As an undergraduate civil and environmental engineering student at Bucknell University, I conducted engineering education research during the school year and interned at a transportation engineering and planning firm each summer, gaining experience in roadway design, traffic engineering, and drafting. As a result of these experiences and study abroad in Australia, I decided to attend graduate school to learn more about transportation planning and explore life in academia.
At Georgia Tech I completed graduate work in transportation planning and land/community development, and had the opportunity to work at the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) with Dr. Catherine Ross. During two years at CQGRD and as an intern at Glatting Jackson, I was involved in projects that emphasized community-based transportation planning and decision-making. Through these projects I gained experience with designing and running visioning exercises, design workshops, stakeholder interviews and focus groups, which helped me recognize the difficulties in developing and planning for a community vision. I also applied research-based approaches like health impact assessment and street typology for transportation system design.
Following a Masters in City & Regional Planning, I completed a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech as part of the Infrastructure Research Group and was recognized with the university-level CETL/BP Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award and an Eisenhower Graduate Transportation Fellowship from USDOT. My PhD work allowed me to continue pursuing interests in sustainable transportation infrastructure and planning and community development and to gain teaching and mentoring experience.
I have investigated best practices in engineering education since 2003 and began collaborating on sustainable engineering design research while completing my Ph.D. I currently lead an NSF project focused on students’ abilities to apply sustainability concepts across different problem contexts, and am exploring the use of brain imaging technology (e.g., EEG) to characterize that ability. I am also consulting on an NSF project that investigates impacts on engineering students, specifically at The Citadel, due to the rapid shift to online learning in Spring 2020. My research has been presented and published nationally and internationally.
As an engineering faculty member at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA, I coordinated the junior capstone design sequence at James Madison University, was the inaugural director of the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges Scholars Program at JMU, and developed first-year coursework and electives. Through leadership roles in JMU's design sequence, I infused sustainability concepts and scaffolded technical writing in the design curriculum, explored design across engineering disciplines, and applied evidence-based design methods. As junior design coordinator, I guided and evaluated over sixty different capstone design projects. As primary advisor of eight capstone projects, I had the pleasure of coaching teams through designing transportation systems, tiny houses, green infrastructure, bicycle storage structures, and more comfortable lower-leg prosthetics. I also helped students constructively deal with interpersonal conflict and technical setbacks while working on interdisciplinary teams. I consistently collaborated with colleagues from across campus on course and curriculum development, including faculty and staff from the University Writing Center, Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, geography and integrated science programs, art and design, political science, etc.
In 2017, I moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to be a Founding Faculty member of the Department of Engineering because of my passion for engineering education and community-engaged scholarship. I am now excited to collaborate on local, regional, and national projects through my company DfX Consulting LLC.
In addition to my consulting, research, and teaching interests, I enjoy exploring new cities, hiking, collecting art and photos from travels, food trucks, and volunteering for events or committees that help shape the local community or introduce engineering and design pathways to K-12 students.