Desen Ozkan

Desen Ozkan

200 Boston Avenue, Suite G810
Medford, MA


PhD Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, 2020 
BS Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts University, 2013 


Dr. Desen Ozkan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) and the Institute for Research on Learning and Education (IRLI). Her primary focus is on interdisciplinary learning as it relates to broader institutional, political-economic, and historical contexts. She completed her PhD in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. With the CEEO, she works on an NSF-funded sociotechnical engineering education project to integrate sociotechnical thinking into the first-year engineering course, ES-2 through Equity Learning Assistants (ELAs). Through IRLI, she co-facilitates IRLI Start and a CELT Faculty Learning Community on Assessment and Equity, funded by the Davis Foundation. Finally, she has also been teaching an STS Reading Lab, titled, 'Learning.’ Before her journey into engineering education research, Desen researched orthophosphate concentrations in agricultural wastewater at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville—an extension of previous work with Knox County Stormwater in Tennessee. 

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Hampton, C., Reeping, D., & Ozkan, D. S. (2021). Positionality Statements in Engineering Education Research: A Look at the Hand that Guides the Methodological Tools. Studies in Engineering Education, 1(2), 126–141. DOI:  
  • Ozkan, D. S., Davis, K. A., Davis, J. C., Murzi, H., James, M., and Knight, D. B., Expectations and Experiences of Short-Term Study Abroad Leadership Teams, Journal of International Engineering Education. In Press. 2020 
  • Ozkan, D. S., McNair, L. D., and Bairaktarova, D. (2019). Teacher Learner, Learner Teacher: Parallels and Dissonance in an Interdisciplinary Design Education Minor. IEEE Transactions on Education, 62(3), 226-235. 
  • Velez, A. Ngaruiya, K. M., and Ozkan D. S. (2019).  At the Annex of Service and Higher Education: A Multidisciplinary Assessment of the Role. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. Accepted May 1, 2019. Vol 10:2 in April 2020.
  • Ozkan, D. S, Reeping, D. P., Hampton, C., & Edwards, C. (2021). A Critique of Quantitative Methodologies to yield Critical Quantitative Methods in Engineering Education Research (EER). Paper accepted by 2021 Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES).  
  • Ozkan, D. S., & Hira, A. (2021). Critical perspectives on teaching design in first-year engineering. Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Virtual Conference. 
  • Ozkan, D. S., & Akowa, K. A. (2021). Before Engineering: How do students consider social and technical dimensions when solving complex problems early in their academic engineering career? Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Virtual Conference. 
  • Stettler-Kleine, M., Zacharias, K., & Ozkan, D. S. (2021). Contextualization as Virtue. Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Virtual Conference. 
  • Ozkan, D. S., Reeping, D., McNair, L. D., Martin, T., Harrison, S., Lester, L., Knapp, B., Wisniowski, M., Patrick, A., and Baum, L. (2019). Using Personas as Curricular Design Tools: Engaging the Boundaries of Engineering Culture. In 2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE).  
  • Ozkan, D. S., Bairaktarova, D, and Eudice, M. (2019). Reframing Engineering Creativity through Meaningful Interdisciplinary Writing. In SEFI 47th Annual Conference