Breaking Boundaries: USU’s Quest to Embrace Neurodiversity in Engineering” 🌟🔍🧠

Exciting News: USU’s Neurodiversity Research Gets a Boost!

Great news for all you science enthusiasts out there! Utah State University’s College of Engineering is diving into a cool project, thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Marissa Tsugawa, an assistant professor at USU, is leading the charge, and she’s got an impressive team from both USU and Minnesota State University by her side. They’ve secured a hefty sum of $373,508 for their research adventure. So, what’s all the buzz about?

Let’s break it down: They’re on a mission to explore something called “neurodiversity” in engineering students. But what’s that? Well, as Tsugawa puts it, it’s about celebrating people whose brains work a little differently from what society calls “normal.” Think about folks with ADHD or autism. Instead of seeing these differences as problems, they’re treating them as something awesome and unique.

So, what’s the big deal? This project aims to learn how to use language that’s empowering and make sure everyone can get into engineering programs without any trouble. It’s all about making engineering education accessible to everyone, no matter how their brains work.

Marissa Tsugawa is super excited about this opportunity. She said, “This funding is a game-changer for my research on neurodiversity and engineering identity. I’m really thankful to NSF and my awesome co-investigators for making this happen.”

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what they’re planning to do. They’ve got this thing called “Project & Research” (sounds pretty fancy, right?). Their goal is to create STEM (that’s science, tech, engineering, and math) education that’s friendly to everyone, no matter who they are. They’re really into learning about people and the different identities they have. Tsugawa’s style of research involves something called “intersectionality,” which is just a fancy word for understanding how different aspects of a person’s identity come together.

They’ve got a cool plan. In the first year, they’re going to dig into social media to see what neurodivergent people are saying about their experiences. They’re going to use high-tech stuff like machine learning to figure out what topics come up the most. Is it about their strengths or the challenges they face? They want to make a list of these topics and use them to help folks studying engineering.

Over the next two years, they’re going to chat with neurodivergent students, listen to their stories, and share them on social media and the college’s website. That way, we can all learn from each other’s experiences. And don’t worry, they’ll keep us updated on their progress through social media and their website.

So, there you have it! USU is diving into some fascinating research to make sure everyone feels welcome and supported in the world of engineering. It’s all about embracing our differences and celebrating what makes each of us unique. Who knows, this research might change the way we think about education and diversity in the future! Stay tuned for more updates from Team USU. 🚀🧠💡

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