EED PhD Student Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
We are proud to announce that Nathan Lee Roy Harris, a first-year graduate student in The Ohio State University Department of Engineering Education, has been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP). The NSF GRFP is a highly prestigious fellowship given to graduate students who show immense promise as researchers and leaders in STEM fields.
Nathan's NSF Fellowship research examines the impact of summer K-12 Computer Science programs and how they affect students' choice to pursue computer science and engineering careers. Through his work and his role in Dr. Delaine's research group, he aims to broaden participation in STEM fields.
Path to Engineering Education at Ohio State
Nathan recently graduated cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, obtaining a Bachelor’s in Computer Science as a Gates Millennium Scholar. But Nathan’s roots run deep in the scarlet and gray and he is excited about the opportunity to contribute to the university. He is the fourth generation of his family to attend Ohio State—a tradition from which he draws strength and that he is honored to continue.
Passionate about giving back to his community, upon receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship, he founded the “Claiming My No Debt College Education College Preparedness” Workshop, which focuses on providing resources to students (grades 5-12), parents and guardians to help prepare them for the financial, social, medical and emotional aspects of post-secondary education and entrepreneurship. Nathan currently serves as the Youth Minister at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, appointed by the late Dr. Charles Edward Booth.
He is a lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where he has been active for over 10 years. Nathan has always recognized that he is his ancestors’ wildest dreams, and the work that he seeks to accomplish both honors those dreams and looks forward to future generations.
A Bright Future
Building upon his history and experience, and through three internships at Google, Nathan realized there was a need to increase the representation of underrepresented people in tech spaces. As a result, his NSF Fellowship research focuses on broadening participation in STEM and the impact that summer K-12 Computer Science programs have on influencing students' pursuit of computer science and engineering careers.
Nathan’s research interests provided an excellent opportunity for him to join the research group of EED Assistant Professor, Dr. David A. Delaine. Dr. Delaine’s lab seeks to understand the ways in which community-based learning (CBL) (i.e., service-learning, outreach, and volunteerism in engineering) impacts students, participating stakeholders and communities. The lab supports the research and development of evidence-based CBL that promotes formation of engineering professionals who will participate in a diverse democracy while promoting social justice and broadening participation outcomes.
As a GRFP alumni himself, Dr. Delaine is excited about the opportunity to partner with Nathan and leverage the GRFP platform for meaningful research and impactful practice that is beneficial to the university and Columbus communities.
Nathan is committed to creating change and his work is evidence that we can be the change we want to see. Upon completing his Ph.D., he seeks to consult for school systems to implement computer science courses that are catered toward their schools and communities. As a member of the Department of Engineering Education under the leadership of Dr. Monica F. Cox, and alongside the excellent faculty and student community, Nathan is primed to make an impact in the engineering education field for years to come.