Abisola Kusimo received her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with minors in Rhetoric, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Stanford with a focus on Design Methodology and Design for Manufacturing under the advisement of Professor Sheri Sheppard. Abisola currently holds a year-long teaching assistant position for a graduate course on “Engineering, Design, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.” She has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research within a variety of fields in mechanical engineering as well as co-authored a journal article and conference paper. Abisola’s research interests include intersectionality, equity, and the accessibility of opportunities within engineering.
Marissa Thompson is a second year Ph.D. student in the Sociology of Education program in the Stanford
Graduate School of Education, and is also pursuing an M.A. in Sociology. Her research interests include
access and equity in STEM education, quantitative education policy analysis, and higher education. She
is a Stanford Graduate (SGF) Fellow, an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fellow, and an Enhancing
Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Fellow. Prior to Stanford, she graduated Magna Cum Laude
with a B.S.E. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016.
Dr. Sara A. Atwood is an Associate Professor and Chair of Engineering at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She holds a BA and MS from Dartmouth College, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the
University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Atwood’s research interests are in creativity, engineering design,
first-generation and low-income students, internship experiences, and criterion-based course structures.
Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides
teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University,
she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis.
From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing
for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF
innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for
high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit’s ”Big Three:”
Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.
At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for
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