2024 Dean's Teaching Fellows

Four Engineering graduate students named in fifth year of Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Program

The Purdue Engineering Dean’s Teaching Fellows program was established in 2020 to ensure that Graduate Engineering students have the opportunity to practice, establish, and implement their own approaches to teaching undergraduates prior to entering the academic job market. The initiative is a partnership between the College of Engineering, the Office of Graduate Education, the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the Schools of Engineering in order to enrich the mentoring and teaching experiences of outstanding Engineering Ph.D. students planning to pursue academic careers.

Students selected for this fellowship will shadow an exemplary faculty mentor, serve as the lead instructor of their own course, and employ instructional technology in their classroom or laboratory. The Dean’s Teaching Fellows utilize the pedagogy learned from an engineering education course to master new methods and provide their undergraduate students with the best experience possible.

Applications were received and reviewed in the Fall of 2023, which led to the selection of four Purdue Engineering graduate students to serve as the 2024 Dean’s Teaching Fellows: Somosmita Mitra (electrical and computer engineering), José Alfredo Ocegueda Barraza (industrial engineering), Ayush Rai (aeronautical and astronautical engineering), and Jie Zhu (electrical and computer engineering).

Photo of Somosmita Mitra.

Somosmita Mitra, Electrical and Computer Engineering

"My grandmother was a Professor of Botany, to her teaching remained a lifelong mission. Seeing her excitement when I understood something sparked my interest in teaching. I am grateful for the Dean's Teaching Fellowship; it gives me the chance to share that joy of learning with undergrads in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering."

Photo of José Alfredo Ocegueda Barraza.

José Alfredo Ocegueda Barraza, Industrial Engineering

"I am deeply passionate about mentoring students and guiding them in developing the skills necessary for success. I see this fellowship as an honor and a chance to make a meaningful impact on the lives of next-generation Boilermakers. This experience will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in my professional development, and I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the academic community at Purdue in such a meaningful way."

Photo of Ayush Rai.

Ayush Rai, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

"I'm honored to be selected as one of the Dean's teaching fellows this year. An opportunity like this will not only provide me a platform to learn from an experienced faculty mentor, refine my pedagogical skills, and gain teaching experience but also give me a chance to mentor students and contribute to the academic community, helping me to shape my career path."

Photo of Jie Zhu.

Jie Zhu, Electrical and Computer Engineering

"I am very excited and grateful to be part of the Dean's Teaching Fellowship cohort. Teaching is a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for me. I am looking forward to stepping up to teach a lecture section of an undergraduate course. It is a great opportunity to develop and implement the ideas I have learned from great teachers."

The four graduate students selected this year have shown a strong commitment to mentoring, service, and outreach. They are interested in a range of academic careers, from faculty positions at teaching-focused and primarily undergraduate institutions to Research (R1) institutions.

Graduate students interested in the Dean's Teaching Fellowship should contact Stephen McBride (mcbrid44@purdue.edu). Further information about the 2025 Dean's Teaching Fellowship application will be announced during the Fall 2024 semester.