Dominga Sanchez

Why Oregon State? 

When I was considering graduate schools, my undergraduate advisors recommended that I take a look at the engineering education program at Oregon State, which is unique in that it integrates both civil engineering and education fields. The research projects really appealed to me, and during my first visit to Oregon State, my advisor and the staff were very welcoming. It was then that I knew the university was a good fit.

How did you become interested in engineering education?

After graduating with a structural engineering major at UC San Diego, I was offered a job as the engineering outreach coordinator for the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence at UC San Diego, providing engineering outreach support for various UC San Diego grants and projects. With my background, expertise and experience working with the K-12 community, I started to see that pursuing an engineering education degree was essential in order to develop STEM opportunities for under-served and underrepresented students at all levels.

Describe your research.

My current research involves analyzing and comparing the performance of undergraduate and professional engineers on strength of material concepts. Results can provide a better understanding of what concepts students are actually taking to the field as well as providing insight into which curricular materials need to be improved to enhance undergraduate engineering education.

What are you plans following graduation?

I’d like to obtain a position as a tenure-track faculty in engineering education. I’m interested in designing and leading research projects that study new, scalable paths to engineering, specifically undergraduate teaching and coursework and to contribute to the efficient development and growth of future engineers and increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM.

What do you enjoy about Oregon State?

Oregon State is a friendly place and there are so many opportunities to be involved. The civil engineering department feels like a second home. Everyone is helpful and supportive. They’re all invested in your success.

What about Corvallis and the surrounding community?

The campus is beautiful. The trees are amazing! I enjoy being able to experience four seasons and the beauty of the local hiking trails.

–    February 2019