Evan Ko

6/2/2020 4:05:42 PM

Evan is a fourth year undergraduate studying Bioengineering with a minor in Material Science and Engineering. Their curiosity for science and excitement for learning is rooted in early exposure and enthusiasm for STEM.

On campus, Evan has served several executive positions for Engineering Ambassadors: an organization whose mission is to “change the conversation of engineering.” Challenging traditional misconceptions about engineering, they have made it their own mission statement to be a bridge for the disconnects and gaps of medicine, technology, and access of educational resources across communities. While they are not working opening shifts as a barista at Starbucks or at the front desk of Busey Evans residence hall, you can find them mediocrely dabbling in one of their hobbies: photography, rugby, and planning their future side career in real estate.

In the fall of 2019, Evan joined the Karin Jensen research lab to study peer mentorship relationships between engineering and engineering education faculty. Throughout this experience, Evan was surprised by the stigma around qualitative research in STEM and lack of awareness of engineering education research (EER) by their peers and institutions at large. They started to ask questions like “why don’t more engineering faculty engage with EER?” and “what motivates engineering faculty to pursue a study in EER?” These questions lead to Evan carrying out their own research study funded by the National Science Foundation to analyze motivations and barriers engineering faculty experience upon entering EER. In addition to this project, they have been working as the Program Coordinator for the Journal of Engineering Education’s Mentored Reviewer Program. With their involvement in EER, they hope to provide resources to greatly expand accessibility and emphasize the importance of this research space cultivating the next generation of engineering students and curriculum.

Evan is humbled to be a Knight elect and would like to thank the University for providing the space and opportunity for them to love becoming their most authentic self. Furthermore, Evan would like to recognize the influence of their family and encouragement from close friends and mentors in contributing to Evan's growth as a leader and individual. They are especially grateful for Susanna and all that she does to be Evan #1 supporter. Upon receiving this honor, Evan is even more excited and motivated to show up, mentor, and challenge their peers with the remaining time they have left on campus.