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Monica Farmer Cox, Ph.D., a native of Newville, Alabama, is the Director of the Pedagogical Evaluation Laboratory, is an Associate Professor in Purdue University's School of Engineering Education (ENE), is a a Visiting Professor at the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico (UDLAP), is the Interim Director of the Indiana Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and is the Inaugural Director of Purdue College's of Engineering Leadership Minor. In 2011, she became the first African-American female to earn tenure in the College of Engineering at Purdue.

Her educational credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College in Mathematics (cum laude), a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering (concentration in Human Factors & Ergonomics) from The University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies (concentration in Higher Education Administration) from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

Since 2005, she has worked with teams of multidisiplinary researchers to earn over $10 million in research funding from the NSF with approximately $1.4 million as principal investigator. She has written approximatley 80 scholarly publications and has given invited talks about her experiences and research in the U.S. and in Mexico. 

Her honors include being selected as a National Academies of Engineering Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education New Faculty Fellow; an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine; a participant in the inaugural National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers in Engineering Education conference; a 2008 NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) Award Recipient; and a 2008 recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. In September 2011, she was invited by the White House and the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama to serve on a panel highlighting the importance of workplace flexibility for scientists and engineers. 

In addition to her interests in the development and validation of classroom instruments and tools that may be used within postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms and laboratories, Dr. Cox conducts research related to various constituents' perceptions of the engineering discipline and classroom environments. In an effort to impact engineering and education policy at local, state, and national levels, Dr. Cox is spearheading studies that examine the following:

  • The preparation of engineering Ph.D. students for careers in academia and industry
  • Exploration of engineering leadership and professional skills in engineering education
  • Development and validation of theory-based direct observation surveys and instruments to assess classroom instruction within engineering laboratories
  • The roles and impacts of research experiences upon undergraduate students' preparation in STEM education

Current Cox Research Group Members

Benjamin AhnBenjamin Ahn is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He obtained a B.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia and a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue. His research interests relate to higher education reform, graduate teaching assistants' roles in engineering classes, undergraduate engineering syllabus and curriculum development, and professional engineering practices in universities and industries. Benjamin's research has been strongly motivated by challenging, exciting, and inspiring experiences he has had as a teaching assistant in first-year engineering classes and as a graduate assistant for Purdue's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program and Purdue's Minority Engineering Program (MEP). In the future, he wants to be a global innovator for higher engineering education. 



Jeremi S. London is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue. In May 2013, she obtained her M.S. in industrial engineering at Purdue. Her research interests include K-12 engineering education and engineering faculty development. Prior to joining the Cox Research Group, Jeremi was a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student working on the development of the G-RATE. As an undergraduate, Jeremi interned at the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch Companies, beginning in their Research Pilot Brewery during the summer of 2004, returning as an Analyst to their Corporate Quality Assurance Department in 2005, and working as a Product Supply & Transportation Coordinator for the Central Region in their Logistics Department in summer 2006. Jeremi graduated in May 2008 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. In summer 2011 and 2012, she worked at the National Science Foundation as a Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Summer Intern.


Nikitha SambamurthyNikitha Sambamurthy is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue. Her current research interests include the use of eLearning and video games for developing engineering skills.





Tasha ZephirinTasha Zephirin is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is a Trainee in the National Science Foundation sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training in Magnetic and Nanostructured Materials (IGERT-MNM) program—a collaborative effort between Purdue University, Cornell University and Norfolk State University. Her research interests include incorporating insights from educational research, international and global education to best advise the development and assessment of STEM education programs to diverse audiences across the education continuum (e.g. community members, K-12 students, undergraduate students, graduate students, and industry professionals) in different international contexts.




Former Cox Research Group Members



Osman Cekic, Ph.D., worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Cox Research Group. He obtained a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University, a master’s degree in secondary school administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a Bachelor's degree in educational administration and planning from Ankara University in Turkey. His dissertation title is Responsibility Center Management and Cultural Change at a Public Higher Education Institution. He previously worked at the Indiana Education Policy Center and as graduate assistant to the vice president for enrollment services for Indiana University. Osman’s research interests include higher education policy, finance and the linkages between budget and organizational culture, and college student retention. In his previous appointments, Osman has worked with the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and finance and financial aid data, and he continues to explore these subjects. Currently, Dr. Cekic works as a research assistant at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Education in Turkey, where he continues to explore issues related to science and engineering at the graduate level.

Nathan McNeill. Ph.D., worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cox Research group. He currently is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida where he is studying the factors that contribute to success in open-ended problem solving. He graduated with a Ph.D. in engineering education from Purdue, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in engineering from Walla Walla University. Before entering graduate school, Nathan spent six years working for a small engineering firm designing equipment for the aggregate and mining industries in western Canada and the United States. He has also spent a summer doing thermodynamic studies of robotic petroleum drilling tools for Schlumberger at their product development centre in Paris, France. Nathan has experience teaching high school physics, elementary school science, and English to young professionals in China. As a Ph.D. student at Purdue University, Nathan worked with Dr. Cox on developing a direct observation instrument to collect data on the implementation of non-traditional teaching methods in laboratory classes taught by graduate teaching assistants. His dissertation is titled Global Engineering Education Programs: More Than Just International Experiences. After graduation, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida. He is currently an Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado Mesa University.


Rocio Del Carmen Chavela Guerra, Ph.D., worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cox Research Group. Before pursuing her doctorate in engineering education, she held an appointment as an instructor at the Universdidad de las Americas Puebla in the department of chemical engineering. She has worked with Dr. Cox on the creation of a pedagogical course for first-year engineering graduate teaching assistants, "Effective Teaching Of Engineering: Linking Theory And Practice." She also have surveyed undergraduate engineering students about their perceptions of GTA instruction and has interviewed GTAs about their roles as TAs. At Purdue, she was selected as a National Academy of Engineering Engineering Education Graduate Fellow and represented Purdue at the January 2011 Emerging Leaders Conference in new York City. Her dissertation is titled Faculty Development Units at Mexican Higher Education Institutions: A Descriptive Study of Characteristics, Common Practices, and Challenges. She is currently Manager of Faculty Development within the Office of Outreach and Engagement Activities at the American Society for Engineering Education.


Jiabin "Emily" Zhu is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Engineering Education who joined the research group in January 2009. She obtained a M.S. in Optics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a second M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue, and a B.S. in Physics from East China Normal University. In 2012, she received highly competitive Purdue Bilsland Dissertation and Stategic Initiatives Fellowships. Her primary research interests relate to comparative study methods and frameworks in engineering education, global engineering, and mentoring of engineering graduate students.






Jeeyeon Hahn is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering who joined the research group in Fall 2009. She obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue. Her technical research interests relate to the Fatigue of Structures and Materials. She is working on the development of the Global Real-time Assessment Tool for Teaching Enhancement (G-RATE).


Asawaree Kulkarni is a 2009 graduate of Purdue's College of Technology, and she currently works as an Information Technology Business Analyst at Cummins in Columbus, Indiana. At Purdue, she assisted in the initial development of the G-RATE interface.





Tenille D. Medley is pursuing her second M.S. degree at Purdue after obtaining her M.S.in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue. She worked for one-year on the development of the G-RATE. During this time, she observed GTAs in first-year engineering laboratories to identify how their teaching practices aligned with elements of the How People Learn Framework.She is a May 2007 graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Before attending graduate school, Ms. Medley has served as an intern at Argonne National Laboratory, IBM Research Facility, and Northrop Grumman. She has also participated in many undergraduate research programs such as SROP, the Ronald McNair Scholar's Program, and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. While in these selected programs, she has had the opportunity to not only do research but to network with other students doing research in a wide variety of areas; to network with graduate school recruiters, graduate students and faculty; and to present research at many conferences, where she won many awards for her research and academic accomplishments.

Kavitha Ramane is a Ph.D. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Purdue University.
Kelly Cross, B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Ph.D. student, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech Project Title- Assessment of the Design, Application, Analysis, and Control of Interfaces (DAACI) REU Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program.

Matthew R. Frye, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, Project Title- Assessment of the VaNTH ERC Experience on Graduate Students, Faculty, and Postdocs.

Jonathan Hicks, B.S. in Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University, Project Title- Development of Graduate Teaching Assistants' Teaching Philosophies in Engineering. 

Nuris Ismail, B.S. in Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, Project Title- Evaluation of Effective Pedagogical Practices within Engineering Courses

Clarice Smith, Mechanical Engineering Technology Student,Purdue University, Project Title- Tools to Assess K-12 Engineering Education

Anne Tally, B.A., Indiana University 

Kehara Taylor,  B.A., Mathematics, Purdue University 

Pedagogical Evaluation Laboratory
School of Engineering Education, Purdue University
701 West Stadium, ARMS 1329, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Tel: 765-496-3461 | Fax: 765-494-5819 | Email: mfc@purdue.edu