Current group members include
Teaching Associate Professor, Bioengineering
Dr. Jennifer Amos is a Teaching Associate Professor in Bioengineering (BioE). She is the Chair of the College of Engineering Assessment and Accreditation Committee. Amos also works as part of the Professional Development team for ABET, leading workshops to present best practices for assessment and evaluation. She is an Assessment Fellow for the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning and an affiliate of the Illinois Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (I-STEM) Education Initiative. She is leading many curriculum improvements including project-based strategies for education. She is also on the campus wide committee for the curriculum development of the new Engineering Based College of Medicine.
Mattox Beckman has a PhD in Computer Science from UIUC (2003), specializing in programming languages. After teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology for many years, he returned in Fall 2015 to teach for the computer science department. He is interested in understanding the mental models students form as they learn new concepts, particularly in regards to functional programming languages.
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology
Jennifer Cromley has a Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Educational Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park. Prior to her appointment in the College of Education at Illinois, she taught at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Her NSF and US Department of Education-funded research concerns comprehension of illustrated scientific text from middle school through the undergraduate years, and retention of undergraduate students in STEM.
Visiting Assistant Professor, iFoundry, and Research Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Geoffrey Herman earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UIUC as a Mavis Future Faculty Fellow. He is recipient of the 2011 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Grant. Visit his website here.
Michael C. Loui
Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Born in Philadelphia, Michael grew up in Honolulu. He graduated from Yale and M.I.T. in the early days of computer science. Although he previously conducted research in computational complexity theory and in professional ethics, he now focuses on engineering education research. He is interested in how pedagogies can promote student satisfaction, confidence, and motivation. He serves as Editor of Journal of Engineering Education. He directed the children’s choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Urbana for twelve years. Visit his website here.
Natasha has a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of the Philippines. She worked for nine years in industry as an application development engineer at 3M. She is a recipient of the International Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) which provided support for her research on women’s self-beliefs in engineering. Her dissertation on engineering self-efficacy was funded by the National Science Foundation Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education (RIGEE). Natasha’s research interests include gender differences and motivation in the context of engineering.
Assistant Vice President, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs University of Illinois
Sarah Zehr works full-time in the University of Illinois Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. She received her PhD in Higher Education in May 2016. Her research interests include experiential learning programs such as internships, cooperative education, and apprenticeships. Additional interests include higher education policy and international issues related to higher education. Before joining the University of Illinois, Sarah worked in consulting and in the nonprofit sector. Her higher education experience includes admissions, communications and marketing, career services, corporate relations, and public engagement. In addition to her current role, she also advocates for volunteering and civic leadership and works closely with the United Way.
Dr. Cross earned her Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2007. She earned her Masters of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2011 and completed her doctoral program in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech in 2015. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and working with multiple teams of engineering faculty on implementing and assessing instructional innovation. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion in STEM, teamwork and communication skills, assessment, and identity construction. Her teaching philosophy focuses on student centered approaches such as problem-based learning and culturally relevant pedagogy.
Dong San (commonly referred to as DS) was born in South Korea, raised in Northern Virginia, and now residing in Illinois. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia in 2008 and earned his B.S./M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U of I in 2012/2014. He is currently pursuing his Ph. D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interest includes the development of intrinsic motivation, grit, tenacity, and perseverance in engineering students.
Katherine is a Counseling Psychology doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Psychology. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Dayton in 2012 where she researched forgiveness, rumination, and perfectionism. She also worked as a research assistant in Human Factors Psychology studying issues pertaining mainly to vigilance and performance under stress. Katherine obtained her M.S. in Educational Psychology and completed her thesis concerning interest congruence and satisfaction in the workplace in December 2014. Katherine’s current research interests are relatively diverse including: values, vocation, motivation in the classroom, well-being, stigma, coping mechanisms, and social justice. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Faulkner is a long-time tutor and former high-school teacher from Idaho. His interests in Engineering Education include textbook design, development of student mathematical modeling, and engineering mathematics instruction. His goal is to become a professor at a four-year college teaching introductory and advanced electromagnetics. His hobbies include bicycling and table-top gaming.
Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Parkland College
Erika is a doctoral student in the department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a focus in Higher Education and specialization in Community College Leadership. She earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences, earning Distinction in Speech Communication and her M.Ed. in Human Resources Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Erika currently works at Parkland College in Champaign, IL as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include the rights and roles of community college faculty and learning outcomes assessment in the community college setting.
Amir is a doctoral student in Human Resource Development at College of Education at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2008 and his M.B.A. from University of Tehran in 2011. He has presented his research in past years at multiple conferences including American Evaluation Association, Congress for Qualitative Inquiry, and Academy of Human Resource Development. He is currently working on his dissertation on ethical decision making processes among computer majors. His research interests include ethics education, computer ethics, talent development, online learning, and evaluation. He can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.
Nicole received her B.S. in Engineering Physics at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in May 2013. She is currently working towards a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. In addition to her Materials Science research into making better solar cells, Nicole seeks to investigate computational literacy for engineers as well as self-efficacy among women in STEM fields. Outside of research she helps organize the Girls Learning About Materials summer camp for high school girls. She plans to be a professor at a four year university, teaching science courses and researching classroom reform. Her other interests include painting and table top gaming.
Athena is a senior studying materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois. She spent the summer of 2015 at Olin College of Engineering as part of the Summer Experience in Education Research (SEER) program. For her senior thesis research project, she is studying engineering students’ and faculty perceptions of the social responsibilities of engineers.
Marlon has Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science from Dominican University and Industrial Engineering Technology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign where his research interests include STEM education, Engineering Education and Pre-Engineering Education for traditionally underrepresented minorities. He volunteers his time as a FLL Robotics coach for a group of underrepresented minority middle school students.
Lance received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Mississippi State University and a master’s in mathematics from Illinois. He is currently a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction with an interest in conceptual analyses of mathematics topics that arise in undergraduate-level STEM education. Lance is actively involved with the Education Justice Project which affords higher education opportunities to men incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, a facility located about 40 minutes from campus. Currently, he serves as the project’s coordinator for math and science workshops.
Former group members include
Nick is a doctoral student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His current research interests include design learning, engineering innovation and creativity, human-centered design, cross-disciplinary teamwork, and decision-making. In his spare time he enjoys songwriting, team sports, distance running, and watching movies.
Smith & Associates, Houston
Born in Shanghai, Anwen came to Illinois full of passion and excitement. She received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Supervised by Prof. Loui, Anwen conducted an undergraduate research on “What should I do next? How advanced engineering students decide their post-baccalaureate plans”. Anwen then earned her M.ENG in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from University of California, Berkeley in 2013. Anwen currently works full time in Houston as a quality/process optimization engineer, highly motivated on improving software and industrial process flow efficiency. She enjoys reading, singing, jazz dance, and event planning.
Irene B. Mena
University of Pittsburgh
Irene B. Mena has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. She worked as a post-doctoral scholar at the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State University. Her research interests include ﬁrst-year engineering, faculty development, and graduate student professional development.
Rebecca M. Reck is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. In 2016, she received a Ph.D. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her master’s degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University in 2010. During her eight years at Rockwell Collins as a systems engineer, she contributed to the development of the new ProLine Fusion Flight Control System and served as the project lead for two aircraft. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a mathematics minor from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2005. Her research interests include control systems, mechatronics, instructional laboratories, and experiential learning. Visit her website here.
Renata Revelo Alonso
University of Illinois at Chicago
Renata was born in Ecuador and has lived in Illinois for most of her life. She attended Mundelein High School in the suburb of Mundelein. In 2015, she completed a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus in higher education. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the same university. Her research interests include engineering education, diversity, underrepresented student experience, student engagement, and mentoring. Visit her website here.
K. F. Trenshaw
K. F. Trenshaw is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University’s Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. He received the B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri in 2009, the M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011, and the PhD in Chemical Engineering, also from Illinois, in 2014. His research interests include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; supporting diversity in STEM fields with an emphasis on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students; and using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to improve students’ communication skills during group work. Visit his website here.