Merijke Coenraad is a doctoral candidate in the Technology, Learning, and Leadership program at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Merijke comes to UMD after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Spanish & Hispanic Studies from Creighton University and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College. 

Prior to starting her doctorate, Merijke taught middle school social studies, Spanish, and technology in Boston, Massachusetts. While teaching, Merijke focused on bringing educational technology to students including teaching her school’s first 3D printing class and receiving a grant to use virtual reality in the classroom.

Merijke is interested in the intersections of technology and equity. Specifically, she is interested in teaching middle school youth about those aspects of computing and technologies that cause or could cause inequalities, such as the effects of algorithmic bias and incomplete or historic data in machine learning training sets. Merijke is working to integrate lessons regarding these social justice impacts of computing into computer science classrooms for middle school learners while bringing computational thinking to all students through diverse learning opportunities targeting traditionally underrepresented populations in computing. 

For more information about Merijke and her work, please visit her website at: