A new kind of graduate

Elizabeth Spingola, BS ’14, is making waves even before beginning her career. She not only is the first person in the nation to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering education, but also has built a national reputation that earned her direct admission to one of the nation’s top Ph.D. programs.

Spingola was a student in one of only a handful of undergraduate engineering education programs in the country, which began at ONU in 2011. She published at least seven conference papers and co-authored papers at ONU and Olin College with faculty. She made several memorable presentations at national conferences that attracted the attention of graduate school representatives, and she was even offered a job following one of her presentations.

Spingola was an outstanding presenter and spokesperson for ONU’s engineering education program and earned more accomplishments than many graduate students. Recently, she won the 2014 Catherine Freed Leadership Award, which recognizes the outstanding female leader on campus.

She consistently shared her passion for engineering education with k-12 students in STEM programs and was an integral part of developing and offering workshops for teachers in the Dominican Republic.

Both her scholarship and her community involvement resulted in her being heavily recruited for direct entry into a number of Ph.D. programs. She has accepted an offer to enter Virginia Tech’s Ph.D. program in engineering education, one of the top such programs in the country.

“Liz is already a pioneer,” says Dr. Kenneth Reid, ONU director of engineering education and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “We expect her to continue to do great things and bring recognition to the program.”