Interview with New MSE Director for Undergraduate Programs

On being an NCSU alumna…

I graduated with a BS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering in 2004. I was really interested in returning to the Triangle area because of the many opportunities in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education. I feel very fortunate to have found a home in MSE, and it was a good fit for me because of my research background in biomaterials.

On my previous education and research background…

I completed a PhD in Bioengineering at Clemson in 2010. My dissertation research was focused on the fabrication of bench-top breast tissue models with the use of inkjet bio-printing techniques. I was also given many K-12 outreach opportunities as a graduate student, and I was able to complete a graduate certificate in engineering and science education. This is where I found my passion for educating the public about engineering research and career paths. After I finished my graduate work, I joined the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson, which allowed me to transition my engineering outreach interests to more rigorous and robust education research. My current work focuses on the intersection among science identity, math identity, engineering preconceptions, and engineering career choice in the key decision-making years during the transition from high school to college.

On my role as DUP of MSE

I get to do exactly what I love, which is work with students and help them to be successful in college and beyond. As Director of Undergraduate Programs my main goals are to direct undergraduate advising, recruitment, and curriculum assessment. My goal as DUP is to double MSE undergraduate student enrollment by increasing awareness of our program among the NCSU student population as well as recruit top-notch students. Within the next year I aim to strengthen participation in our MSE student organizations, improve student involvement in MSE outreach events, and provide students with more opportunities for research and mentoring.

On future goals for MSE

My future goals for the MSE department will involve promoting new avenues for non-traditional students to be successful in our program. Once we have been successful in expanding our undergraduate student population I plan to focus on making the MSE program more flexible to allow seamless integration of professional development activities including internships, co-ops, and study abroad programs.