As far as I can remember, I knew one day I would be a teacher – math or science where what I loved as a little kid and playing teacher was my normal gig when entertaining my little cousins. This didn’t change until as an undergraduate I was exposed to ‘research’ and fell in love with the idea. Being a professor was the natural outcome of those two desires – to teach and to be involve in research.

Impacting the world

The past year I was nominated for a teaching award. Reading the nomination letters was humbling and inspiring. I think my passion for my chosen profession comes through in my teaching and my attitude on a day to day basis – I see what I do as my way of imparting change and impacting the world we all live in. I let them know (students and colleagues) that if I am in that class it is because that is exactly what I want and where I want to be; same thing with my job as a whole – I am “here” because this is where I wanted to teach and this is where I felt I could make a positive contribution.

Both students and colleagues comment in surprise at my flexibility and willingness to incorporate or act on feedback/input. I’ve started a trend to use mid-term feedback forms … why wait until end of term when not as many thing can be addressed and the ones who may benefit from that feedback have already gone on to their next course. But I set the expectation for feedback and the value I place on it on the very first day of class. I feel this puts the ownership on the hands of the students – something isn’t working for them? Then it is up to them to provide constructive feedback that I may act upon – and when I can’t or won’t – students are well aware that I considered it and often value the point or perspective I give for backing up my actions.

Research experiences for students

As an undergraduate, participating in undergraduate research had a big impact on me at that time and forward. I now see great value in encouraging and involving talented students in research, out of class projects, or independent studies. I strongly feel it helps students learn that there isn’t always an answer and develops their confidence in being able to search and contribute to the field.

It is a great challenge to impart the practice of assessing what you know and accepting that you’ll need to learn more – that what you are learning now isn’t going to be enough now nor later on. Both in my classes and in my research team, I talk about this often – I find that if students learn to ‘teach themselves’ or at least ‘seek’ out additional instruction then they are able to tackle bigger hurdles and will be well prepare to adapt to their challenging and
changing work.

Connecting students to employers

To know the changing demands of employers, we must maintain a strong connection to alumni. I feel this should be more than just a separate office on campus that send out letters or questionnaires. I encourage students for whom I write letters, or serve as a reference for, to stay in touch and let me know about their experiences. This helps me stay informed and gives me a sense of perspective. If they happen to be local alums, bringing them to campus or asking them to write a letter to support a proposal for a new course or new equipment goes a long way with imparting change.

ASEE membership

The best resource ASEE has and can provide is access to its own members. In general, though, ASEE provides access to national data and trends and leads the conversations taking place regarding engineering education. As a member, I’ve greatly benefited from the amazing network that the various ASEE divisions provide. It is easy to find a group or topic that matches your own interest – and as such, it is easy to find experts or resources to help you accomplish whatever your endeavors are with success.

The national organization is very strong – strengthening and raising the level of the local sections/divisions would go a long ways to better serve the engineering education community. There are many who can’t make it to the annual conference and yet would greatly benefit from the quality of the programming that is seen at the annual conference but at a local, more accessible venue/event.

Away from campus

I love the ocean and moved to where we live to be as close to the ocean as possible. Late spring through early fall we dedicate any and all free time to sailing. In the winter we plan our sailing trips to warm places 

As far as I can remember, I knew one day I would be a teacher – math or science where what I loved as a little kid and playing teacher was my normal gig when entertaining my little cousins. This didn’t change until as an undergraduate I was exposed to ‘research’ and fell in love with the idea. Being a professor was the natural outcome of those two desires – to teach and to be involve in research.

Impacting the world

The past year I was nominated for a teaching award. Reading the nomination letters was humbling and inspiring. I think my passion for my chosen profession comes through in my teaching and my attitude on a day to day basis – I see what I do as my way of imparting change and impacting the world we all live in. I let them know (students and colleagues) that if I am in that class it is because that is exactly what I want and where I want to be; same thing with my job as a whole – I am “here” because this is where I wanted to teach and this is where I felt I could make a positive contribution.

Both students and colleagues comment in surprise at my flexibility and willingness to incorporate or act on feedback/input. I’ve started a trend to use mid-term feedback forms … why wait until end of term when not as many thing can be addressed and the ones who may benefit from that feedback have already gone on to their next course. But I set the expectation for feedback and the value I place on it on the very first day of class. I feel this puts the ownership on the hands of the students – something isn’t working for them? Then it is up to them to provide constructive feedback that I may act upon – and when I can’t or won’t – students are well aware that I considered it and often value the point or perspective I give for backing up my actions.

Research experiences for students

As an undergraduate, participating in undergraduate research had a big impact on me at that time and forward. I now see great value in encouraging and involving talented students in research, out of class projects, or independent studies. I strongly feel it helps students learn that there isn’t always an answer and develops their confidence in being able to search and contribute to the field.

It is a great challenge to impart the practice of assessing what you know and accepting that you’ll need to learn more – that what you are learning now isn’t going to be enough now nor later on. Both in my classes and in my research team, I talk about this often – I find that if students learn to ‘teach themselves’ or at least ‘seek’ out additional instruction then they are able to tackle bigger hurdles and will be well prepare to adapt to their challenging and
changing work.

Connecting students to employers

To know the changing demands of employers, we must maintain a strong connection to alumni. I feel this should be more than just a separate office on campus that send out letters or questionnaires. I encourage students for whom I write letters, or serve as a reference for, to stay in touch and let me know about their experiences. This helps me stay informed and gives me a sense of perspective. If they happen to be local alums, bringing them to campus or asking them to write a letter to support a proposal for a new course or new equipment goes a long way with imparting change.

ASEE membership

The best resource ASEE has and can provide is access to its own members. In general, though, ASEE provides access to national data and trends and leads the conversations taking place regarding engineering education. As a member, I’ve greatly benefited from the amazing network that the various ASEE divisions provide. It is easy to find a group or topic that matches your own interest – and as such, it is easy to find experts or resources to help you accomplish whatever your endeavors are with success.

The national organization is very strong – strengthening and raising the level of the local sections/divisions would go a long ways to better serve the engineering education community. There are many who can’t make it to the annual conference and yet would greatly benefit from the quality of the programming that is seen at the annual conference but at a local, more accessible venue/event.

Away from campus

I love the ocean and moved to where we live to be as close to the ocean as possible. Late spring through early fall we dedicate any and all free time to sailing. In the winter we plan our sailing trips to warm places