Professor Esparragoza Wins Prestigious Engineering Award

Penn State Brandywine Associate Professor of Engineering Ivan Esparragoza was honored with an international award for his collaborative work on a project that provides resources and opportunity to encourage minority students to participate in the engineering and technology fields.

He received the award for Outstanding Division Paper in the Minorities in Engineering Division at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia, last month. ASEE brings together engineering educators to collaborate on solutions to promote excellence in instruction, research, public service and practice, according to its website.

Esparragoza shares this award with Florida Atlantic University Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Maria Larrondo Petrie. The two have worked together on the project, known as "Mind Links," since 2006, and provided the manuscript or "paper" about the project for evaluation at the conference.

"A set of blind peer-reviewers examine all the manuscripts for the division and provide an evaluation," Esparragoza explained. "The papers with the highest evaluations go to the technical committee for the division and they select the best paper to receive this award."

After years of research, "The 'Mind Links' paper report is a collection of web links that will provide information and resources that would allow minority students and faculty to take full advantage of the myriad of programs and information designed to promote their participation in the engineering and technology fields," he said.

Esparragoza said he believes his ASEE membership has helped him advance as a professor. "I am always exploring new ideas for teaching and learning about other practices and topics that could impact my students. For example, my Introduction to Engineering Design course has changed a lot along the years due to my participation in sessions and initiatives that originated in the ASEE annual conference."

He thanked the ASEE for the award and expressed his devotion to the society. "It is wonderful to see that others appreciate the effort we have done in putting together this work. However, I think that the best reward is to see minorities using these resources and taking full advantage of them to advance their careers in engineering and technology."

--Dave Serpentine