The Institute is led by a diverse team of faculty representing disciplines in the humanities, engineering, sciences, and business. Institute faculty have extensive experience with all facets of project work—from classroom implementation and coordination of student project work around the globe to leading curricular change, spearheading faculty development, and supporting project-based learning across the curriculum. Each team will be mentored by one or more Institute faculty whose expertise aligns with the team’s needs, and the entire faculty will be available for consultation and guidance.
“Project-based learning is my favorite way to teach; I use projects in my courses on material science. In particular, I enjoy advising students doing service learning projects in their junior year as an interdisciplinary degree requirement.”
Marja Bakermans is an Associate Teaching Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where she is an instructor in both the first-year Great Problems Seminar Program and the Biology & Biotechnology Department. Marja possesses a strong commitment to student education and research, and a goal of hers is to stimulate students’ critical thinking and problem solving abilities while addressing ecological and conservation problems. Marja has presented work related to her teaching at multiple conferences and workshops including Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER), Ecological Society of America (ESA), and WPI’s Institute on Project-based Learning. Marja has a well-grounded research background, which informs her teaching of interdisciplinary topics. With >25 peer-reviewed and extension publications, Marja works to incorporate current research into classroom discussion. Her current research uses the latest GPS technology to identify and characterize habitat used by migrating and wintering Eastern Whip-poor-will populations to effectively identify priority habitats.
RANDY BASS – GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Randy Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). He has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for nearly thirty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a five-year scholarship of teaching and learning project involving 70 faculty on 21 university and college campuses. From 2003-2009 he was a Consulting Scholar for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he served, in 1998-99, as a Pew Scholar and Carnegie Fellow. In 1999, he won the EDUCAUSE Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Undergraduate Education. He is the author or editor of numerous books, articles and digital projects, including recently, “Disrupting Ourselves: the Problem of Learning in Higher Education,” (EDUCAUSE Review March/April 2012); with Bret Eynon, Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the New Digital Ecosystem (American Association of Colleges and Universities, 2016); and with Jessie L. Moore, Understanding Writing Transfer: Implications for Transformative Student Learning (Stylus, 2017).
J. ELIZABETH CLARK-LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
J. Elizabeth Clark, Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College/City University of New York, teaches composition, children’s literature, and the capstone course in the Liberal Arts. Her scholarly interests include children’s literature, teaching with technology, ePortfolio and digital rhetoric. She is a graduate of Lycoming College (B.A.) and Binghamton University (M.A. and Ph.D.). She has been part of LaGuardia’s dynamic ePortfolio team since 2002. Her critical work on teaching writing, technology, reflection, and ePortfolios has appeared in journals such as: Computers and Composition, Peer Review, and The Journal of Basic Writing. She regularly presents on teaching with technology and ePortfolios and is delighted to return to WPI’s 2021 Institute on Project-Based Learning Institute, a highlight of her summer!
COREY DEHNER – WPI
Corey Denenberg Dehner is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies. She worked for over five years as Director of the Worcester Community Project Center, growing applicants to the Center by 300% in her time as Director. She is founder and Co-Director of the Massachusetts Water Resource Outreach Center. In her time at WPI, she has advised more than 50 projects both domestically and abroad.
She has worked with numerous governmental and not-for-profit organizations on development of stormwater, drinking water, environmental justice and dam removal policies within the state. Corey received the 2013 Journal Award of Special Recognition from the New England Water Works Association for her research on the impact of public drinking water management structures on quality and affordability of water. She received her BA in Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, her Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School and her PhD in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.
CHRYSANTHE DEMETRY – WPI
Chrysanthe (Chrys) Demetry is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI. She earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from WPI and a PhD in Ceramics (Materials Science and Engineering) from MIT. She returned to WPI as a faculty member in 1993. She has received the WPI Trustees’ Awards for Outstanding Teaching, Advising, and Service, along with the CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award for the state of Massachusetts. Since 2006 Chrys has served as Director of WPI’s Center for Educational Development and Assessment, which was renamed the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center in 2010. In that role, she serves as a key partner in efforts to sustain and strengthen WPI’s commitment to high quality, innovative, project-based teaching and learning through instructional development programs and resources, oversight of new faculty programs and TA/PLA training, support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, and strategic initiatives related to faculty development. As co-PI on WPI’s ADVANCE Adaptation grant from the National Science Foundation (2018-2022), she is on a team leading efforts to address gender inequities among mid-career tenured and non-tenure track faculty with promotion reform and broader notions of scholarship.
JOHN GALANTE – WPI
John Galante is a Historian of Latin America, Migration, and Global Systems. His scholarship focuses on how migrants and their children navigate their relationships and social positions between countries of origin and residence—and the impacts that migrant and ethnic communities can have on notions of belonging related to ethnicity, race, nationalism, and social inclusion/exclusion. At WPI, John teaches courses in International and Global Studies, Latin American Studies, and Global History as well as capstone inquiry seminars in which WPI students conduct individualized research projects in the Humanities & Arts.
LORRAINE HIGGINS – WPI
Lorraine Higgins earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University in 1992, where she was also an affiliated researcher at the Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, CMU/Berkley, publishing numerous articles on writing, argumentation and literacy. As former director of The Community Literacy Center in Pittsburgh, PA, a nationally acclaimed community-university collaborative, Higgins founded the ARGUE project, engaging inner-city youth and community organizations in writing for change. Higgins was an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Pittsburgh until she joined the faculty of WPI in 2003, where she directed the Communication Across the Curriculum Program and taught writing and rhetoric in the Humanities and Arts Department. She is currently a Teaching Professor and Professional Development Coordinator working with the Department of Integrative Studies at WPI. Higgins has served as a faculty advisor for students in 10 project centers around the globe, and since 2016 has co-directed WPI’s Melbourne, Australia Project Centre with Steve McCauley.
CAITLIN KELLER – WPI
Caitlin Keller is an Instructional Designer at WPI, primarily supporting faculty in developing courses for online, blended, and active learning environments. Caitlin has worked with the Center for Project-Based Learning on the design and facilitation of multiple workshops and as a consultant for course design initiatives at partner institutions. Caitlin holds a Master’s degree from Drexel University in Learning Technologies and Instructional Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Lebanon Valley College. Prior to joining WPI, Caitlin was a high school chemistry teacher focused on inclusive inquiry-based pedagogy.
KIMBERLY LECHASSUER – WPI
As a Research & Evaluation Associate with the Center for Project-Based Learning, Kimberly LeChasseur focuses on what we know about the value of project-based learning, both here at WPI and at other colleges and universities where the Center is facilitating professional learning. She helps those at the Center and others invested in project-based learning at the college level to clarify, document, communicate, and use what they know about their work to improve the quality of project-based learning strategies in action. Kimberly facilitates professional learning about how to research and evaluate project-based learning and is available to co-design and draft evaluation plans, inform the selection or creation of assessments, and analyze data about the value and areas in need of improvement for research and evaluation of project-based learning. Kimberly has a joint appointment with the Morgan Center for Teaching and Learning where she focuses on supporting faculty in crafting strong scholarship on teaching and learning.
AARTI S. MADAN – WPI
Aarti S. Madan is an Associate Professor in WPI’s Department of Humanities & Arts (HUA). In addition to directing the HUA Buenos Aires Project Center, she has advised two cohorts of junior-year capstone students in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica and number of Minor and Major Capstone projects in Spanish and International Studies. She holds undergraduate degrees in Spanish and English from Birmingham-Southern College, where she experienced her first forays into PBL and became convinced of its value as a high-impact learning experience. With a PhD in Latin American Literary & Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Aarti centers her teaching and scholarship on the ways spatial practices inform the production and consumption of literature, film, and art in Latin America. In 2013 she was awarded the Moruzzi Prize for Innovation in Undergraduate Education and has continued to experiment with new pedagogies, most recently unessays and ungrading. She’s the author of Lines of Geography in Latin American Narrative: National Territory, National Literature (Palgrave, 2017), essays in journals like MLN, Romance Notes, and Dissidences, and book chapters on geo- and ecocritical practices in Latin America & India.
RYAN MADAN – WPI
Ryan Smith Madan is an Associate Teaching Professor of Writing & Rhetoric at WPI, where he also directs the university Writing Center. He earned his PhD in English: Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, & Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh. In his 10 years at WPI he has incorporated project-based learning into many of his writing & rhetoric courses; he has also been faculty advisor for junior-level capstone projects abroad (in Costa Rica and Australia) and senior thesis projects of Professional Writing majors.
His research interests focus on the roles of writing instruction within institutions and the faculty development strategies that can help instructors (and students) foreground competing purposes for writing at the university—purposes that have consequences for assignment design, assignment sequencing, and instructor feedback. His scholarship has been published in Writing on the Edge, Reader, and Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion.
CHARLES MORSE – WPI
Charles Morse is the Associate Dean of Student Development & Director of Counseling at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Fifteen years ago he and his team at the WPI Student Development & Counseling Center (SDCC) developed a classroom seminar on “Student Project Team Dynamics” which was designed to enhance student teamwork and conflict management skills. Since then Charlie and SDCC staff have delivered this seminar hundreds of times at the invitation of faculty. Additionally, he and the SDCC staff developed and offer a two-part consultation model for faculty to refer under functioning student teams to in an effort to help them better understand and improve upon their team dynamics. Charlie authored a book chapter on “Managing Team Dynamics and Conflict on Student Project Teams” in the book Project-Based Learning in the First Year published in 2019. Charlie has served as core faculty at WPI’s Summer Institute for Project Based Learning for the past five years.
RODICA NEAMTU – WPI
Rodica Neamtu is an Associate Professor (TRT) in the Computer Science Department at WPI. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the Bucharest Project Center. She is affiliated with the Data Science and Neuroscience Programs. Rodica conducts research that investigates how to develop and leverage ground-breaking techniques to explore time series datasets at the confluence of theoretical computer science and application domains like medicine, neuroscience, economics, and complex decision making. Her interdisciplinary research collaborations range from her newly co-founded Data-Driven Materials Science Research Group, to Brain Wave Analytics, Data Series Management, and using Machine learning to create mobile applications for Augmentative Alternative Communication for people with disabilities. Rodica works each year with more than 35 students engaged in projects that aim to offer practical solutions to global problems.
Co-directing a project center allows her to contribute to building a strong connection between the two cultures that she is deeply anchored in. Rodica is committed to help students explore other cultures, understand the issues that they are facing, and become part of impactful initiatives to mitigate them. Advising project teams is one of the most engaging and rewarding aspects of her work.
With more than fifteen years of teaching experience in various academic institutions, Rodica is committed to use her love and talent for teaching and research to empower others through education to make a difference in the world.
GEOFFREY PFEIFER – WPI
Geoff Pfeifer is Associate Professor of Philosophy and International and Global Studies (TRT) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He teaches philosophy courses, global studies courses, and for WPI’s distinctive project-based Great Problems Seminars Program for first-year students. His research and teaching interests center around social and political philosophy, global and social justice, critical theory, and critical pedagogies. His work with Lisa Stoddard in this last area of interest has focused on helping students and faculty understand the impact of institutionalized forms of racism, sexism, stereotyping, and bias in their classrooms and pedagogical methods. Together they have developed and piloted a number of modules that help students and faculty understand and address the ways that such biases impact student learning, student teams, and campus communities. This work is ongoing with an eye toward making it responsive to multiple contexts. In addition to a number of book chapters, Geoff’s work can be found in Philosophy and Social Criticism, Globalizations, Human Studies, The European Legacy, Crisis and Critique, Continental Thought and Theory, Contemporary Perspectives in Social Theory, and The Journal of Global Ethics. He is also the co-editor (with West Gurley) of Phenomenology and the Political (Roman and Littlefield International, 2016) and author of The New Materialism: Althusser, Badiou, and Žižek (Routledge, 2015).
LEN POLIZZOTTO – WPI
Len Polizzotto is currently Distinguished Executive in Residence and an Affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; an Executive in Residence at Northeastern University; and a partner in The Practice of Innovation. He works with faculty and students to help them focus their research and projects on important needs. In addition, he is working with a team of neuro-intensive care clinicians in an effort to find a cure for coma.
Prior to WPI, he retired as Draper Laboratory’s Vice President for new programs, leveraging Draper’s technologies for new applications including establishing Draper’s energy business and leading two medical consortia. One focused on real time decision support to clinicians in the ICU and one focused on developing multimodal bio markers for PTSD. In addition, he established Draper’s Bioengineering Center on the USF campus in Tampa, Florida to develop implantable medical devices.
Prior to joining Draper in 2007, Polizzotto was Vice President at SRI International, where he established a proteomic drug development center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a center for oceanographic research in St. Petersburg, Florida, and helped develop and teach innovation workshops to company executives throughout the world. Previously he was Vice President for new business development at the Polaroid Corporation, responsible for establishing partnerships to develop new consumer and industrial products, including instant immunoassay tests for selective biomarkers.
Between corporate positions, Polizzotto directed the Center for the Globalization of Technology and taught courses in engineering and design at WPI, including the study, application, and teaching of innovation best practices, where he developed the “3 Cs” for helping identify new business opportunities and the “Value Factor Analysis” for maximizing the value of new products. He founded two biomedical companies, one for evoked potential monitoring and another for remote control of oxygen delivery for COPD patients.
He is a Charter Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. He received his Ph.D. in visual sciences, combining electrical engineering, perceptual psychology, and ophthalmology, from Tufts University. He earned M.S. and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was an NCAA Post Graduate Scholar. Additionally, he completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He holds twelve patents and is the author of articles on human color perception, digital imaging, microphotography, and innovation. He has also published two books on drum set playing instruction.
KENT RISSMILLER – WPI
Kent Rissmiller is the interim Dean of the Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Since coming to WPI in 1988, Professor Rissmiller has been involved in the development and growth of the Global Projects Program at WPI. The program sends over 1000 students yearly to domestic and international project centers to complete WPI’s junior year, interactive project requirement. He has advised over 100 projects, including projects that have involved students in legal studies and in survey and interview research in Worcester, London, Zurich, Washington, San Juan, Puerto Rico and San Jose, Costa Rica. As Dean and as Associate Dean, he supervises WPI’s academic preparation for students in the global program and is also responsible for assessment of their projects with regard to WPI’s learning outcomes. In addition to other roles, he chairs WPI’s Institutional Research Board. Professor Rissmiller holds a PhD in political science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a JD from the University of New Hampshire Law School.
Angela Incollingo Rodriguez is an assistant professor of Psychological & Cognitive Sciences and a faculty member in the new WPI Neuroscience Initiative. In addition to collaborating on interdisciplinary research teams across campus – including the Chronic Pain Research Group – she also directs her own lab – the WPI Stigma Eating & Endocrinology Dynamics (SEED) Lab.
Her research program uses a biopsychosocial approach to study health and health behaviors. She conducts research at the intersection of social phenomena (such as weight stigma), biomarkers (such as the stress hormone cortisol), and psychological factors (such as perceived stress and pain-related distress). Her work follows two core arcs investigating (1) biopsychosocial predictors and consequences of eating, not eating (i.e. dieting), and obesity; and (2) weight stigma and its consequences for physical and mental health, which she is currently extending into the novel context of pregnancy and postpartum health. Her integrated research collaborations focus on stress and health as it relates to pressing societal issues such as discrimination, health disparities, chronic pain, addictive behaviors, and learning.
ZOE REIDINGER – WPI
Zoe Reidinger is associate teaching professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Reidinger teaches a range of introductory and high-level courses and is an associate director of the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center. Reidinger has served as co-principal investigator on grants funded by the National Science Foundation to improve engineering education and research opportunities for WPI students, as well as students from around the country, from underrepresented groups. In addition to improving engineering education, Reidinger’s interests include engineering design for marginalized populations, biomaterials, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ students. Reidinger earned a BS from Virginia Commonwealth University and a PhD from WPI.
VALERIE SMEDILE RIFKIN – WPI
Valerie Smedile Rifkin is an Instructional Designer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She assists faculty with the design, development, and delivery of both online and face-to-face courses, with the goal of promoting a positive and engaging learning experience for all students. Valerie has 15 years of experience working in higher education, primarily in online graduate education, faculty support, and instructional design. She holds an M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology and an M.A. in Anthropology from Brandeis University.
DERREN ROSBACH – WPI
Derren Rosbach is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies (TRT) at WPI in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies. He teaches courses and advises student research that focuses on a number of areas of sustainability including energy, water, food, ecology, and planning in the Great Problems Seminars, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Social Sciences and Policy Studies, and the Global Projects Program. His research and scholarship include work on transdisciplinary collaboration and project-based learning pedagogy for first year and sustainability courses. Derren’s academic and professional experience includes work in sustainable forestry, wildlife biology, microbial ecology, environmental and urban planning, graphic design, and craft brewing. He has been delivering workshops and coaching faculty through WPI’s Center for Project-Based learning since its inception in 2016.
AHMET CAN SABUNCU – WPI
Ahmet Can Sabuncu teaches Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His teaching interest is on mechanical engineering design and thermal and fluid engineering. The projects he advises originates from collaborations with industry, start-up companies or from an idea that involves a painpoint of a stakeholder. His research and professional interests are on engineering education research on laboratory oriented and experimental studies, renewable energy, and development of biomedical devices from idea to market. Dr. Sabuncu is eager to discover next generation workforce skills and to educate next generation of engineers who will carry industry 4.0 forward considering the needs of the global world.
GBETONMASSE SOMASSE – WPI
Gbeton Somasse has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor at WPI in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. He also directs WPI’s Cape Town Project Center in South Africa and regularly advises student projects in the Global Projects Program. An economist and applied econometrician, Somasse’s research focuses on economic development, public policy, and impact evaluation, with an interest in education, technology, environment, social justice, and Africa. As an educator, he uses project-based learning in his economics courses and is interested in student motivation for and resistance to active learning. His other interests include experiential learning in the classroom and the use of critical reflection and e-portfolios to promote more intentional learning by students. Somasse has presented his work on teaching at conferences and workshops including AEA’s Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education (CTREE), Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER), and IEEE’s Integrated STEM Education Conference (ISEC). He earned a PhD in economics at Clark University and a Master in statistics at the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (Cote d’Ivoire).
SARAH STANLICK – WPI
Sarah Stanlick, Ph.D., is a faculty member in Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She was the founding director of Lehigh University’s Center for Community Engagement and faculty member in Sociology and Anthropology. She previously taught at Centenary College of New Jersey and was a researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School, assisting the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She belongs to organizations like the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE), as well as co-chairing the Imagining America Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) research team. She has published in journals such as The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, The Social Studies, and the Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education. Her research interests include health and human rights, global citizenship & civic identity development, and how technology can empower, connect, and support vulnerable populations.
ELISABETH (LISA) STODDARD – WPI
Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard is an Associate Teaching Professor at WPI in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, and teaches in the Great Problem Seminar Program through the Global School Stoddard is also the director of the Farm Stay Project Center. Stoddard’s teaching and research focuses on different areas of social justice, including environmental, food, and health justice, as well as social justice in STEM education and critical pedagogies. Stoddard, Geoff Pfeifer, and their colleagues have received multiple grants to examine issues of bias and stereotyping on undergraduate student project teams, and the impact this has on student learning and experience. Some of this work and associated resources can be found in Stoddard, Elisabeth; G Pfeifer. 2018. Working Toward More Equitable Team Dynamics: Mapping Student Assets to Minimize Stereotyping and Task Assignment Bias. ASEE Paper ID 22206. This work can also be found in a book chapter by Pfeifer and Stoddard in Stoddard’s 2019 co-edited volume Project-Based Learning in the First Year: Beyond All Expectations, from Stylus Publishers.
YUNUS TELLIEL – WPI
Yunus Doğan Telliel is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Rhetoric. He co-leads WPI’s Public Interest Technology Initiative and NSF Research Traineeship Program on Robots in the Future of Work. His teaching is animated by an intellectual curiosity about how ideas travel across time and space, and generate diverse practices of acting, seeing, and being in the world. He is especially intrigued by situations in which people come to ask new questions about themselves and others, in ways that require reconsideration of past experiences and imagining of future possibilities. Such situations, he believes, capture an important aspect of human condition—the intertwining trajectories of power and authority, on the one hand, and creativity and innovation, on the other. He is currently finishing a monograph that focuses on a similar situation by analyzing how young urban Muslims navigate religious texts and traditional interpretations within the framework of secularism and modern science. His recent research project focuses on ethical imagination and design in engineering. He teaches a range of courses on rhetoric and culture, science and engineering communication, and technology ethics. Inspired by WPI’s ethos of project-based learning, his classes are structured around team projects that help students see themselves and their classmates as active participants in the process of knowledge production and dissemination.
ROBERT TRAVER – WPI
Rob Traver is a Teaching Professor within the WPI Global School and the Project Center Director for Asuncion, Paraguay. He has held positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as Lecturer on Education and Program Administrator of the Harvard College Undergraduate Teacher Education Program and served two years on the Board of Editors of the Harvard Educational Review. His academic education publications appear in Educational Theory, Teachers College Record and the Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, 2nd ed. Practitioner oriented papers appear in The Science Teacher and Educational Leadership. He has coached higher education project-based learning teams since the inception of WPI’s Project Based Learning Institute and offered workshops on writing and assessment. A chapter, “Assessment of Project-Based Learning in the First Year” with Rebecca Ziino Plotke in Project-Based Learning in the First Year: Beyond all Expectations (2019) may be of interest to Institute participants.
Richard F. Vaz is Professor of Integrative and Global Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He earned the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from WPI, and has served on the WPI faculty since 1987. From 2006 to 2016 Rick served as Dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, overseeing the Interactive Qualifying Project, an interdisciplinary research project requirement, and the Global Projects Program, a worldwide network of 50 centers where more than 1000 students and faculty per year address problems for local agencies and organizations. In 2016, he established WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning, which has provided support to over 160 colleges and universities looking to enhance student learning with project experiences. He currently supports the Center as a Senior Fellow.
Rick’s interests include experiential and global learning, faculty development, curricular reform, and institutional change. He has authored over 70 peer-reviewed or invited publications and directed student research projects in 15 locations worldwide, including Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Namibia, Puerto Rico, and Thailand. From 2004 to 2010 he was a Senior Science Fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In 2016 he was awarded the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.
KRISTIN WOBBE – WPI
Kristin Wobbe is co-director of WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning and the director of the Great Problems Seminar program, WPI’s first year projects program. Her teaching awards include the Moruzzi Prize for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, and she a corecipient of the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education awarded by the National Academy of Engineering. She received her BA in chemistry from St. Olaf College and her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University. She is the co-editor of Project-Based Learning in the First Year: Beyond all Expectations (Stylus, 2019). Other recent publications appear in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning and Diversity and Democracy.
SARAH WODIN-SCHWARTZ – WPI
Sarah Wodin-Schwartz has been promoted to associate teaching professor in the Department of Mechanical Education. She designs her courses and assignments to help students understand the environmental, social, ethical, and physical impacts of engineering projects on individuals and communities. Sarah uses high impact practices such as projects, hands-on learning, and flipped classroom to engage all students, while particularly targeting underrepresented students in STEM. She has received the Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award. She has published her research at conferences and workshops and advises student teams on design projects. A mentor to several student groups, including Engineers Without Borders, she also participates in Camp Reach, a STEM summer programs targeting at middle school girls. She earned a BS at Smith College and an MS and PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.