Bioengineering professor Holly Golecki receives 2021 ASEE Mara H. Wasburn Early Engineering Educator Grant


Donna Shubert

Bioengineering professor Holly Golecki
Bioengineering professor Holly Golecki

Bioengineering professor Holly Golecki has been selected by the Women in Engineering Division (WEID) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as the recipient of the 2021 Mara H. Wasburn Early Engineering Educator Grant. The grant is awarded annually to a woman planning to pursue a career in engineering education, or within their first three years of a faculty position, who has a demonstrated commitment to innovation in teaching and/or potential for substantial contributions to the field.

Dr. Mara H. Wasburn (February 22, 1941 – March 27, 2011) was a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision at Purdue University and her work on mentoring is recognized worldwide. Her mentoring model, Strategic Collaboration, was copyrighted and has been applied to both business and academic environments internationally. Dr. Wasburn was very active in ASEE, particularly in WIED. Through this grant, Dr. Wasburn's commitment to mentoring and the academic advancement of women in engineering and technology is honored. The applicants and awardees represent an embodiment of Dr. Wasburn’s legacy.

Golecki has built her career to date on her mission of inspiring the next generation of innovators, engineers, and roboticists, and looks forward to broadening her teaching impact as her career develops. She sees teaching as an opportunity to create inclusive spaces on campus to create a positive impact that spreads beyond classroom walls. She aims to train engineers to design solutions for our biggest challenges with empathy and inclusivity. She was nominated by bioengineering professor Karin Jensen.

"Supporting students’ technical skill development as well as their mental health and wellness is a responsibility we hold as faculty. I find that my students are eager to put engineering within a social justice context," she said. Her research is focused on embedded agency beliefs and opportunities for students to develop STEM identities. She has been an active advocate and mentor for historically marginalized groups in engineering. 

Golecki will receive the award this summer at the ASEE Annual Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.