My career vision is to be a driving force in supporting all students who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering and to enable others to support diverse students in their technical and professional development. In working towards this goal, my efforts have focused on 1) supporting student development through curricular and co-curricular efforts and 2) working with faculty and future faculty to improve teaching practices and incorporate contemporary pedagogical approaches into engineering education contexts.
Practice: Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity
I worked as a graduate assistant for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) at Virginia Tech. I worked with first-year female engineering students who were participating in an engineering living-learning-community. I taught a seminar that covered topics related to personal development, academic development, and professional development and I met with students individually to discuss their progress, challenges, and concerns in their general engineering program.
Research: Engineering Students’ Professional Development in Out-of-Class Activities
My dissertation research explores different experiences that help students develop professionally and identifies different ways that students think about and define professional development. This work can be used by educators seeking to provide engineering students with the development necessary to become a successful engineer.
Research: Engineering Student Support
Several of my research projects have focused on examining the support provided by engineering student support centers in an effort to provide resources for practitioners who are wanting to provide support to these populations.
Research: Conceptual Understanding in Statics
Statics is a course that most engineering students take, and is often a difficult course for students. Therefore, we were looking at ways to help students understand the material. One way is to incorporate writing assignments into these courses where students must describe how they go about solving a statics problem. This allows the instructor to gain additional insight into students’ problem-solving practices. We then analyzed student written responses to statics problems and developed a rubric that can help instructors examine students’ conceptual understanding.
Research: Conceptual Understanding in Heat Transfer
Historically, heat transfer is one of those courses where engineering students struggle to understand the concepts included in the course. Therefore, several faculty members and I examined the effect that a heat transfer lab had on engineering students’ conceptual understanding of the material in that course.
Practice: Universidad San Francisco de Quito 21st Century Faculty Visit
At Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), several faculty members have worked in partnership with Virginia Tech to create a 21st Century Faculty Program. The aim of the program is to help faculty learn and grow as teachers. During the summer of 2017, a group of faculty visited Virginia Tech for a week to engage in workshops and discussions to learn more about teaching, mentoring, and growing as a program to support other faculty members in their home institution. For their visit, I coordinated tours, workshops, and discussions with faculty members at VT to engage the USFQ group in a variety of topics related to higher education.
Practice: Graduate Course in Contemporary Pedagogy
Virginia Tech offers a graduate level course covering topics related to pedagogy, including the use of technology in the classroom, inclusive pedagogy, student engagement, mindful learning, and assessment. The course is open to students in all disciplines and in all colleges. I took this course as a graduate student and currently am the primary teaching assistant for the course, As a teaching assistant, I set up the technology in the course and facilitate discussions both in and out of the classroom. The course utilizes blog posts to engage students in the course material, and course sessions model the practices that we cover in course readings.