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Graduate Student Experiences And Mentor Benefits Of The Preparing Future Faculty Program In Engineering

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.655.1 - 14.655.11



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Paper Authors


Jin-Hwan Lee Georgia Institute of Technology

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JIN-HWAN LEE is a post-doctoral research fellow in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He has been awarded the Rindsberg fellowship to prepare academic careers and joined Preparing Future Faculty program. His research and teaching interests include biosensors and microfluidic biochips for MEMS/NEMS applications.

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Carla Purdy University of Cincinnati

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CARLA C. PURDY is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include intelligent systems and pattern recognition, computational biology and synthetic biology, and software and systems engineering. She directs the UC Preparing Future Faculty in Engineering program, which Jin-Hwan Lee participated in.

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Ian Papautsky University of Cincinnati

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IAN PAPAUTSKY received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Utah in 1999. He is currently a tenured Associate Professor of in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. His research and teaching interests include applications of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidics to solve medical and environmental problems. He was Jin-Hwan Lee’s academic research advisor at University of Cincinnati.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Graduate Student Experiences and Mentor Benefits of the Preparing Future Faculty Program in Engineering


The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering offers a college-wide Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program to address the need for more qualified faculty in engineering programs and to improve the overall educational environment. The UC PFF program consists of three one-hour courses and a mentored teaching component. The first course, in the Winter Quarter, provides information on basic effective teaching techniques for engineering, including Kolb learning styles, and how to organize a course. In addition, cultural differences and diversity are discussed in the context of science and engineering classes. The advanced teaching class in Spring Quarter emphasizes advanced pedagogical techniques including Bloom's taxonomy, concept maps, project and team management for developing leadership skills, teaching evaluations, proposal writing, and mentoring and being mentored. ABET engineering criteria a-k are applied to syllabus development, and students hold a mock NSF review panel based on a proposed project in engineering education. The final course, in Autumn Quarter, explores the academic job search process and the range of academic careers available. Panel discussions with new faculty, hiring committees from teaching-oriented and research-oriented universities, and recently tenured faculty provide up-to-date information.

This paper focuses on the experience of a PFF student participant during the 2006-2007 academic year, as well as the experiences of and benefits to his PFF program coordinator and academic research mentor. Overall, participating in the program helped the student to prepare for an academic career. Having two faculty mentors in the PFF program activities provided invaluable opportunities and feedback. The mentored teaching activities applied the concepts learned in the PFF courses. The individualized mentored teaching experience included teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, giving talks at research seminars, and mentoring senior projects and REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC. Various methods of active learning, motivating students, problem-based active laboratory learning, and peer tutoring were explored and applied to mentor students. The paper also includes feedback from the PFF program coordinator and the academic research mentor.

I. Introduction

Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) is a national initiative to better prepare Ph.D., M.S., and postdoctoral students to pursue careers in academia as the next generation of college and university professors.1 The PFF program was started in 1993 and is now established at 45 doctoral institutions and 300 partner schools.1 The program is designed to improve the graduate educational experience and to address the need for more qualified and trained faculty at various academic institutions. UC was one of the original doctoral institutions and an active participant with a university-wide PFF program since 1993.2,3 The UC PFF in Engineering program


Lee, J., & Purdy, C., & Papautsky, I. (2009, June), Graduate Student Experiences And Mentor Benefits Of The Preparing Future Faculty Program In Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4765

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