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ESED Research Projects

Research Groups in the Engineering and Science Education Department

The research interests and projects of our faculty cover a broad range of endeavors in STEM Education. The below research group descriptions provide a glimpse into the breadth and depth of this cutting-edge research going on right now in the Engineering and Science Education Department here at Clemson. The Research groups, although distinct to some extent, are constantly blurred and highly overlapping, and interdisciplinary, as you will see by digging deeper into the areas and the work underlying them.

Benson profileBenson Group

The Benson research group focuses on the interaction between student motivation and learning in engineering, science, and mathematics to promote effective educational experiences for diverse learners. This important nexus has led to projects related to undergraduate student identity, students’ epistemic beliefs and practices, student self-efficacy in mathematics, student interest in engineering and science, and development of student problem-solving and self-regulated learning skills.


Gallagher profileGallagher Group

The Gallagher group research interests include broadening participation by examining the factors associated with major selection and mathematics placement among populations historically underrepresented in STEM, particularly rural students, first-generation students, students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, LGBTQ students, and racially minoritized students. Another focus is on the development of instructional identity among mathematics graduate students.


High ProfileHigh Group

The High group research emphasis includes STEM faculty and graduate student development as well as enhancing student success in calculus. The group focuses on faculty wellbeing, graduate student professional development, effects of mentoring on faculty productivity, and teaching STEM online. For calculus student success, she studies the impact of various teaching modalities on students, math anxiety, transfer student success, and the impact of COVID on math learning and teaching.


Lazar ProfileLazar Group

The Lazar group research focuses on the development of scientific interest in undergraduate students through unique experiences and technologies in geoscience education. This includes best practices for virtual reality to allow students to explore the planet, making science more accessible, and designing field experiences to increase student interest in the field sciences. Collaborative work aims to empower students to become enthusiastic and effective science communicators.


Orr profileOrr Group

The Orr group research interests include understanding and enhancing the ways students make decisions about their major and daily study habits from the perspective of self-regulated decision-making theory, as well as using institutional data to study curricular progress and pathways. She is particularly interested in the way these pathways vary by race, gender, socioeconomic status, and engineering discipline.


Voigt ProfileVoigt Group

The Voigt research group lab interests center around issues of equity, access, and power structures occurring in undergraduate STEM programs with a focus on introductory mathematics courses. This group examines ways to Achieve Critical Transformations in Undergraduate Programs (ACT UP). The group is currently examining the experiences of sexually minoritized (LGBTQIA+) undergraduate STEM students, department culture and systemic change and programs to support diversity, and the role of technology to broaden participation by infusing culturally relevant pedagogy.