Testimonials from Engineering Education Graduate Students

  1. What was the #1 factor that influenced your decision to study Engineering Education at Purdue?
  2. What are the top qualities of the ENE graduate programs?
  3. How do you plan to make a difference?
  4. What advice to you have for incoming students?
  5. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your experience doing your PhD at ENE?

1. What was the #1 factor that influenced your decision to study Engineering Education at Purdue?

It combined both of my passions: engineering and education.
Carla Zoltowski (PhD 2010)

I was interested in engineering education, and meeting professors in this department made me feel like I was home. It's great to have good, caring and supportive mentors.
Jien-Jou Lin

The biggest factor in my decision to study engineering education at Purdue was my desire to learn more and do innovative research in engineering education. I knew that engineering education would be challenging and involve a lot of creativity and diligence. Engineering education combines many of my strengths and passions and I was excited to study in this field.
Euridice Oware (PhD 2008)

I have wanted to start the pursuit of a Ph.D. program, but could not decide between EE or education. As an educator, both fields seemed to be a natural fit. Once I saw this opportunity, it was perfect - a blend of both disciplines, and exactly what I want to pursue. I also saw that the faculty at Purdue were like a "Who's Who" of faculty interested in engineering education, and I consider it a privilege to work with them.
Ken Reid (PhD 2009)

The #1 factor that influenced my decision to study Engineering Education at Purdue was the faculty. The faculty is highly motivated but also highly personable. I felt like they really cared about me as a person, and not just me as a researcher.
Matthew Verleger (PhD 2009)

Innovation of the program; notion that Purdue was breaking new ground ahead of others.
Mary Pilotte

I strongly believe that there are better and rigorous ways of transforming novice students into expert engineers. Carrying this belief, i decide to get my PhD in engineering education here at Purdue.
Junqiu Wang

It's the top place in the world for engineering education and my adviser is an amazing creature and entity of the cosmos.
George Ricco


2. What are the top qualities of the ENE graduate programs?

  • Excellent faculty who are leaders in engineering education research and practice.
  • Pioneers in combining engineering and education.
  • Strong community of faculty and graduate students within Engineering Education.
    Carla Zoltowski
  • This department is like a family. Professors are very friendly and also supportive.
  • This department is the pioneer in engineering education in the United States.
  • The opportunity to reform engineering education.
    Jien-Jou Lin
  • Faculty members who are passionate about engineering education research and their students
  • The engineering education community at Purdue University
  • Research opportunities in engineering education
    Euridice Oware
  • The chance to study both engineering and education, giving us the chance not only to be a member of a faculty, but in foundations, K-12, or anywhere we can really make a difference.
  • The faculty are excellent - they are enthusiastic, they care about their research and students and they really care that we succeed.
  • Purdue is a leader in engineering, and this is the place where a truly innovative program like this should be. We have all of the resources of our excellent engineering programs.
    Ken Reid

The top three qualities of Purdue's Engineering Education Department are the support from faculty, the resources available, and the name recognition that goes with a top university such as Purdue.
Matthew Verleger

Quality of the faculty; flexibility of the program design; course innovation.
Mary Pilotte

Very passionate faculty groups, extremely supporting staff teams, very diversified graduate students
Junqiu Wang

I feel the top quality of the ENE PhD program is it is at Purdue. There are many engineering opportunities here and a much larger population of engineering students.
Bethany Fralick

  • It's non-traditional and the courses and research pathway follow that to a large extent. You have all the power to choose what you want to do and where you want to go.
  • I love Purdue University as it is a change from being in an unfriendly environment for unique and interdisciplinary research at the graduate level (the University of California system). Purdue has a long standing history of allowing students to pursue interdisciplinary work and it shows.
    George Ricco

3. How do you plan to make a difference?

I plan to use my education to impact what we know about effective engineering education and how to use that to provide students a better educational experience. My goal is to learn how to excite and prepare students to engage in the engineering profession in a variety of ways within the constraints and challenges of the world.
Carla Zoltowski

I plan to study the best ways for engineering education; research the impacts of the new ways; and promote and implement the new methods/ideas.
Jien-Jou Lin

I plan to make a difference by conducting research in engineering education about teaching and learning methods to improve how students learn. As a professional, I will work with undergraduate engineering students to promote their successful academic and professional development. I also will hold exciting outreach programs to encourage K-12 students and underrepresented groups to enter engineering.
Euridice Oware

I plan to make a difference by getting involved with engineering education reform, changing how engineering education is taught from the inside.
Matthew Verleger

I have been an educator for almost ten years, and I have seen many students. I've been involved in some innovative ventures, all with the goal of helping students to succeed. I feel that any student with an interest in engineering and a good work ethic should have every advantage to succeed in an environment where they can thrive, and I don't want to see any bright, creative student leave engineering. We put some of the constraints upon ourselves, insisting that education methods sometimes remain unchanged ("That's the way we did it when I was in school"). I think it's time to ask ourselves how to educate students to the best of our ability, as efficiently as possible, and in a way that will allow the students to succeed to the best of their ability.

We need to look at technology in the classroom to be sure we use technology that our students demand, and that we use it properly. We also shouldn't constrain ourselves to a semester lecture-and-lab format, instead looking at innovative delivery methods and schedules. We also know a lot about how people learn, learning styles, and a new generation of multitasking student - we need to study how to best reach all students. I will do my best to innovate the engineering education process at both a department and school level, and be sure to transfer what I learn to new faculty entering the profession. I truly want all of my students to succeed to the best of their ability, and I'll continue to try to deliver on that goal.
Ken Reid

Provide an experienced based perspective to the research and course innovation under way.
Mary Pilotte

Get involved into engieering faculty training, re-designing engineering program
Junqiu Wang

Through research, I hope to represent the undergraduate design process in a way that enables better instruction for laboratory courses. When I succeed, lab courses will be more productive and effective for students and instructors.
Bethany Fralick

I plan to finish and work for a small engineering college somewhere in the Midwest or East Coast. I'd like to spend the rest of my days redesigning curricula and transcending my demographic.
George Ricco


4. What advice do you have for incoming students?

Give yourself time to really explore the faculty and their research, personalities, goals, etc. before choosing your advisor. Request more time if necessary to make the best decision possible.
Mary Pilotte

Working hard, thinking deep
Junqiu Wang

It is very difficult to really understand the culture and community in the ENE department. I suggest meeting with not only administration and faculty, but also graduate students. I was disappointed during my first semester because some of the information I received during the open house was "sugar coated". I think that discussing concerns with current students would be the best way to avoid this.
Bethany Fralick

  • Be who/what you are and you will always do well. This program is a great place for people with new ideas who want a supportive environment.
  • Work on your Plan of Study (the P.O.S. as it's called) WAY ahead of time, as in "the summer before you get here," and revise it as necessary.
  • Remember, choosing the correct adviser is more important than anything else you can do here. Don't be afraid of asking potential advisers tough questions, as the people who cannot answer tough questions or give you nebulous answers are not people with whom you want to work.
    George Ricco

5. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your experience doing your PhD at ENE?

I feel that Purdue can really make a difference in this area; continue to push the envelope by exploring the outer boundaries of this new and exciting area of education and engineering.
Mary Pilotte

This is my second semester at Purdue. I am really enjoying my experience thus far. It takes a semester to find your rhythm in the department but there is always someone ready to help make that easier.
Bethany Fralick