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Engineering  |  The Polytechnic School

EESD Students

Rohini Abhyankar

Rohini Abhyankar

Third-year doctoral student

Originally from India, Rohini has spent the last ten years teaching science-and-society and language courses and as a design engineer in the semiconductor industry. Throughout that time, she developed a desire to help people overcome obstacles and find ways into engineering careers, prompting her to join the burgeoning engineering education graduate program. Her current research evaluates how engineering students prepare and secure their first jobs. She looks to continue her research and contribute to the engineering education field through policy making and program evaluation. During her off time, Rohini likes to write short stories and plays, and keeps a blog where she interviews octogenarians.

Eunsil Lee

Eunsil Lee

Third-year doctoral student

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Eunsil wanted to learn more about the cultures, barriers and phenomena that she encountered when entering the engineering field. Her determination to learn more led her to the engineering education program at ASU, where the “vibrant, innovative and open-minded environment” helped finalize her decision to study here. In her free time, Eunsil enjoys staying active, with hiking and Pilates as two of her favorite passtimes. Her research interests currently focus on engineering doctoral students in underserved populations such as women and international students. She hopes to discover what motivates these students to complete their doctorate degrees through an increased understanding of their experiences, with the end goal of developing better support systems. Eunsil has her sights on becoming a professor so that she can aid other students in achieving their professional engineering goals.

Thien Ta

Thien Ta

Second-year doctoral student

Hailing from the Phu Yen province in Vietnam, Thien decided to pursue her doctorate in engineering education for two reasons: to become an effective, helpful educator to her own students and to make improvements to the overall education system. Thanks to her experience with the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program, or HEEAP, Thien knew that ASU is capable of delivering high-quality education and subsequently chose ASU to earn her Ph.D. Prior to joining the program, Thien was finishing her master’s degree in engineering, and hopes to leverage the useful tools, equipment, software and methodologies of ASU to teach more effectively in Vietnam.

Zhen Zhao

Zhen Zhao

First-year doctoral student

An ASU alum already, Zhen is a Sun Devil at heart.  He chose to pursue in the EESD program at ASU because the program is well respected for its research.  His ultimate career goal is to work as an educational practitioner within a university, and his research interests include skill development for students in higher education, specifically within the areas of mentorship, leadership, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. With teaching being one of his biggest passions in life, Zhen believes that his best research will be conducted through the lens of engineering teaching. Originally from China, Zhen enjoys American football, dancing, and telling jokes.

Wen Huang

Wen Huang

Third-year doctoral student

Before enrolling in the engineering education program, Wen worked as a software engineer in his homeland of China. During his time in the industry, Wen developed an appreciation for the importance of understanding how people learn in relation to developing technology-supported teaching and instruction. Wen describes himself as a curious person who enjoys learning about the world, especially its geography and history. Looking to fully grasp education principles, Wen decided to pursue his Ph.D. at ASU, which he says is a well-respected school in China. His research interests align with that of his former career, and he looks to increase the potential of technology-based instruction. Wen hopes to become an independent researcher when he graduates.

Ieshya Anderson

Second-year doctoral student

A native of Fruitland, New Mexico, Ieshya hopes to one day work with tribal entities to develop culturally-relevant engineering curricula for tribal schools. In fact, her drive to create such learning experiences for tribal communities is what led her to pursue her doctoral degree in engineering education in the first place. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Ieshya worked in Assistant Professor Shawn Jordan’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) labs, running outreach programs and managing the lab. In her free time, Ieshya enjoys hiking and trail walking.

Jayson Johnson

Jayson Johnson

First-year doctoral student

Jayson is a native of Mesa, Arizona and an alum of Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. While working in industry, Jayson first recognized his interest in engineering education when training employees. Currently working for the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at ASU as a research administrator, Jayson decided to pursue his research interests and joined the EESD program. He regularly works with people from interdisciplinary and non-engineering backgrounds and wants to focus his research on understanding how and whether training in engineering-related skills might support people in non-engineering jobs. To that end, his research is focused on understanding what skills developed during an education in engineering are used most by engineers who pursue non-STEM career pathways.  His long-term goals include establishing an administration training program here at ASU and eventually leading the creation of a related degree program.  In his spare time, Jayson enjoys spending time with his beagle, watching Netflix, weight lifting, and generally enjoying life.

Mark Huerta

Mark Huerta

Third-year doctoral student

A native of Scottsdale, Arizona​, prior to starting the EESD program, Mark split his time working as an engineer, a community college instructor and combating the global water crisis through a social venture he started called 33 Buckets.​ His positive experience as a faculty adjunct and community college instructor has imbued Mark with the goal of becoming a professor one day. He is interested in exploring the integration of mindfulness into engineering education, as well as promoting the entrepreneurial mindset in students and faculty. When he’s not working with 33 Buckets or focusing on his coursework and research, Mark enjoys staying active with pursuits ranging from yoga and sports to hiking and swimming.

Michael Sheppard

Michael Sheppard

Second-year doctoral student

Most recently from Hoover, Alabama, Michael has a passion for both engineering and teaching. His interest in these subjects drew him to the EESD program, where he now plans to study military veteran student pathways in undergraduate engineering programs. Before joining the program, Michael worked as a mechanical engineer and taught physics at a Phoenix charter school. He hopes to someday work in engineering education as faculty. In his free time, Michael enjoys outdoor activities, woodworking, obstacle races, and adventure sports.

Javeed Kittur

Javeed Kittur

First-year doctoral student

Prior to deciding to join ASU, Javeed worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at KLE Technological University in India. Through his teaching experience, he became a certified IUCEE International Engineering Educator, which sparked his interest in pursuing research in engineering education.  His current research interests include general assessment and enhancement of student learning as well as improving students’ understanding of practical insights from mathematical concepts. Upon successful completion of the program, Javeed hopes to work at a university as a professor with improved quality in teaching and learning while continuing his research interests in engineering education. In his free time, Javeed enjoys spending time with his family and listening to music.