Gina Maria Fernandes is a doctoral student at NCSU. She is pursuing her doctoral research in the areas of design methods and learning for design, with a focus on how equitable learning environments at post-secondary institutions can foster a sense of belonging and mattering for minority students while simultaneously engaging students in the design process. Gina previously worked as an architectural designer and a co-chair of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team at Ayers Saint Gross. She served as 2019-2020 President of DCNOMA. She is also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) teaching a fourth-year studio that focuses on sustainable design and requires students to submit a project to the Annual Solar Decathlon Design Challenge and a second-year student that focuses on bridging the design process with basic construction documents. Outside of her research, Gina enjoys making mixed-media art and eating sandwiches.