Rick Vaz, Director of the Center for Project-Based Learning and former Dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, oversaw the expansion of WPI’s Global Projects Program from 18 locations in 2006 to 46 locations in 2015, including new programs in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. In that time, Vaz helped drive an increase in student participation in off-campus project programs, from 40 percent to over 70 percent, and a doubling of faculty participation in those programs. He oversees efforts to evaluate and enhance the quality of WPI’s interdisciplinary research project requirement; from 2012 to 2014, he directed a major study evaluating the long-term impacts of 38 years’ worth of project work by WPI alumni. In 2015, he led the development and delivery of WPI’s first Institute on Project-Based Learning, an initiative to help other colleges and universities make progress implementing project-based learning on their campuses.
In January 2016, Rick was named the inaugural Director of WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning.