Ph.D. English, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1997
M.A. English, Virginia Tech, 1990
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1986
- Engineering identity
- Experiences of underrepresented students in engineering
- Communication and teamwork in engineering
- Design education and project-based learning
- Mentoring in engineering
My research grows from my passion for exploring communication
practices across contexts and empowering students in their professional
lives. This passion has enabled me to build a research program grounded
in engineering communication, with related work in design education as
well as in identity and inclusion. Across these domains, my research and
the research of my graduate students helps current and future faculty
create inclusive learning environments that integrate professional skills
into engineering curricula.
Helping students and professionals communicate effectively is the central
thread in my teaching and research, and much of my research explores
this domain, including writing, speaking, interpersonal communication,
and teamwork. My work includes studies of students learning to
communicate across professional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries;
faculty integrating communication into their curricula; and industry
professionals collaborating in the workplace. At the same time, because
communication and collaboration are prominent in design settings, my
research also includes design education broadly. Much of this work
centers on understanding effective teaching practices in project-based
environments, but it also extends to studies of design cognition,
development of broad contextual understanding, and engagement in
entrepreneurial thinking. Finally, running through both of these areas and
beyond is an abiding commitment to inclusion. My research in
engineering identity considers what it means to be an engineer and the
ways in which students from underrepresented groups experience
engineering education. My work in this area looks at both student
experiences and faculty practices in order to create inclusive learning
environments for all students.
Marie C. Paretti is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she co-directs the Virginia Tech Engineering Communications Center (VTECC). She received a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on communication and collaboration, design education, and identity (including race, gender, class, etc.) in engineering. She was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to study expert teaching in capstone design courses, and is co-PI on numerous NSF grants exploring communication, teamwork, design, and identity in engineering. Drawing on theories of situated learning and identity development, her work includes studies on the teaching and learning of communication, effective teaching practices in design education, the effects of differing pedagogies on personal and professional identities, the dynamics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in both academic and industry design environments, and gender and identity in engineering. When not at work, she can be found pulling weeds in her garden or bicycling the back roads of Craig County, VA.
Awards & Honors
- 2015 Nunnally Award for Outstanding Faculty in Engineering Education
- 2014 Finalist, Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Engineering Subjects
- 2008 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
- 2008 Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Engineering Subjects
- 2008 Outstanding New Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering
- 2003 XCaliber Certificate of Excellence for English 3764: Technical Writing Online. Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning, 2003. With Jim Dubinsky and Mark Armstrong.
Paretti, M. C., McNair, L. D., & Leydens, J. (2014). Engineering communication. In A. Johri & B. Olds (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (pp. 601-632). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP.
Lutz, B.,* Hixson, C.,* Paretti, M. C., Epstein, A.,* & Lesko, J. J. (2015). Mentoring and facilitation in entrepreneurship education: beliefs and practices. Journal of Engineering Entrpreneurship 6(1): 37-51.
Groen, C.*, Paretti, M. C., & McNair, L. D. (2015, in press). Learning from expert/student dialogue to enhance engineering design education. In R. Adams * J. Siddiqui (Eds.), Analyzing Design Review Conversations. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue UP.
Marie Paretti's Curriculum Vitae