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  • Writer's pictureM Tsugawa

NSF Funding Awarded for Neurodiversity Research in Engineering

Our collaborative proposal entitled "Collaborative Research: BPE Track 2: Disability DCL - Capturing Narratives that Characterize Neurodivergent Strengths and Weaknesses" was awarded funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF) within the Broadening Participation in Engineering program! This collaborative proposal is led by PI Tsugawa (USU) and Co-PIs Hamid Karimi (USU) and Catherine Spence (Minnesota State University).

The overall goal of this project is to increase visibility and highlight stories of neurodivergent students in engineering spaces. This three-year project consists of two stages:

  • Stage 1: Social Media Analytics - This stage aims to identify emancipatory language generated and used by neurodivergent people to describe their experiences of being neurodivergent. We will collect data from social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to determine topics discussed within neurodivergent communities. By identifying this language, we can integrate and contextualize the language to engineering spaces to understand neurodivergent engineering student experiences. We also plan to engage with the larger neurodivergent community for transparency and communal knowledge generation.

  • Stage 2: Narrative Inquiry - This stage aims to generate neurodivergent engineering student narratives. We will integrate findings from Stage 1 into an interview protocol to bring neurodivergent language into engineering contexts. Narratives will be generated over both longitudinal and cross-sectional interviews. The longitudinal narrative interviews will be conducted at the Utah State University campus over a semester while single (cross-sectional) interviews will be conducted with neurodivergent engineering students across the country leveraging social media to recruit participants. Narratives will then be shared on social media and on this website to share with other engineering students and faculty.

Updates and findings will be shared on social media and this website.

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