Joining the department of Engineering Education is like coming home for Michelle Soledad, one of our newest collegiate assistant professors.

The alum received her Engineering Education Ph.D. in 2019, with Dr. Jacob Grohs as her advisor, and served as the Director of Communications & International Engagement before transitioning to her recent roles as lecturer at The Ohio State and assistant professor at Minnesota State University.

Get to know a little more about Soledad with our top five getting to know you Qs:

Why Virginia Tech? What do you love about VT?

This will sound cliché, but as an alum, the department, Virginia Tech, and Blacksburg will always be home. The culture and community is something that has never left me, and I am happy to be home.

What’s your favorite thing about being a professor/faculty?

What I love the most about teaching is being able to engage with and be part of students' engineering journeys.

What does your research entail? What do you hope will come of it?

My research interests are at the intersection of the learning environment in fundamental engineering courses and faculty development. Ultimately, the goal is to provide faculty with the support and resources that they need so they can facilitate the kind of learning environment they would like for their courses, and in the process create positive learning experiences for students in these environments.

What originally got you interested in your work and/or research?

I have been teaching since 2008, and continue to derive inspiration from the experiences of the students I engaged with early in my career. Over the years, their stories have led me to ask, "what could I have done differently?" 

What advice do you have for graduate students looks to join the engineering education field?

The engineering education community is the most supportive and nurturing community that I have been a part of - and the work is rewarding and fulfilling, as we seek to make a difference in students' engineering journeys. Definitely a community where one can thrive in, with great opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative work and embark in careers in both industry and academia!