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The Rising Engineering Education Faculty Experience (REEFE): Preparing Junior Colleagues

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Technical Session: Professional Development Opportunities for Students

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1569.1 - 26.1569.10



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Paper Authors


Cory Hixson Virginia Tech

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Cory is currently a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and PhD Candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He earned his B.S. in Engineering Science from Penn State University in 2007, graduating with honors, and his M.S. in Industrial and System Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2014. Cory has experience as both a professional engineer and high school educator. His professional and research interests are understanding the interaction between engineering/education pedagogy and entrepreneurship, faculty technology commercialization experiences, and institutional policies that influence both engineering education and entrepreneurship.

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Ella Lee Ingram Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Ella L. Ingram is an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her educational research interests include promoting successful change practice of STEM faculty, effective evolution and ecology instruction, and facilitating undergraduate research experiences. Her teaching portfolio includes courses on: nutrition, introductory biology, ecology and environmental studies, evolution, evolutionary medicine, and research practices in science.

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Julia M. Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julia M. Williams is Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment & Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her research areas include technical communication, assessment, accreditation, and the development of change management strategies for faculty and staff. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transaction on Professional Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly, among others.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Matusovich is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has her doctorate in Engineering Education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 8 funded research projects including a CAREER grant. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies. Matusovich has authored a book chapter, 10 journal manuscripts and more than 50 conference papers.

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Rachel E. McCord University of Tennessee, Knoxville Orcid 16x16

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Rachel McCord is a a Lecturer in the Engineering Fundamentals Division at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include the impact of metacognitive and self-regulated learning development on engineering student success, particularly in the first year.

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The Rising Engineering Education Faculty Experience (REEFE): Preparing Junior Colleagues Faculty members and the future faculty they train (i.e., graduate students, post-docs, andnew PhDs), represent the lifeblood of academic institutions. Moreover, through teaching,research, and service activities, faculty members make a critical societal and economic impactboth locally and nationally. Despite the importance of this professional calling, professionaldevelopment for most up-and-coming faculty members is informal at best. Graduate programsoften emphasize gaining technical knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) through courses andresearch projects, but provide less opportunity for future faculty members to gain the KSAsneeded for teaching, service, communication, assessment, proposal writing, etc. Some fortunategraduate students have advisors that serve the dual role of both doctoral advisor and professionaldevelopment mentor, while other graduate students find mentors beyond their formal advisor tosupplement their professional development needs. However, these scenarios are more theexception than the rule and many graduate students could benefit from additional professionaldevelopment opportunities. To address this graduate student need, we developed the Rising Engineering EducationFaculty Experience (REEFE), an innovative faculty apprenticeship program for engineeringeducation graduate students. The program is founded on models of graduate student development(i.e., Nyquist and Wulff, Kajfez, Kram, and Wergin) and places engineering education graduatestudents in visiting faculty member positions at host schools. REEFE offers students the abilityto gain experience as a faculty member, connect with a new community of practice, and developsignificant mentoring relationships, all while developing the professional KSAs needed tosucceed as a faculty member. As a means to support engineering education graduate studentdevelopment more broadly, this paper will describe the theoretical foundations of REEFE,provide a full description of the program, and discuss our learning after implementing theprogram for two full cycles. (Note: At the time of publication two graduate student cohorts willhave completed the program and the third implementation will be under development.) It is ourexpectation that by presenting and publishing on REEFE we can not only increase the numberand quality of graduate student professional development opportunities, but also encourage thelarger discussion of how to effectively prepare future engineering education faculty.

Hixson, C., & Ingram, E. L., & Williams, J. M., & Matusovich, H. M., & McCord, R. E. (2015, June), The Rising Engineering Education Faculty Experience (REEFE): Preparing Junior Colleagues Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24906

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015