The National Science Foundation selected Boise State University civil engineering student and Boise State scholarship recipient Ulises Trujillo Garcia for the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program in 2022.
Ulises Trujillo Garcia’s fellowship-supported research project focuses on discovering the impacts of exposure to personal narratives in the classroom. The goal is to ascertain if personal stories in the classroom can help underrepresented students in engineering fields develop a greater sense of belonging and identity as an engineer. Research highlights a positive connection with students’ sense of belonging to an engineering community that is shown to improve retention, academic success, and other important outcomes.
Garcia’s research comes from firsthand experiences as a first-generation, low-income, Latino engineering student building an inspiration to help other underrepresented students have successful, connected engineering journeys.
“My background from a migrant farm-working family has given me a passion for helping and supporting underrepresented students in engineering,” Garcia said. “This will equip me to work on my lifelong commitment to improving underrepresented students’ graduation and retention rates by focusing on mechanisms to transform representation in engineering, which will directly impact the educational outcomes of the most vulnerable students in the country.”
Garcia will graduate from Boise State with a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering this spring. He will be attending Arizona State University to join the doctoral program in Engineering Education Systems after receiving four full-ride offers.
The foundation’s fellowship program is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind in supporting the vitality of science and engineering in the United States and reinforcing its diversity. According to the organization, the program’s prestigious award encourages recipients in becoming lifelong leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.