James Madison University

Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel chosen for the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) symposium

PHOTO: Jackie NagelDr. Jacquelyn Nagel, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering participated in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) fifth Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium Oct. 27 to 30 in Irvine, Calif.  She was part of a group of seventy-three of the nation's most innovative, young engineering educators invited to take part in the FOEE symposium.

Faculty members who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines came together for the two and one-half day event, where they shared ideas, learned from research and best practice in education, and left with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution.  The attendees were nominated by fellow engineers or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

“The Frontiers of Engineering Education program gives top university faculty a special opportunity to engage together and critique new, innovative teaching techniques,” said NAE President Dan Mote. “Collaborations among these education experts are vital to developing new teaching practices for all engineering faculty who will prepare engineering students for the problems of our time."

PHOTO:Dr. Nagel has been actively using innovative teaching methods and pedagogies of engagement (i.e., deep learning, collaborative learning, and problem-based learning) since she was hired in 2011.  During the 2011-2012 academic year, she was a participant in the JMU Madison Teaching Fellows group on Deep Learning.  She challenges undergraduates to break the mentality of “what is the right answer” and to focus on building skills that will serve them throughout their career as engineers.  Her aim to prepare students to work in cross-disciplinary environments as well as develop the cognitive flexibility to solve engineering challenges that transcend disciplinary boundaries. “Prof. Nagel was a great ambassador for Madison Engineering at this high-level conversation about engineering education,” said Kurt Paterson, Head of the JMU Department of Engineering. “I know our department and students will benefit as she infuses our program with lessons learned at the symposium.”

The 2013 FOEE program focused on innovations in the context, curriculum, and delivery of engineering education.  During, FOEE the participating faculty engaged in panel sessions and discussions on the newest educational developments ranging from MOOCs (massive, open, online courses) to games.

Established in 1964, the NAE seeks to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.