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Stephen Secules

Visiting Assistant Professor
Mailing Addresses


Dr. Stephen Secules is a Visiting Assistant Professor in ENE. Growing up, his interest in physics and acoustics led him to pursue degrees in engineering and acoustics at Dartmouth College. He worked for five years as an acoustical engineering consultant in London, UK and Silicon Valley, CA helping architects design buildings for sound and vibration issues. He then returned to his home state of Maryland to pursue a PhD in Education focusing on culture and equity in undergraduate engineering education.


Beltsville, MD


PhD - University of Maryland, Curriculum and Instruction (Education)
MS - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Architectural Sciences (Acoustics)
BA / BE - Dartmouth College, Engineering

Research Interests

Stephen employs anthropological and critical cultural approaches to qualitative education research. He works to leverage the methodological tools of ethnography to provide insight into everyday classroom phenomena related to equity and inclusion. In pursuing a collaborative research agenda, he works to have impact with local participants while gaining wisdom for the pursuit of equity and inclusion in education more broadly.

Selected Publications

Secules, S., Gupta, A., & Elby, A., Turpen, C. (2018). Zooming Out from the Struggling Student: The Cultural Construction of Engineering Ability in an Undergraduate Programming Class. Journal of Engineering Education. 107(1): 56-86.
Secules, S., Gupta, A., & Elby, A., Tanu, E. (2018). Supporting the Narrative Agency of a Marginalized Engineering Student. Journal of Engineering Education.107(2): 1-33.
Secules, S., Gupta, A., & Elby, A. (2015). Piecemeal Versus Integrated Framing of Design Activities. Chapter 9 in Analyzing Design Review Conversations. Adams, R.S. & J. Siddiqui (eds.) West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.

Awards, Honors, Achievements, & Memberships

  • Apprentice Faculty Grant. 2018. Education Research & Methods Division, ASEE.
  • SPARC Dissertation Grant. 2016. UMD College of Education.
  • Dissertation Seed Grant. 2016. Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at UMD.
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student award. 2016. UMD College of Education.
  • Best Diversity Paper. 2016. Education Research and Methods Division, ASEE.
  • Flagship Fellowship. 2013-2017. University of Maryland.


  • Assistant Research Scientist. University of Georgia. 2017-2018
  • Senior Consultant. Mei Wu Acoustics. Redwood City, CA. 2011-2013
  • Graduate Acoustical Consultant. Arup. London, UK. 2008-2010

Advice for the First-Year Engineer

Take charge of your own learning. Ask yourself what most interests you, ask how best you can learn about it, ask where and how it will be valuable. Ask those around you for their wisdom and advice. Teach others. Reflect. Remember that sometimes the areas we have the most struggle in are the ones we are growing the most. Have enough humility to laugh at yourself. And follow your heart.

Fun Facts

I have played piano and percussion most of my life, and have recently tried to learn the cello as an adult. I can take requests on the piano-- Disney songs, popular songs, jingles from commercials, etc.