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Agrali Dean's Teaching Fellowship

Agrali Dean's Teaching Fellowship

Purdue IE Graduate Student, Cansu Agrali, was named a Dean's Teaching Fellow for work during a decidedly different semester.

Landing a faculty position is a competitive pursuit for freshly minted PhDs, requiring excellence in research, teaching, and service. An important aspect of future faculty training is understanding engineering education pedagogies and mastering the new instructional technology that rapidly evolved in the pandemic era. 

The Purdue Engineering Dean’s Teaching Fellows program, an initiative by the CoE Office of Graduate Education, Office of Undergraduate Education, and schools of Engineering aims to enrich mentoring and teaching experiences of outstanding Engineering PhD students planning academic careers.

After a rigorous application and review process, four Purdue Engineering graduate students have been selected as Dean’s Teaching Fellows for 2021:

Photo of Cansu Agrali

Cansu Agrali, Industrial Engineering
Dean's Teaching Fellowship Faculty Mentor: Prof. Seokcheon Lee

"The Dean's Teaching Fellowship is a great opportunity as the first step before joining a university to enhance my teaching skills. Besides, working with a faculty member in a mentor–mentee relationship will put me ahead in the early stage of my career," said Cansu Agrali, a PhD student in Industrial Engineering.

Photo of Tommy Jenkins

Tommy Jenkins, Biomedical Engineering
Dean's Teaching Fellowship Faculty Mentors: Dr. Michael Linnes and Prof. Eric Nauman

“My family is full of teachers, so I’m excited to carry that tradition on through this fellowship,” said Tommy Jenkins, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help design and teach a course!”

Photo of B. Stiven Puentes Rodriguez

B. Stiven Puentes Rodriguez, Materials Engineering
Dean's Teaching Fellowship Faculty Mentor: Prof. David Johnson

“Being a college professor is one of my dream jobs because I enjoy teaching and mentoring students. This fellowship is a wonderful chance for my career in academia, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity,” said B. Stiven Puentes Rodriguez, a PhD student in Materials Engineering.

Photo of Vanessa Restrepo

Vanessa Restrepo, Mechanical Engineering
Dean's Teaching Fellowship Faculty Mentor: Prof. Chuck Krousgrill

“I am strongly motivated to develop a career in academia, and becoming a teaching fellow of the College of Engineering Dean’s Office will help me to reach my goals,” said Vanessa Restrepo, a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. “I envision this fellowship as a stepping stone towards broadening my experience as an instructor, allowing me to contribute to preparing undergraduate students for future success in their professional careers.”

The structure of the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship is two semesters: In the first semester, graduate students work with a faculty mentor to learn best teaching practices, and in the second semester, the students serve as the instructor to implement what they learned. Both Faculty Mentors and Dean’s Fellows exhibit teaching excellence and use innovative methods that help their undergraduate students succeed in the courses, whether on campus or virtual.

In addition to their award, Dean’s Teaching Fellows are given a technology scholarship to purchase equipment that will help them jump-start their academic teaching careers and bring new energy to Purdue Engineering undergraduate classrooms.

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 institutions to Research (R1) institutions. 

Graduate students interested in the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship should contact Dr. Jackie McDermott ( Further information about the 2022 Dean’s Teaching Fellowship application will be announced during the Fall 2021 semester.

Writer: Dr. Jackie McDermott,


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