My own undergraduate engineering educational experience led me to a career in engineering education -- I struggled through my first two years of engineering but then I turned a corner and really did well. After college I worked in the automotive industry for Chrysler, and I loved it! And I realized just how different engineering education can be from professional practice, which is why it is my goal to help students find their pathway through engineering to a professional career of their interest where they can make positive contributions to the community and society as a whole. 

Assisting student success

By getting to know students in terms of their interests and goals I try to help them see how their personal talents will make them successful (whatever that looks like for that student) – and for most students this is part of developing as sense of an “engineering identity” in which they can identify with the profession and can see themselves in that role, that’s all the motivation they need. Caring about my students and whether or not they are learning is important. My students acknowledge this on my teaching evaluations, and I take comments that I see repeatedly very seriously and continuously revise my course and my approach to teaching and learning. 

The most critical engineering habits I try to instill in students is a sense of responsibility: I tell them “no excuses” and advise them to figure out a way to get things accomplished in the time table given. This requires them to be motivated, organized, and have good communication skills – underlying all of this is integrity and ethical standards for doing quality work. 

The primary way that I keep up with the changing demands of employers for my students is to involve them in my courses. My design courses involve working with an industry partner in which students can hear directly from employers what they value and what they think is important (it also gives credibility to me / my course requirements when what I have told them is reinforced by an engineering professional!).

Managing a full schedule

Balancing the day-to-day demands of teaching vs. research is an ongoing challenge. I constantly see new things to incorporate into my courses that would make greater connections for students but often means a lot of extra time developing materials. So it’s an ongoing struggle to maintain research efforts which often feel less urgent, but I manage this by compartmentalizing my schedule – I allocate two half days per week to research, writing, etc. and occasionally things interfere but I’m usually able to maintain that time for dedicated research activities. 

Benefits of ASEE membership

The greatest resource that ASEE offers to me is a community of engineering educators. At my university I’m the only person who is focused on engineering education research so at times I feel isolated, but being involved with ASEE has helped me to find a network of peers beyond my institution. I love being part of a community of engineering educators who care passionately about making improvements and continuing to innovate the way that we educate engineers. Specifically, the conferences are an invaluable way that I can learn from other engineering education peers about new educational innovations, network, and collaborate. ASEE really has an opportunity for widespread change in reaching out to educators focused in core engineering research areas as collaborative peers with ASEE members and to try to engage them in the engineering educational community.

I’m married and I have two little boys (ages 2 & 4), so I devote my entire outside-of-work time to them – lots of toys, games, children’s museums. I enjoy sports (I have allegiances to Detroit, Purdue, Notre Dame, and now Youngstown State) and exercise, which bodes well with having active little ones!

My own undergraduate engineering educational experience led me to a career in engineering education -- I struggled through my first two years of engineering but then I turned a corner and really did well. After college I worked in the automotive industry for Chrysler, and I loved it! And I realized just how different engineering education can be from professional practice, which is why it is my goal to help students find their pathway through engineering to a professional career of their interest where they can make positive contributions to the community and society as a whole. 

Assisting student success

By getting to know students in terms of their interests and goals I try to help them see how their personal talents will make them successful (whatever that looks like for that student) – and for most students this is part of developing as sense of an “engineering identity” in which they can identify with the profession and can see themselves in that role, that’s all the motivation they need. Caring about my students and whether or not they are learning is important. My students acknowledge this on my teaching evaluations, and I take comments that I see repeatedly very seriously and continuously revise my course and my approach to teaching and learning. 

The most critical engineering habits I try to instill in students is a sense of responsibility: I tell them “no excuses” and advise them to figure out a way to get things accomplished in the time table given. This requires them to be motivated, organized, and have good communication skills – underlying all of this is integrity and ethical standards for doing quality work. 

The primary way that I keep up with the changing demands of employers for my students is to involve them in my courses. My design courses involve working with an industry partner in which students can hear directly from employers what they value and what they think is important (it also gives credibility to me / my course requirements when what I have told them is reinforced by an engineering professional!).

Managing a full schedule

Balancing the day-to-day demands of teaching vs. research is an ongoing challenge. I constantly see new things to incorporate into my courses that would make greater connections for students but often means a lot of extra time developing materials. So it’s an ongoing struggle to maintain research efforts which often feel less urgent, but I manage this by compartmentalizing my schedule – I allocate two half days per week to research, writing, etc. and occasionally things interfere but I’m usually able to maintain that time for dedicated research activities. 

Benefits of ASEE membership

The greatest resource that ASEE offers to me is a community of engineering educators. At my university I’m the only person who is focused on engineering education research so at times I feel isolated, but being involved with ASEE has helped me to find a network of peers beyond my institution. I love being part of a community of engineering educators who care passionately about making improvements and continuing to innovate the way that we educate engineers. Specifically, the conferences are an invaluable way that I can learn from other engineering education peers about new educational innovations, network, and collaborate. ASEE really has an opportunity for widespread change in reaching out to educators focused in core engineering research areas as collaborative peers with ASEE members and to try to engage them in the engineering educational community.

I’m married and I have two little boys (ages 2 & 4), so I devote my entire outside-of-work time to them – lots of toys, games, children’s museums. I enjoy sports (I have allegiances to Detroit, Purdue, Notre Dame, and now Youngstown State) and exercise, which bodes well with having active little ones!