Understanding Students’ Narratives of Grand Challenges Scholars Program as a Nexus

Through this panel discussion and paper, we bring together GCSP Scholars from four different institutions funded by the Teagle Foundation to explicitly bridge liberal arts and STEM education through GCSP. The participating institutions - Olin College of Engineering (Olin), Lawrence Technological University (LTU), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) - represent diverse academic and institutional cultures and are at different stages of GCSP development, with Olin being one of the founding GCSP schools and LTU being the newest addition to the national program. The panelists, both engineering and non-engineering majors as well as those early in their GCSP career and GCSP alumni, share their stories and critically reflect on the pathways which GCSP presented for them. Through their critical narratives, we show how the explicit bridging between liberal arts and STEM education within the four GCSPs enables Scholars to interrogate their personal selves and lead the way in engineering education by engaging in the hard work of thinking about what it means to be human.