399285 Interdisciplinary Engineering Fundamentals: Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Jennifer Fischer, Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Interfacing nanotechnology and biology, my graduate research aims at understanding the physical and chemical mechanisms associated with the blood-borne spread of cancer which results in over 90% of cancer-related fatalities.  Specifically, these studies further elucidate the roles of receptor-ligand interactions during breast cancer dissemination and investigate the efficacy of alternative engineered in-vitro platforms for studying the adhesion, migration and invasion of human cancers.  The inherent breadth of this research in addition to my College Teaching and Learning Certificate Program at the University of Kentucky have inspired me to pursue a tenure-track faculty position in engineering education subsequent to my PhD defense in January 2015.  Principally, I am passionate about undergraduate teaching and learning.  My professional goals are to foster the personal and professional growth of future engineers by providing a solid foundation of introductory chemical engineering and mathematics as well as enhance communication and critical thinking skills.  My specific teaching interests lie in early engineering-based coursework on process principles and balances, computational tools and fluid dynamics.  In addition to these core courses, I am also interested in teaching elective courses on cell biology for engineers, cross-disciplinary journal clubs and micro/nanofabrication techniques. The biochemically-focused courses and undergraduate research I completed while earning a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as well as my participation on both the NSF Integrative Graduate Educational Research Traineeship (IGERT) and the NIH Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (CNTC) grants at UK have shaped my firm views on the need for continued collaborations amongst STEM field majors and clinicians to ensure translational success from bench top experimentation to bedside patient care.  In my experiences mentoring undergraduate researchers, I have seen that these opportunities and training can provide hands-on applications to supplement and enrich course materials as well as probe interest in designing innovative solutions to real-world clinically-relevant issues. Accordingly, it is also my desire to lead and participate in outreach and service efforts geared towards inspiring students, especially young women, to obtain degrees in STEM fields with a special emphasis on the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations.

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