College of Engineering awards seven Distinguished Teaching Fellowships

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Seven doctoral students have been named recipients of a College of Engineering Distinguished Teaching Fellowship.

The fellowship program was established to provide experiences that will enhance the career success of the fellows, especially those who choose to pursue faculty positions.

Each year, up to 10 doctoral students will be selected as fellows to teach an undergraduate engineering course under the supervision of a faculty mentor for one semester.

Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year include: Ko Basu, aerospace engineering; Vamshi Chillara, engineering science and mechanics; Emil Laftchiev, electrical engineering; Amy Mensch, mechanical and nuclear engineering; Devin Pohly, computer science and engineering; Maria Sanchez Farran, chemical engineering; and Minchen Wei, architectural engineering.

Tom Litzinger, professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education and the College of Engineering's director of educational accreditation, oversees the program. He explained that the fellows were selected based on applications filed by their respective departments, which included statements of interest from the applicants and mentoring plans created by faculty.

As participants of the program, fellows receive exclusive professional development opportunities, including attending the College of Engineering's new faculty workshop, participating in monthly roundtables with peer teaching fellows and faculty known for excellence in their teaching and attending special workshops sponsored by the Leonhard Center.

Litzinger said another valuable benefit of the program is that fellows gain teaching experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor. "This experience will help them launch their academic careers because they will understand what it takes to successfully prepare and teach an undergraduate course."

Faculty and students who would like more information about the program may contact him at

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Thomas Litzinger

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Thomas Litzinger, director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education and professor of mechanical engineering

Last Updated August 19, 2014