ASEE Women in Engineering


Award History

In 2010, the Women in Engineering Division (WIED) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) initiated the Apprentice Educator Grant (AEG) program to provide a $2,000 travel grant to the ASEE Annual Conference. In 2011, the award was renamed the Mara H. Wasburn Early Educator Grant (EEEG) in honor of Dr. Wasburn, whose passion for encouraging young female engineering educators was reknowned. The Mara H Wasburn EEEG is awarded to a woman planning to pursue a career in engineering education, who has a demonstrated commitment to innovation in teaching, and/or potential for substantial contributions to the field. Eligible women were graduate students, post-docs, lecturers, research associates, and other non-tenure track faculty. Tenure-track women faculty who were not more than three years into their first faculty position were also eligible.

WIED plans to continue to offer the Early Engineering Educator Grant. Details for applying can be found at

Past Award Recipients - Congratulations to the Mara H. Wasburn Early Engineering Educator Grant recipients!!

2015 - Dr. Dimitra Michalaka from The Citadel and Mona Eskandari from Stanford University

Dr. Dimitra Michalaka is an Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, Charlseton. She has participated in numerous activities related to advancing women and girls in engineering from K-12 to college-level. She has been a Faculty Advisor, Organizing Chair, Organizing Member & Volunteer for events related to education and advancing women.

Mona Eskandari is a Ph.D student at Stanford University. In addition to her research in understanding the mechanics of chronic lung disease, Ms. Eskandari has been involved with activities related to advancing women & under-represented groups including Advisor to undergraduate students, Project Manager for start-up summer camp, Summer Mentor for graduate students, Girls Scouts Counselor and Communications Chair for a Women's Leadership Conference.

2014 - Kaitlin Engle Mallouk from Rowan University and Dr. Mary Katherine Watson from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina

Kaitlin Engle Mallouk is an instructor in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. She has been in this position since August 2013. Prior to this she was a Biomedical Engineer at Merck & Co, Inc, West Point, PA. She is passionate about teaching and has taught senior-level courses as part of a competitive teaching excellence fellowship at the University of Illinois. She was also the recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award, which is an extremely competitive award. She has an M.S in Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S in chemical engineering from Cornell University.  Her Ph.D research work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has been primarily focused on the capture and recovery of organic gases with electrothermal swing adsorption.  She expects to receive her Ph.D this summer (Summer 2014).

Dr. Mary Katherine Watson is an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel – The Military College of South Carolina. She has been in this position since August 2013. She has a Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, an Master of Science in Environmental Engineering also from Georgia Institute of Technology, a second Master of Science in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University, and a Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Her research and professional interests are in sustainable engineering and environmental engineering.

2013 - Jennifer Wang from UC Berkeley and Dr. Elise Barrella from James Madison University

Jennifer Wang is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in electrical engineering and computer sciences and anticipates receiving her doctorate later this year from UC Berkeley’s Studies in Engineering, Mathematics and Science Education.  Jennifer received the Graduate Scholar Award at the Sixth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices in 2012. Active in outreach activities to increase awareness about engineering at the pre-college level, Jennifer served as president of the Association of Women in EE and CS as an undergrad.  Currently, Jennifer’s dissertation research seeks to promote accessible engineering projects as a means to improve diversity in engineering.

Dr. Elise Barrella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at James Madison University. Elise did her undergraduate work at Bucknell University and received her doctorate in civil engineering at Georgia Tech in 2012, focusing on sustainable transportation systems. Effective and innovative teaching has always been a priority for Dr. Barrella, receiving an award for Outstanding Graduate Instructor at Georgia Tech and continuing to explore and implement productive pedagogical techniques in her classroom. Elise has taken on lead roles related to activities that encourage young women to pursue engineering studies, particularly middle school students with programs such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Georgia Tech’s TEC Camp and Thomas Harrison Middle School STEM Explorations Academy.  Through her affiliation with Georgia Tech ADVANCE, Dr. Barrella looks forward to fostering an environment at JMU that promotes success for women students and faculty.

2012 - Rachel Louis and Dr. Katerina Bagiata

Rachel Louis is a graduate student at Virginia Tech and plans to complete her PhD in engineering education in May 2013. Rachel was named a Dean’s Teaching Fellow (DTF) at Virginia Tech and serves as an ambassador of the Department of Engineering Education, promoting the department at local and national events. She is Secretary of ASEE's student chapter at Virginia Tech, and a Founding member of The Ohio State University's ASEE student chapter. As a master’s student in civil engineering at Ohio State, she received the Women in Engineering Leadership Award. Rachel has co-authored a number of publications, and looks forward to pursuing a career as a faculty member. She is particularly enthusiastic about teaching in a first-year engineering program.

Dr. Aikaterini (Katerina) Bagiati, PhD, is a postdoctoral associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Katerina coordinates curriculum development for the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC) related to content and accreditation issues. The IDC is a joint research project of MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). About 200 to 300 IDC faculty researchers and students from both universities work together to address issues facing the world by revolutionizing research on design science, and by designing devices, systems and services. Katerina received her PhD in engineering education from Purdue University in 2011, and a Master of Science in advanced information and communication systems in electrical and computer engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Her dissertation, journal articles and conference proceedings focus on STEM curriculum in early education. Katerina speaks five languages: Greek, English, German, Spanish and Italian.

2011 - Stephanie Claussen and Dr. Sara Atwood

Stephanie Claussen is a Ph.D. student at Stanford University and plans to complete her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in September 2011 with a Ph.D. minor in education. Stephanie has served as a teaching assistant in two quarters and co-taught a course in Summer 2010 as a teaching fellow. She has also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Stephanie and other P.D. students established a student chapter of ASEE at Stanford. She is currently Vice President of Records for the ASEE Student Chapter. Stephanie is a member of the Stanford Women in Electrical Engineering group and volunteers as a Big Sister to a first-year, female graduate student. She has also worked with the Stanford Optical Society of America student chapter, focusing on outreach by serving as the Outreach Chair.

Dr. Sara Atwood received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley in May 2010 and is currently an assistant professor at Elizabethtown College. While at Berkeley, she was a graduate teaching assistant and received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in 2009. She led workshops for new graduate student instructor training in 2008 and 2009 and was selected as a fellow in the Summer Institute For Preparing Future Faculty. Sara also coordinated an outreach program between undergraduates and the local children’s science museum to teach engineering concepts to the public community and served on the Berkeley ME Department Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In addition to her research in biomaterials, she has presented several engineering education papers at ASEE Conferences in the areas of student-faculty interaction, team learning styles, and K-12 outreach.

2010 - Dr. Kim Bigelow

Dr. Kim Bigelow received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2008 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at University of Dayton. She is the Director of the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory and teaches courses in Engineering Experimentation, Freshmen Design, and Biomechanical Engineering. Her engineering education research interests include: Retention of Women and Minorities, Technical Communications, Use of Reflection to Enhance Student Learning, and Undergraduate Research Experiences. Kim has received grants from Motorola and NSF to develop engineering modules for middle school students and to provide instruction for middle school teachers.


Last Modified: 06/15/15 | More Info Contact