Berdanier, colleagues earn Hayhoe Award at IEEE conference
Oct. 7, 2016
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Catherine Berdanier, a research associate in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State, and two colleagues recently accepted the Hayhoe Fellow Award at the IEEE ProComm 2016 International Professional Communication Conference in Austin, Texas.
The award recognizes a paper written and submitted to the conference by Berdanier and Gracemarie Mike Fillenwarth, an assistant professor of writing arts at Rowan University and Mary McCall, a Ph.D. candidate in composition and rhetoric at Purdue University. The three presented “Résumés in the Development of Undergraduate Engineering Identity: A Genre Analysis with Teaching Implications” Oct. 3 at the conference.
Berdanier said their work offers a new way to improve communication in engineering education.
“Traditionally, the teaching of engineering rubrics is qualitative in nature, and relies heavily on teaching grammar, writing mechanics and punctuation, or design aspects. One reason for this is that often instructors of engineering communication are not engineers or may not be able to articulate what content or wording is more valued in the engineering community,” she said. “Our research provided a new model to quantify the strength of engineering resumes based on engineering disciplinary discourse, which can be useful for teachers and engineering students.”
The Hayhoe Fellow Award is named for longtime IEEE Professional Communications Society member George Hayhoe.
“For me, the best part about being awarded this best paper is what it represents: The cross-talk between disciplines is an integral part of research and educational initiatives when it comes to engineering education,” Berdanier said. “Mary, Grace, and I were late-career Ph.D. students when we conceived and conducted this research, and winning this award points to the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations even at the graduate levels as a springboard for professional collaborations. The paper was well-received at the conference, and we hope to influence both the engineering and writing communities in the future.”