Alum Wins Massive NSF Grant and UMD is Chosen as a Research Site
Brian Burt ('06, Higher Education), assistant professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University, is the recipient of a five-year, $569,702 NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award, which supports early career development activities of teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.
The NSF CAREER program, which extends across all of the agency's science and engineering directorates, allows promising junior faculty to pursue outstanding research and excellence in education while integrating both. Awardees have the flexibility to explore unexpected new terrain uncovered in the course of their research. This year's awardees hail from 88 institutions across 34 U.S. states.
Burt's project, Leveraging learning and engineering identity to broaden participation of Black males in colleges of engineering represents the largest aggregation of qualitative data on black males in engineering graduate programs, will contribute to the field's understanding of how African-American males develop their perceptions of what it means to be an engineer. The study aims to uncover new insights into how students’ experiences — in a variety of educational contexts — shape the evolution of their engineering identities, and how that relates to their success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The research will include observations and interviews with 40 participants at the University of Maryland, College Park, Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T State University, and Virginia Tech. Burt will visit these sites throughout the duration of the project. Maryland was selected because it is one of the highest producers of Black males in engineering graduate programs, making it a model university for other institutions to watch and emulate. While on campus, Burt will conduct interviews with Black male graduate students in engineering, faculty, administrators, and staff who work with Black males, and conduct observations of the campus's teaching and learning facilities.
(Photo credit: Ryan Riley, Iowa State University)