other under-represented students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Mejia also has significant professional engineering experience, working as a materials engineer at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City and as a project engineer for FLSmidth Minerals in Mexico, Peru, Chile, South Africa, Zambia, Denmark, Canada and the U.S. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, a master’s degree from the University of Utah and a doctorate in engineering education from Utah State University.

More From 97.5 KGKL