Engineering professors Spence and desJardins honored for commitments to mentorship and advocacy

Published: Feb 17, 2016

Two faculty in UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) have been named recipients of notable awards for their work mentoring students and advancing engineering education in K-12 schools.

Anne Spence, professor of the practice in mechanical engineering, will be presented with the Engineering and Technology Education Advocacy Award by the Technology and Engineering Educators Association of Maryland (TEEAM) on Thursday, February 18.

Each year, the Engineering and Technology Education Advocacy Award is given to a person who advocates for engineering and technology education at the local and state level by promoting and supporting technology and engineering professions, and emphasizing the importance of being technologically literate. This year’s award recognizes Spence’s contributions to Project Lead the Way, a national organization focused on increasing the number, quality and diversity of engineers that graduate from educational systems in the United States.

Her work with Project Lead the Way is centered on identifying the best ways to educate teachers who will go on to effectively engage K-12 students in engineering through energetic, hands-on learning experiences.

desJardins, Marie (CSEE)In July, Marie desJardins, COEIT associate dean and professor of computer science, will receive the Computing Research Association-Education (CRA-E) Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award during the annual Computing Research Association banquet. The award recognizes faculty who have provided unique mentorship and undergraduate research opportunities for students, while guiding the admission and matriculation of these students to graduate programs in computing.

desJardins has worked in many different capacities to advance computer science education in K-12 schools, and to inspire and educate young women to pursue majors and careers in computer-related fields. She has written several pieces for popular media about the underrepresentation of women in computing, including in artificial intelligence.

Images: Anne Spence during a Project Lead the Way meeting (top); Marie desJardins (bottom). Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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