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AGEP-T FRAME Fellow: R. Emilio Fernández


 R. Emilio Fernández

Graduate Student, Stony Brook University

Department of Technology, Policy and Innovation

Specialty: Mathematics Education and Policy; STEM workforce Policy/ The University's Third Mission

AGEP-T FRAME Research Mentor: Dr. Lisa BergerDr.David Ferguson 

Email: Emilio.Fernandez@stonybrook.edu


Ph.D. Candidate R. Emilio Fernández holds undergraduate degrees in Industrial Electronic Engineering Technology, Pure Mathematics, and Spanish, and an M.A. in Hispanic Cultural Studies. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Technology, Policy, and Innovation in the Department of Technology and Society. He will defend his thesis, The mathematics course-taking of Bronx County public high school students: Education policy implications, by May, 2016. His doctoral research is a quantitative analysis of the secondary mathematics course-taking of New York City public school students. The preliminary results of this research are published in the proceedings of the International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, where he chaired the session, "Experiences in primary and secondary STEM education". His research interests are diverse, including: mathematics education and policy, STEM education policy and workforce, and the third mission of the university. He was recognized with an honorary mention in the Ford Dissertation Writing Fellowship Competition of 2015.

Mr. Fernández funded his own summer research via summer research grants and his pedagogical training and experience teaching mathematics and mathematics education courses to secondary, undergraduate, master's level, and Ph.D. students are extensive. He has taught undergraduate courses in Mathematical Problem Solving in Engineering, Mathematical Thinking, Calculus, Proficiently Algebra, and the Ph.D. core course Technology, Policy, and Innovation: Theory and Practice. He has also been a guest lecturer in the Master's level course, Introduction to Methods of Teaching and Standards. He has been a teacher, mentor, and adviser to over 200 ethnically underrepresented, mostly Hispanic, students through Stony Brook University's STEP¹, CSTEP², and NYSTEM³ programs. He received the Hispanic Heritage Month Award in 2015 in recognition of his service to the Hispanic Community at Stony Brook University.

He has developed successful multi-disciplinary research collaborations with faculty and STEM program managers at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory and is a founding member of the "Technology for Social Good" research group, which focuses on sustainable engineering and technological development in third world countries. In this context, he has co-authored two papers, one of which is published and the other was submitted to a journal. He has also served as a Teaching Assistant for Brookhaven National Laboratory Office of Educational Programs' STEM-Prep Summer Institute (SPSI) and is the Assistant Coordinator for Student Success in the division of Residential Programs. This position entails managing a rotating staff of 20 graduate and undergraduate students who are tutors of mathematics, chemistry, and physics throughout Stony Brook University's Residential Tutoring Centers. Mr. Fernández hopes to become a faculty member in the areas of mathematics and engineering education management and policy. He also wants to be involved in the efforts of diversifying the academic and STEM workforce.

Seminar Title: An Effective Policy for High School to College Transition: The Case of Bronx County Public High Schools
Description: The purpose of this study was to use schools' key-performance indicators to determine whether Bronx County schools adopting a four years of mathematics policy were comparable to other Bronx County schools. Specific objectives were: 1) to employ z-tests to determine whether key demographic and performance indicators of Bronx County public high schools requiring four years of mathematics were comparable to those of Bronx County schools without this requirement, 2) To determine and compare the academic preparedness and post-secondary aspirations of students in each of our public schools groups, 3) To provide research-based policy recommendations to school administrators and policy implementers in the New York State Education Department. We analyzed aggregate school-level data to determine whether schools' key performance indicators correlated with the four years of math policy. Only 14 of the 105 Bronx public high schools included in our study implemented the four year policy. Schools implementing the policy outperformed non-implementing schools in all of the key performance indicators that we analyzed. The Geometry and Algebra2/Trigonometry Regents exams passing and mastery rates of implementing schools are, respectively almost three, and more than six times higher than those of schools not implementing this policy. The Advanced Regents Diploma conferment rate of schools implementing the policy is, on average, about 1000% that of non-implementing schools. On average, graduates from schools implementing the policy aspire to higher education at a rate of 94%, while the average aspiration of graduates from non-implementing schools is 67.6%. Students attending schools implementing the policy achieved statistically significantly higher scores on the Comprehensive English, Living Environment, and Physics Regents exams. Our results validated key findings of research studies and government reports suggesting that high school mathematics courses show the strongest returns when measuring students' academic outcomes in high school (Nord et al., 2011) as well as their higher education aspirations and preparedness (Adelman, 1999; Tyson, Lee, Borman, & Hanson, 2007). Coupled with our literature review, our results advance the thesis that key performance indicators of Bronx County public high schools remain low due to a lack of intense mathematics course curricula. Our results validate the existence of positive correlations between students' academic expectations and their academic preparedness and college aspirations. The following policy recommendation are supported by our results: 1. Irrespective of schools' social or ethnic backgrounds, their students should all be held accountable to higher mathematics standards by requiring them to complete a four year mathematics sequence that include advanced courses. 2. Schools should ensure a proper transition from 8th grade into 9th grade by properly implementing the New York State Common Core Standards of Mathematics. 


Ferguson, D. L., & Fernández, R. E. (September, 2015). The Role of the University in the Innovation Ecosystem, and Implications for Science Cities and Science Parks: A Human Resource Development Approach. World Technopolis Review : Wtr, 4,3, 132-143.

Ferguson, D. L., & Fernández, R. E. (submitted). The Role of the University in the Innovation Ecosystem, and Implications for Science Cities and Science Parks: A Human Resource Development Approach. World Technopolis Review.

Fernández, R. E. (July, 2015). An Effective Policy for High School to College Transition: The Case of Bronx County Public High Schools. EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 349-357, Barcenlona, Spain.

Fernández García, R. E. (2013). La biografía difusa de Sombra Castañeda: Un análisis histórico-literario. (Order No. 1543922, State University of New York at Stony Brook). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 89. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1433075169?accountid=14172. (1433075169).

Fernández García, R. E., & Heiser John. (2007). Vertical Trasport in the Urban Atmospheric Dispertion Test. Journal of Undergraduate Research [Abstract]. Department of Energy's Journal of Undergraduate Research https://applicationlink.labworks.org/scied/Abstracts2007/env.htm

Fernández García, R. E., & Heiser, J. (2005). Urban dispersion program: Looking forward to a better understanding of air flow contamination and transportation in trban environments. Journal of Undergraduate Research [Abstract]. Department of Energy's Journal of Undergraduate Research http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/scied/Abstracts2005/BNLenv.htm

Fernández García, R. E., López, M., & Heiser, J. (2006). Redesign and Update of the Brookhaven Atmospheric Trace Sampler (BATS [Abstract]. Department of Energy's Journal of Undergraduate Research https://applicationlink.labworks.org/scied/Abstracts2006/BNL.htm
[1] Science and Technology Entry Program
[2] Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program
[3] New York Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program