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Choosing the Road Less Traveled: Ten Years Later

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Faculty Career Development

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.307.1 - 25.307.8



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Paper Authors


Lisa G. Bullard North Carolina State University

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Lisa G. Bullard is a teaching professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from NC State and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She served in engineering and management positions within Eastman Chemical Co. from 1991-2000. A faculty member at NCSU since 2000, Bullard has won numerous awards for both teaching and advising, including being named as an NCSU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, the ASEE Raymond W. Fahien Award, the John Wiley Premier Award for Engineering Education Courseware, NCSU Faculty Advising Award, National Effective Teaching Institute Fellow, NCSU Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, George H. Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award, ASEE Southeastern Section New Teacher Award, and ASEE-ERM Apprentice Faculty Grant Award. Bullard’s research interests lie in the area of educational scholarship, including teaching and advising effectiveness, academic integrity, process design instruction, and the integration of writing, speaking, and computing within the curriculum.

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Penny M. Knoll Montana State University

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Penny Knoll is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the undergraduate Construction Engineering Technology (CET) and master’s of construction engineering management (MCEM) in the Department of Civil Engineering at Montana State University. She received her B.S. in construction and a master’s in science in construction management from Arizona State University. Her professional construction career spans from 1988 to 2000, working for two commercial general contractors and owning her own design-build firm in Phoenix, Ariz. She joined the faculty at Montana State University in Jan. 2000 as an Adjunct Instructor in CET/MCEM and has risen through the ranks to a tenured professional practice track faculty member. Knoll has won three Teaching in Excellence awards during her tenure at MSU and has served or is serving on several national committees, currently the Board of Governors for the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), the Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 Director from 2006 to 2009, and the Educational Chair for the State Chapter of the National Association of Home Builders from 2003 to 2006. Knoll’s collaboration with the local and state chapters of AGC and NAHB are key to her program’s success. She coordinators the career internship program for the Department of Civil Engineering each summer. Knoll’s teaching interest lie in the area of construction project management; safety and overall leadership skills required for students to be successful in their careers.

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Ann Saterbak Rice University

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Ann Saterbak is professor in the practice of bioengineering education and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs for the Bioengineering Department at Rice. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and biochemistry at Rice in 1990 and a doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After working at Shell for several years, she returned to Rice in 1999, where she was in on the ground floor of the nascent Bioengineering Department. Saterbak has developed laboratory courses in tissue culture, tissue engineering, bioprocessing, systems physiology, and mechanical testing. For that work, she received an ASEE National Award, the Robert G. Quinn Award for Excellence in Laboratory Instruction. She has also implemented new pedagogical methods and teaching standards to broaden students’ problem solving skills, scientific and technological literacy through real-world problems, problem- and project-based learning, and hands-on experiences. She also teaches Introduction to Engineering Design (ENGI 120) for the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership. In 2011, she won the George R. Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the university’s highest teaching award.

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Choosing The Road Less Traveled: Ten Years LaterLisa Bullard, Penny Knoll, Ann SaterbakNorth Carolina State University / Montana State University / Rice UniversityIn 2002 the authors presented an ASEE paper entitled, “Choosing the Road Less Traveled:Alternatives to the Tenure Track.” In this paper, three engineering educators with less than threeyears of experience related how their interests, priorities, and family situations led them to seekout non-tenure track faculty positions. From their perspective as new faculty, they candidlydiscussed the benefits as well as the drawbacks of the paths they had taken. The original paperconcluded by saying, “At this point the biggest unknown is the long-term satisfaction in andevolution of their non-traditional academic roles.”Ten years later, all three remain at their original institutions, and their careers and professionallives have developed in both expected and unexpected ways. With the benefit of thatperspective, the authors share how their professional roles have developed over a decade, howthey are regarded within the department, and their satisfaction with the work and life balance thattheir roles provide. This is an important area of discussion because studies show thatapproximately 65 percent of all new faculty appointments in academia are now non-tenure track,with part-time non-tenure-track faculty appointments making up the bulk of that percentage.Since the original paper ten years ago, Lisa has been promoted to Teaching Professor, one of thefirst faculty members at NC State in the College of Engineering to successfully navigate thepromotion process on the non-tenured Teaching Professor track. She has won multipleuniversity and national awards for teaching, advising, and educational scholarship. Lisa servesas a mentor for new faculty at NC State in both the teaching and advising realms.Ann has been promoted to a Professor in the Practice and serves as Associate Chair for theDepartment of Bioengineering. In addition to receiving several grants for educational materialsdevelopment, she co-authored the textbook Bioengineering Fundamentals. She has served on theASEE Board of Directors and won the ASEE Quinn Award for Excellence in LaboratoryInstruction. In 2011, she won Rice University’s highest teaching award. She also had a secondchild in 2005.Soon after the initial paper presentation, Penny was made “pseudo-program coordinator” of herundergraduate Construction Engineering Technology (CET) and Master’s of ConstructionEngineering Management (MCEM) while still working as an adjunct instructor. In 2004 she waspromoted to professional track tenure Assistant Professor and named the official ProgramCoordinator. She was recently tenured and promoted to Associated Professor and continues tocoordinate both programs. She was the first professional track tenured faculty in her College ofEngineering.

Bullard, L. G., & Knoll, P. M., & Saterbak, A. (2012, June), Choosing the Road Less Traveled: Ten Years Later Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21065

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