Profiles / Rising S.T.E.M. Stars

Leroy Long

Hi, I am Leroy Long and I am a current PhD student in STEM Education, focusing on Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. I was born and raised in Dayton, OH, which is known as the birthplace of aviation.

I first became interested in engineering while attending a 4-year summer enrichment program at Wright State University called Wright STEPP. This summer program was established in order to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations who were able to attend and graduate from college in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). As a result of my childhood interest, academic performance at school, and experiences in Wright STEPP, I ultimately decided to major in engineering. To date, I have obtained a B.S. (from Wright State University) and an M.S. Degree (from The Ohio State University) in Mechanical Engineering.

Engineering has allowed me to apply principles from math and science to understand how things work and impact the world around me. Since taking an introductory psychology course in high school, I have also been interested in learning more about how people think, learn and behave. During my second quarter of graduate school, I had the opportunity to take a course entitled “College Teaching in Engineering.” This course first introduced me to the field of engineering education and the PhD programs that existed in this area.

While pursuing my education, I have had the privilege of gaining teaching experience through volunteer roles as an academic mentor in mathematics for local elementary school children. I have also been a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) for eight quarters here at OSU and held the position of Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF) for one year for the First-Year Engineering Program.

I anticipate that a degree in engineering education will provide a unique blend between three of my areas of interest: engineering, education, and psychology. While pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education, I hope to conduct research to study student success within the field of engineering. I am interested in this topic because I feel that an improvement in K-12 engineering education and instruction of engineering concepts at the collegiate level is vital to strengthening the United States’ workforce in STEM areas. In addition, I feel that there is a large group of individuals particularly women and ethnic minorities who are capable of making a significant impact within the field of engineering if given adequate preparation and an equal opportunity to succeed. I hope to someday use my degree in Engineering Education to open a K-12 STEM School in order to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations who are able to attend/graduate from college in the areas of STEM, pursue engineering-related careers, and make an impact in the field along with the world around them.