Faculty Profile for Dr. Araceli Ortiz

profile photo for Dr. Araceli Ortiz
Dr. Araceli Ortiz
Research Associate Professor — LBJ Inst for STEM Education and Research
ASBN 211
phone: (512) 245-3102

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Araceli Martinez Ortiz, Ph.D., is Research Associate Professor of Engineering Education in the College of Education at Texas State University and Executive Director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and a master’s and Ph.D. in education. She teaches and conducts research with teachers and students in engineering education as a learning context and instructional strategy. She works with traditionally under-served populations to understand challenges and solutions for improving motivation and academic readiness for students’ college and career success.

Teaching Interests

I teach courses for the Department of Engineering Technology in the College of Science and Engineering. I have taught TECH 5384 Problems in Technology , Tech 5390: Research in Technology, Tech 3364: Engineering Quality Assurance, and US1100: University Seminar—Engineering/Engineering Technology Students . I have also taught for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction courses such as C&I 5304: Teaching Mathematics and Science in the Elementary Classroom and C&I 5303, Teaching Mathematics in the Integrated Elementary Classroom.

I also develop and teach short duration professional development seminars for educators other professionals and present these as the main instructor with colleagues at a national and international level. In 2020, I delivered a series of engineering career seminars and NASA-themed workshops for faculty and students at the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey. In 2019 I was a visiting professor for a semester at the University of New South Wales in Australia, teaching seminar courses on engineering education. In 2017 , I delivered a leadership development course for female faculty in STEM academic fields in Ethiopia. I have completed prior work in Spain, Germany, and Japan.

Research Interests

I am an engineering education researcher. Primarily, I study the role of engineering as a curricular context and integrated teaching and learning as an instructional strategy to facilitate teachers’ and students’ mathematics and science learning. My research is guided by both systems theory (Banathy, 1991) and collective impact theory (Kania and Kramer, 2011) as applied in education. The use of a dynamic systems approach frames learning and teaching as a dynamic rather than a linear process (Rodriguez, 2012).

Specifically, my focus has been on advancing knowledge in the area of K–12 engineering education and researching various instructional approaches and interventions aimed at answering basic questions such as: How should engineering be taught in grades K–12? What types of instructional materials and curricula can be most effective? How does engineering education incorporate science, technology, and mathematics concepts, and how are these subjects used to provide a context for exploring engineering concepts? These general guiding questions are further defined by targeted research questions aligned to particular research efforts or studies.

The common thread running through my scholarly activities is a unique interest in engaging those communities of traditionally under-served populations in the STEM fields. I define “community” using broad terms, and have worked with communities connected by geography, age, culture, and shared identity. I work with students from traditionally under-served populations and I seek to understand through research how their challenges can be minimized and solutions for improving their motivation and academic readiness for college and career success. I also conduct research regarding effective STEM teacher preparation, induction, and professional development.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Smith, S. F., Talley, K. G., Ortiz, A. M., & Sriraman, V. (2021). You Want Me to Teach Engineering? Impacts of Recurring Experiences on K-12 Teachers’ Engineering Design Self-Efficacy, Familiarity with Engineering, and Confidence to Teach with Design-Based Learning Pedagogy. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 11(1), 26–41.
  • Novoa, C. M., Spencer, B. J., Hazlewood, L. C., & Ortiz, A. M. (2020). Spatial Visualization Skills Training at Texas State University to Enhance STEM Students Academic Success. In Proceedings of the 2020 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Virtual Conference. Retrieved from https://peer.asee.org/35200
  • Ortiz, A. M., Novoa, C. M., & Sriraman, V. (2019). A Collective Impact Model Towards Increasing STEM Major Student Retention. Journal of College Academic Support Programs (J-CASP), 2(2), 21–30.
  • Kibling, K., Torres, A. S., Sriraman, V., & Ortiz, A. M. (2018). The Use of Peer Teaching Quality Managers to Improve Student Learning Retention in a Construction Project Management Course.
  • Spencer, B. J., Sriraman, V., Talley, K. G., & Ortiz, A. M. (2018). Social cognitive impact of industry internships upon engineering technology students developing professional identity:  A case study.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: 2020 Excellence in Innovation Award-$100,000 Prize, Phi Kappa Phi. August 3, 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: ASEE-GSW Section Outstanding Service Award, American Society for Engineering Educators. November 15, 2019
  • Award / Honor Nominee: The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, University of Pennsylvania, School of Education. October 1, 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: NASA Agency Group Achievement Award, NASA. September 14, 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Appreciation for Commission Service to a Professional Organization, Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). February 2018 - February 2020

Selected Grants

  • Asiabanpour, Bahram (Principal), Aslan, Semih (Co-Principal), Ortiz, Araceli Martinez (Co-Principal), Jimenez, Jesus (Co-Principal), Kim, Yoo-Jae (Co-Principal), Salamy, H (Co-Principal). Designing green-engineering summer camp, Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)-Engineering Summer Program, State, $12500. (Funded: June 2014). Grant.
  • Ortiz, Araceli Martinez (Principal), Huling, Leslie L (Co-Principal). NASA EPDC-2 STEM Engagement and Educator Professional Development Collaborative, NASA, Federal, $6020016.28. (Funded: September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2021). Grant.
  • Ortiz, Araceli Martinez. FAMA- Future Aerospace Engineers And Mathematicians Academy, NASA, Federal, $399000. (Submitted: April 1, 2018, Funded: October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2020). Grant.
  • Ortiz, Araceli M (Co-Principal). STEM Pre-Teacher Summer Educator Institutes, NASA, Federal, $2900000. (Funded: October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2018). Grant.
  • Ortiz, Araceli Martinez (Principal). NASA EPDC-1 STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative, NASA, Federal, $1.483649432E7. (Submitted: March 1, 2014, Funded: September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2019). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

National Academy of Engineers
September 1, 2019-Present
National Center for Research in Geography Education
American Society for Engineering Education, Minorities in Engineering Division
National Academy of Engineering (NAE)- Working Committee Member: Defining Standards for Professional Development for K12 Teachers of Engineering
January 2012-December 2014
Hispanic Policy Network
August 2017-Present