Marie C. Paretti, assistant professor in the Dept. of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, has won a $405,308 award from the National Science Foundation for her research on engineering capstone course experiences for students and faculty. “They are so central that ABET, the accreditation agency for engineering, requires every accredited program to provide them for undergraduates,” she says. Her research explores how engineering faculty use capstone courses to effectively balance roles as teachers, evaluators and mentors to best support student learning. She says the award will enable her to expand her study of faculty expertise in this area. Paretti, who has a chemical engineering undergraduate degree, has been on the engineering education faculty at Virginia Tech since 2004. She also is co-director of the Virginia Tech Engineering Communications Center and director of its communication program in materials and engineering sciences. Broader research interests include communication in engineering design, interdisciplinary collaboration and gender in engineering.

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