Cecilia Henríquez Fernández is Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach at the School of Engineering. Dr. Fernández has worked extensively within the education community to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion amongst students that have been historically excluded from STEM fields. While an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Fernández developed, initiated, and launched an outreach program through the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs to provide free mentoring and STEM enrichment opportunities to Boston public school students from low-income communities. The program lasted 10 years after her departure.
Dr. Fernández conducted her postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan's School of Information. Her research focuses on broadening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) participation by examining the lived experiences of marginalized student populations to develop pedagogical practices that are inclusive and sustain the cultural practices of students from non-dominant communities. Dr. Fernández uses mixed methods to investigate how the intersection of community cultural practices, classroom practices, and STEM disciplinary practices can support girls of color in their pursuit and persistence in STEM careers.
Most recently, Dr. Fernández's community work has been with the non-profit Latinas in STEM, an organization focused on supporting Latinas to pursue, persist, and thrive in STEM careers. She has experience developing and implementing culturally responsive STEM curriculum in formal and informal educational settings.