By Nicole Capozziello
Published July 2, 2020
Jessica Swenson is one of four engineering education educators to receive a 2020 Apprentice Faculty Grant from the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division of the American Society of Engineering Education.
The grant encourages and honors promising emerging engineering education scholars who have the potential for substantial contributions to the community.
“I am honored to be recognized as an up-and-coming faculty member and for the opportunity to connect with other members in the ERM Division,” says Swenson, an assistant professor in UB's Department of Engineering Education. “Many colleagues I look up to in the engineering education field are past winners of this award.”
Grant winners are paired with a mentor from the division for a year, and provided with a stipend for travel to the annual conference when it is held in person next year.
Swenson’s mentor, Heidi Diefes-Dux, a professor of engineering education and biological systems engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, introduced her at ASEE’s 2020 Virtual Conference, which was held last week.
“The Department of Engineering Education is thrilled that Jessica has been selected to receive this grant. It’s a very well-deserved honor,” says Carl Lund, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of the Department of Engineering Education. “In a department that is just turning two years old and still developing its programs and filling its faculty ranks, it is most encouraging to see Jessica recognized in this way. She has already established research projects and collaborations, and continues to expand into new areas. Her assistance and input in formulating and shaping the plans for our engineering education programs have been invaluable. She has already taught me a lot about engineering education, and I am looking forward to continuing to learn from her.”
An active participant in the ERM Division, Swenson’s contributions to date include publishing a number of papers for the Division conference and the Frontiers in Education conference, as well as serving as a reviewer for both events.
Swenson’s research includes examining engineering judgment and conceptual knowledge development in undergraduate engineering science courses, encouraging engineering faculty to use evidence-based practices, and elementary school teacher professional development.
Before joining the University at Buffalo, Swenson was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Michigan. She earned her PhD in mechanical engineering from Tufts University.