Justin Major, Ph.D.

Justin Major, Ph.D.

Justin Major, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Justin Major, Ph.D.
Experiential Engineering Education (ExEED)

Contact Info
Engineering Hall 127


Website: justincmajor.com


Ph.D., Engineering Education, Purdue University (2022)
Certificate of Inclusive Excellence, Purdue University (2021)
M.S., Aeronautics & Astronautics, Purdue University (2021)
B.S., Secondary Education (Mathematics), University of Nevada, Reno (2017)
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno (2017)

Research Expertise:

Socioeconomically disadvantaged (low-income) STEM students; marginalization and trauma; social inequality; identity and belonging as an engineer; student success; feminist approaches engineering education research                                                                                                                          


Engineering student success is significantly impacted by engineering students’ perceptions of themselves as someone who belongs in engineering and can do engineering tasks. These perceptions are carefully guided and molded through engagement in thoughtful activities that build these competencies, leading to students who both feel good and do good academically. However, systematically, multi-marginalized students (e.g. Black & Brown, low-income, first-generation, LGBTQ+, students with (dis)abilities) experience systemic inequities in the home, neighborhood, school, and broader society that make participation and success difficult. Identifying these inequities, understanding their depth within school and society, and then creating solutions that target systemic- rather than personal-deficits, will make engineering more accessible. My research studies these inequities from a feminist lens (inequality-centric), especially those related to trauma (e.g., sexual assault, child abuse) and socioeconomic disadvantage (e.g., food insecurity, homelessness), and works to create solutions that empower and support multi-marginalized students.

Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Graduate Student Service Scholarship & Award; Purdue University, College of Engineering (2022)
Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship; Purdue University (2022)
American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Diversity Paper (2020)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2017)
Henry Albert Senior Public Service Award; University of Nevada, Reno (2017)       

Professional Memberships:

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Recent Publications:

Perkins, H., Ge, J., Scheidt, M., Major, J. C., Chen, J, Berger, E., Godwin, A. (2021). Well-being supports and barriers for engineering student belonging. International Journal of Community Well-Being, 1-32. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs42413-021-00149-z

Godwin, A., Benedict, B., Rohde, J., Thielmeyer, A., Perkins, H., Major, J. C., Clements, H. R., Chen, Z. (2021). New epistemological perspectives on quantitative methods: An example using topological data analysis. Studies in Engineering Education, 2(1), 16-34. http://doi.org/10.21061/see.18

Ge, J., Major, J. C., Berger, E., Loui, M., Froiland, J., Jenson, K., Godwin, A. (2021). A theory of engineering thriving to redefine student success. Studies in Engineering Education, 2(2), 19-41. http://doi.org/10.21061/see.9

Major, J. C. (2020). To cross the picket line, or join it: Facing engineering education’s role in the socioeconomic exploitation of marginalized peoples to further a discipline [Guest Editorial]. Journal of Engineering Education 109(2), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20313

Major, J. C. (2019, October). Class-passing and citizen-passing in engineering education: How Nando succeeded by hiding in plain sight. Frontiers in Education Conference. Covington, KY. https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE43999.2019.9028591