Melissa Kouha received her BS/BA degree in International Business and French. She received her master’s degree in IT. She is currently a third year PHD student in Computer Science. Her research interest focuses on broadening minority participation in computer, computer education, and Black women in computing.
Emily Mathiak is the Evaluation Coordinator at Quality Measures LLC. Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French, with a focus on education, from Virginia Wesleyan University. She has lived overseas in London, and enjoyed a study abroad in Dijon, France. Emily has experience in French/English translation, market research, as well as quality assurance. She also holds a certification in Data Analytics and looks forward to helping bridge the gap between researched data and actual implementation. She currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia where her hobbies include sewing and Mixed Martial Arts.
Katreena Thomas is currently serves as a postdoctoral researcher at Clemson University, through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) eFellows postdoctoral fellowship. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Engineering Education Systems Design. She was a member of the Coley Shifting Perceptions, Attitudes, and Cultures in Engineering (SPACE) Lab research group during her doctoral education. She also served as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Intern for the Journal of Engineering Education. Her research interests include broadening participation in engineering, engineering leadership, and marginalized student experiences in engineering. Her dissertation explored the experiences of early-career Black engineers in leadership. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.S. in Human Systems Engineering from Arizona State University. Before starting her graduate studies, she worked in the tech industry in operations field. Katreena is committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity and hopes that her work will impact the culture and environment of the engineering education ecosystem.
Cecilia La Place is pursuing her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and holds a bachelors and masters degree in Software Engineering. She works on internal tools as a developer and as a community leader supporting her local hackathon community. She is experienced in qualitative research and trained in quantitative and mixed methods research. Her work blends informal and formal educational practices and spaces by focusing on technology, accessibility, and diverse frameworks
Susan Sajada is an engineer, researcher, and educator. She has a bachelors and master’s in Biomedical Engineering and is currently pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education. She has experience in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods. She has also worked as an engineer in the medical device industry, and as a STEM educator in various contexts. She wishes to use her interdisciplinary expertise to broaden participation in the technical workforce and make technical education more accessible.
Dr. Melissa Quackenbush is a graduate the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program at Old Dominion University. Prior to completing her dissertation, Dr. Quackenbush earned an Educational Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University, and she holds a Master of Science in Reading Education from the University of South Florida. While continuing her education, Dr. Quackenbush has served in the public-school systems in Central Florida and Northern New Jersey. She has experience as a secondary English teacher, Reading Specialist, Instructional Technology Coach, Supervisor of Instruction, and Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Technology. With fifteen years in the field of education, Dr. Quackenbush provides educational consulting services to public and private schools in various areas of instructional design, professional development, and school administration through her LLC, Engage Momentum. Her research interests include teacher training, self-regulated learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning environments.
A native of Newport News, Virginia, Krystal Andrews holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a minor in African American Studies, and a Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Leadership from Old Dominion University. Currently, she is the director of student success in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University and is a fourth year as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . As a practitioner, she has six years of experience in student success and retention programs at both predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that fuels her passion for helping students envision their own success. As a scholar practitioner, she is a member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). She has also been a member of the Pan African Network directorate board in various positions since 2013, and currently serves as the chair-elect of the network. Her other professional organization memberships include the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). Her research interests center on the experiences of Black women graduate students at HBCUs and the persistence of Black student populations across institutional types.
Dr. Akpovo is the Senior research scientist at the laser remote sensing laboratory at Florida A&M university. His expertise is in laser-produced plasmas utilizing fast and ultra-fast high power laser beams. In his current position, Dr. Akpovo conducts and coordinate the research activities for the Consortium for Laser-Based Analysis of Nuclear and Environmental Materials (LANEM), an NNSA grant.
Alexis Brame is an effective communicator with over eight years of experience working in both corporate, retail, and start up environments. Her skill lies in her strategic thinking and ability to creatively resolve issues in fast-paced atmospheres.
She is currently a Human Resources Manager for a young startup that specializes in healthcare and clinical services. In her role she manages a team of five and leads her department in achieving key performance indicators regarding recruitment, onboarding, retention for over 100 employees. Prior to this role, Alexis worked for Target. She began as an Executive Team Lead and over the course of six years, was promoted to General Merchandise and Food Sales Leader. During her time at Target, Alexis oversaw the daily operations for a high-volume Target store that grossed over $80 million in annual sales and managed over 200 team members. She was directly responsible for coordinating internal and external tasks to ensure materials and resources were accurately delivered.
Alexis earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from James Madison University and her Master’s in Business Administration and Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She resides in Virginia with her husband and their three dogs.
Mary is an executive with 20+ years’ experience working with high level executives in higher education. She is skilled in Talent Management, Training & Development, Instructional Design, Planning & Analysis, Design & Development, and Implementation & Management. Mary has worked with several organizations as a principal consultant to implement and improve their processes and systems and has a passion for using information to answer questions about projects, policies, and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency.
Mary has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Occupational and Technical Studies, focused on Business and Industry Training from Old Dominion University. She enjoys exercising and teaching group exercise classes.