Dean Kapetanakis.


Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

Major: Biomedical Engineering BS

Dean is a rising senior at Rowan University studying biomedical engineering on an accelerated track to medical school. Though he has had his mind set on becoming a physician his whole life, STEM education plays a huge role in the impact he wants to make. He believes medicine and education are inseparable and intertwined; not only does education make or break the doctors we rely on, but it’s the responsibility of doctors to educate and inform their patients. His commitment to STEM education begins with his commitment to a better healthcare system.

Dean, and his research partner Sarah, are working with Dr. Dina Newman and Dr. Kate Wright to understand how a student’s ability to construct analogies regarding molecular biology related to their understanding of the topic and their critical thinking skills. After providing an assessment to evaluate students’ knowledge in molecular biology, interviewing them, and appraising their critical thinking, Dean will correlate their performance to their ability to construct the analogy.

It is well documented that analogies allow students to make connections between topics they don’t understand to topics they’re familiar with. While it has become clear that analogies, in this way, aid a student’s knowledge in the classroom, Dean’s research aims to quantify a direct correlation between analogies, knowledge, and critical thinking.

He was ecstatic to be gifted the opportunity to conduct STEM education research at RIT! His time at RIT so far has been amazing; both his research and his experiences have been an unforgettable contribution to his college and professional career.