On May 10, 2016, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering.  It was not an easy task, but it was a necessary step to achieve my goal of becoming a professor so I pushed through.  Along the way, I identified a few key things that contributed to my success at Illinois:

  1. Advisor(s) have a huge impact on your progress
  2. Project and time management skills are important
  3. Stay focused on the end goal
  4. Find sometime time for yourself

During my dissertation defense. Photo by: Daniel M. Reck

On April 1, 2016, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  My dissertation consisted of three different studies related to experiential learning.

(Social Media Illustration by Esther Gons.)

At the 2016 SWE Region H conference, I presented at two different sessions.  The first session was about effectively using social media for SWE sections.  The tips in my presentation (embedded below) were based on my experience managing social media for three SWE communities (East Central Iowa section, GradSWE at Illinois committee, and the Women in Academia committee), plus guidance provided by SWE HQ through webinars and guides.  In the second session was about selecting an advisor in Graduate School.  I was one of four panelists with a variety of experiences with advisors in graduate school.

Final GE 320 Kit

At the 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education conference, I presented the preliminary analysis of the quantitative data we collected about a laboratory kit during the 2014-2015 school year.  During both semesters, half of the GE 320 laboratory sections used our new kit (treatment) and the other half used the existing equipment (baseline).  In this preliminary analysis, we determined that we could not detect a difference in performance on exams between the treatment and baseline groups.  The full paper can be found on the IEEE Explore website.

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.