Category Archives: Cornell’s Engineering Communication Program

New year, new opportunities in Engineering Communication

As January 2014 closes out, I find myself with many new exciting opportunities on my plate.  I began working with Cornell’s GameDesign Initiative this week, working with undergrads as they conceptualize, build, test, and deploy original games. I’ll be with the first class in the offerings:

I’ve also committed to working with Cornell’s ASCE teams, specifically with the Mead writing competition and with Concrete Canoe (CC).  It’s nice to get back to CC, after leaving the teams at U of Wisconsin-Madison. There’s a strong CC tradition at Madison and I have missed being a small part of that. So, go Cornell!


SEFI…Belgium, Denmark, and the Professor Hotel

Last month, I had the great pleasure of doing a big work travel/trip. It began with me taking some time to talk to Dr. Annette Markham at Aaruhus University in Denmark.  Exploring the connections between internet theory, identity, and engineering communication, I was also able to think about ways that topics that I am interested in teaching could find a home in the euro way of providing information to students.

After that, it was on to Leuven, Belgium, where I attended the SEFI conference (the European Society for Engineering Education) with my colleague Christine Nicometo. We presented a talk called “Stop Slipping and Sliding: Methods to Reclaim Expert Engineering Space by Using Slides to Best Advantage” that was well received.

Another bonus was meeting up the the always-everywhere- Cheryl Ball.  The four of us (Markham, Ball, Nicometo, and Nathans-Kelly) had two intense days of talk about everything from the silos of information exchange in academics to the politics of MLA to identity within and without institutions…to the various qualities of chocolate. Along the way, we spied the “Professor Hotel” in Leuven, which I hope to post up in a photo soon.


A working life divided is…divine

As of this fall, I have accepted a position at Cornell University in its Engineering Communications Program. We have made the move to Ithaca, and I am settling in quite well.  The teaching approach here is a great fit for me, as I have made moves in the recent years to teach engineering/technical writing using teams in the communication classroom.  At Cornell, this approach is par for the course, and so I feel a great deal of collegiality in this regard.

I also have the great fortune to stay on with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, too, in my capacity as faculty member teaching in the Masters of Engineering of Professional Practice and Masters of Engineering in Engine Systems programs. Both of these programs are online programs, and we meet once a summer F2F for residency. My director, Wayne Pferdehirt, has been incredibly supportive as I make this professional adjustment. As well, the unending support of my colleague Christine Nicometo has been the source of great inspiration during my transition.

And, if that’s not enough, Christine Nicometo and I continue our work with Iron Range Engineering, a new engineering degree currently going through its first ABET visit. We wish them the best of luck, but we know they won’t need it. The program is strong as is their documentation. Our job is to bring the elements of engineering communication to the program, and we do this with campus visits and distance teaching.

Well…that’s enough, isn’t it?