Centering the Marginalized Student’s Voice Through Autoethnography

Posted: June 15, 2020

On June 8, 2020, the College of Engineering (CoE) hosted a discussion forum about systemic racism and how the CoE can do more to eliminate inequities and injustices in educational practice. Several faculty members in the Engineering Education Department are working on research that highlights effects of systemic racism in educational systems, with the goal of making engineering education more equitable and just. Dr. Julie P. Martin, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education, and undergraduate coauthor Chavone Garza published a compelling article just last month entitled Centering the Marginalized Student’s Voice Through Autoethnography: Implications for Engineering Education Research.

This article tells Ms. Garza’s own account of her pursuit of an engineering degree and is illustrative of the structural challenges that many students of color face in doing so. The study uses autoethnography, which is a social science research method that connects personal stories to a larger cultural context. Dr. Martin refers to this publication as an example of “methodological activism”—that is, when a researcher uses a method in a politically purposeful way to bring about change.


We invite you to take time to read this article. How does knowing Ms. Garza’s story move you to change the educational system?