New Ph.D. Candidates Announced

Kirsten Davis

Congratulations to our new Ph.D. candidate, Kirsten Davis for successfully passing her preliminary exam. Kirsten's dissertation will explore global competence in the engineering workforce. Kirsten is advised by Dr. David Knight.





Mayra Artiles

Congratulations to our new Ph.D. candidate, Mayra Artiles for passing her preliminary exam. Mayra's dissertation will focus on the intersections of doctoral policies and procedures around student advisor choice.

Mayra is advised by Dr. Holly Matusovich.


David Reeping

Congratulations to our new Ph.D. candidate, David Reeping for passing his preliminary exam. David's dissertation will focus on the process of vertical transfer, moving from a community college to a four-year university, from an economic/information-processing perspective. The focus will be placed on characterizing the information asymmetry in the exchange of credits that impacts students once they integrate into the four-year institution.

David is advised by Dr. David Knight.





Two Ph.D. Candidates to be Inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

Bouchet Society

Darren Maczka and Michelle Soledad, both Ph.D. Candidates in Engineering Education have been selected to be inducted into the Virginia Tech chapter of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Read more 




Advisor of the Month

James Newcomer

James Newcomer has been selected as the February Advisor of the Month from the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Advising.  Congratulations, James!








Spingola Named Member of Iota Delta Rho

Liz Spingola

Ph.D. Candidate, Elizabeth Spingola recently became a full member of Iota Delta Rho, the Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society at Virginia Tech.  

Read more 








Newest PhD Candidates Announced

Congratulations to our newest PhD candidates, Juan Cruz, Racheida Lewis and Andrew Gillen.  They all recently passed their preliminary exams. 


Juan Cruz
Racheida Lewis
Andrew Gillen


Welcome Postdoctoral Researchers

Cherie Edwards

We would like to welcome Dr. Cherie Edwards to the Department as a Postdoctoral Associate. Cherie received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a Master’s degree in Conflict and Peace studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). In May of 2017 she received her doctoral degree in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech. Cherie’s dissertation research was a mixed-methods approach to arts-informed research, examining the acculturation strategies of immigrant and refugee youth attending after-school programs. While she has various research interests, she is most interested in examining innovative approaches to research and analysis as well as issues impacting the social and educational experiences of at-risk and underrepresented youth communities.

Lisa Moyer

We would like to welcome Dr. Lisa Moyer to the Department as a Postdoctoral Associate. Lisa received her PhD from Virginia Tech in Integrative STEM Education and stayed with the department for a year as a Postdoctoral Associate. In her role as an educational consultant, her recent projects have included building professional development protocol for NASA's Out of School Learning Network, developing a master's degree program in Community Based Education and Leadership for Stevenson University, and helping Radford City Schools transition to more innovative teaching and learning practices. Lisa taught in public schools (gifted education, elementary and middle) for 17 years. An avid trail runner, she also co-owns a small outdoor adventure business. 

New NSF Grant Announced

Interdisiplinary Team

An interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech faculty recently secured a five-year, $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Cultivating Cultures of Ethical STEM program for institutional transformation.

The project is entitled, "Cultivating an ethical STEM culture through an integrated undergraduate general education," and the award started Aug. 15, 2017, and ends July 31, 2022. Read more  




We are happy to announce that Holly Larson Lesko has accepted the position of Program Director for the three-year NSF-funded project entitled “Community-Engaged Engineering Interventions with Appalachian Youth.”  

Read more  




$5 Million NSF Grant Announced

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $5M grant to Dr. Bevlee Watford as PI and CoPIs, Dr. Walter Lee, and Dr. David Knight. Their project is titled: The Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students (VT-NETS).


Advisor of the Month

The Office of Undergraduate Advising has recognized Alexis Ward as Advisor of the Month for June.







NSF Grant Announced

NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $199,920 grant to Dr. Diana Bairaktarova as PI and CoPI, Dr. Scott Huxtable (ME). Their project is titled: Collaborative Research: vObjects - Understanding their Utility to Enhance Learning of Abstract and Complex Engineering Concepts.


NSF Grant Announced

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $1,077,034.00 grant to Dr. Jake Grohs as PI and CoPIs, Dr. Holly Matusovich, Dr. Liesl Baum (ICAT & EngE Affiliate Faculty), Dr. Gary Kirk (VT Engage), and Dr. Cheryl Carrico as a Research Associate. Their project is titled: Community-Engaged Engineering Interventions with Appalachian Youth.…

This grant includes a full-time Senior Project Associate that the team is currently searching to hire.


The Department Welcomes Two New Professor's of Practice

Dr. Homero Murzi will join the Department of Engineering Education this fall as a Professor of Practice. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Queensland. Dr. Murzi graduated from Virginia Tech with a PhD in Engineering Education and holds his master's and bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering from the National Experimental University of Tachira (Venezuela), and an MBA from Temple University. He was recognized during his time at Virginia Tech as a Diversity Scholar, a GTA Academy of Excellence member, and was inducted into the Bouchet Honor Society.

Matthew James will join the Department of Engineering Education this fall as a Professor of Practice. He is currently working in the Site Development industry as a Design Engineer for Draper Aden Associates in Blacksburg, VA. Professor James graduated from Virginia Tech with a master's and bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. He also holds his Professional Engineering license in both Virginia and Tennessee. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time outdoors, playing music, and running.


New Department Head Announcement

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jennifer “Jenni” Case, a leader in engineering education research, will be our new department head this falll! Jenni currently serves as professor in the department of chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She will begin her role as department head on August 10, 2017.

Jenni’s research has been recognized by the National Research Foundation of South Africa as a “leading international scholar in the field.” Jenni’s research focus is on improving the quality of student learning in tertiary science and engineering programs. Jenni joined the UCT community in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2012. Previously, Jenni was employed by Herschel Senior School in Cape Town, South Africa. Jenni has held several leadership positions over the past years including Director of Undergraduate Studies for Chemical Engineering, Director of the Centre for Research in Engineering Education, Head of Curriculum Reform Project for Chemical Engineering, and as Assistant Dean for Academic Development, Faculty of Engineering, and the Built Environment for the university. Jenni has received numerous accolades, among them are: the meritorious book award from UTC in 2015, the National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award in 2013, member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, Distinguished Teacher’s award, and the President’s Award from the National Research Foundation.


PhD Candidate, John Morelock has won the Best Paper Award in the Industrial Engineering Division of ASEE this year. John's paper was titled, "Decision-Making, Information Seeking, and Compromise: A Simulation Game Activity in Global Industrial Management".  His co-authors were Dr. Alejandro Salado and Mr. Arash Baghaei Lakeh, both from the  Virginia Tech Grado Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. They each will be acknowledged at the ASEE Awards Banquet next month in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Lisa McNair was this year's recipient of the W.S. “Pete” White Award for Innovation in Engineering Education. The award is in honor of Pete White, a 1948 graduate of Virginia Tech, that was established by American Electric Power to encourage new interest in the teaching of engineering and to improve the learning process.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $298,599 grant to Dr. Jake Grohs as PI and CoPIs, Drs. David Knight & Scott Case, who is from BEAM. The project is titled: Investing in Instructors: Creating Intelligent Feedback Loops in Large Foundational Courses for Undergraduate Engineering.


Ben Lutz successfully defended his doctoral dissertation today titled, Into the Workplace: Exploring the Learning Experiences of Newcomer Engineers during the School-to-Work Transition.  

Three of our PhD students, Karis Boyd-Sinkler, Sreyoshi Bhaduri, and Darren Maczka were recognized as part of the Graduate School's 2017 Diversity Scholars, as they presented their projects during a Diversity Spotlight program.

Dr. Jake Grohs for being awarded with the 2017 Charles and Joan Nunnally Outstanding Engineering Education Faculty Member Award.  It was presented by Intermin Department Head, Dr. Donna Riley.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $257,205 grant to Dr. Liesl Baum as PI (ICAT, EngE Affiliate Faculty) and CoPIs: Dr. Jake Grohs, Dr. Marie Paretti, Marlena Lester (EngE) and Julee Farley and Phyllis Newbill (both from ICAT). The project is titled: Community Cultures: Broadening Participation By Understanding How Rural Communities Support Engineering as College Major Choice.


Jake Grohs has been accepted into the VT Engage Faculty Fellows program for 2017-2019. His project involves infusing community-engaged learning into certain sections of ENGE 1216.

Marlena McGlothlin Lester, Director of Advising, for receiving the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Award in the Advising Administrator category.  This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional advising abilities in a leadership role.

Sue Teel, executive assistant and office manager in the department of engineering education in the College of Engineering, has received the university’s 2017 President’s Award for Excellence.



Andrea M. Ogilvie successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled, Understanding Transfer Student Pathways to Engineering Degrees: A Multi-Institutional Study Based in Texas.  

Drs. Walter Lee and David Knight on their new grant awarded by the National Science Foundation titled, EAGER: Student Support in STEM: Developing and validating a tool to assess the magnitude of college-level support provided to undergraduate students.


Glenda Young successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled, Preparing Students for Professional Work Environments Through University-Industry Partnerships: A Single Case Study of the Co-op Development Program.

Cass Groen successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled, Advancing from Outsider to Insider: A Grounded Theory of Professional Identity Negotiation.


Dr. Nicole Pitterson will join the Department of Engineering Education as an assistant professor Fall 2017. She is currently working as a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University. Dr. Pitterson graduated from Purdue University December 2015 with a PhD in Engineering Education and holds other degrees in Manufacturing Engineering from Western Illinois University (M.Sc.) and Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Technology, Jamaica (B.Sc.). In 2015, she was awarded the Purdue University School of Engineering Education Outstanding Student Service Award.

Sreyoshi Bhaduri, Darren Maczka and Michelle Soledad were selected by the VT Graduate School to become Fellows in the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence. Yousef Jalali and Ramon Benitez were selected as Members of the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence.


David Reeping was selected as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow.  David's project will look across the United States, at university staff that are tasked with sorting through transfer​ credits from courses carried into institutions by new​ and current​ students, particularly​ those admitted from community colleges.​ ​ From the students' perspective, the intent may be to get ahead or to retake a class, but not all ​​transfer credit is created​ equally. T​he proposal is split two ​ways​ to see the different dimensions of course articulation, both the process and its aftermath. On one ​side​, the project seeks​ to​ understand the decision making process of articulating courses​​ at different institutions. The second ​side​ looks at transfer credit in action​​; student course taking patterns across multiple disciplines of engineering will be studied through the lens of microeconomics and finance to examine the long term effects of​ student choice​ and​ curricular policies​.

David is advised by Dr. David Knight