Meet the facilitators

Dissertation Institute and Rising Doctoral Institute Team

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Dr. Stephanie G. Adams

DI Project Director and Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the Dean and Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science at UT Dallas. Previously she served as Dean of the college of engineering and Technology at ODU from 2016-2019 and the Department Head and Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech from 2011 – 2016. Dr. Adams is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering, in 1988. In 1991 she was awarded the Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998. Her research interests include: Broadening Participation, Faculty and Graduate Student Development, International/Global Education, Teamwork and Team Effectiveness, and Quality Control and Management. In 2003 she received the CAREER award from the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Adams is the President of the American Society of Engineering Education.

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Dr. Holly Matusovich

DI Project Director and Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Holly Matusovich is an Associate Professor and the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has a doctorate in engineering education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 10 funded research projects including the NSF CAREER Award. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty, an Outstanding Teacher Award and a Faculty Fellow Award. Dr. Matusovich has graduated 8 doctoral students since Spring 2009. She won the Hokie Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2014, was nominated for a Graduate Advising Award in 2015, and won the 2018 Graduate Student Mentor Award for the College of Engineering.


Dr. Lashun K. Massey

Project Manager Research

Dr. Lashun K. Massey P.E. is the Project Manager for Research in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) in Richardson, TX. Dr. Massey received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. She was awarded both a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and M.E. degree in Engineering from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. Prior to joining UT Dallas, Dr. Massey was the STEM Center Director at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR. She is a registered professional engineer and has worked in the academic, industry, and government sectors for over 15 years. During this time, Dr. Massey has served as an Associate Professor, Program Coordinator, and engineering consultant.


Dr. Mayra S. Artiles

RDI project Director and Doctoral Advisor

Mayra S. Artiles is an assistant professor in the Engineering Education DEpartment at Arizona State University. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University with a focus on nanotechnology. Before completing her Ph.D. in Engineering Education, she worked at Ford Motor Company as an Electrified Vehicles Thermal Engineer for four years. Mayra has collaborated in research projects on diversity in engineering, institutional support for minority students, intercultural competency development in engineering students, and doctoral student motivation. Her current research focuses on understanding the role of institutional policies in doctoral student persistence. 


Dr. Juan M. Cruz

RDI Project Director and Doctoral Advisor

Juan M. Cruz is an assistant professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department at Rowan University. he has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. His research focus is on instructional change in engineering education. During his 15 years of experience in Academia, he has been a professor, the electronics laboratory Manager, the head of the EE undergraduate program, and the leader of the Faculty Development program at the School of engineering at Universidad Javeriana. 


Dr. Gwen Lee Thomas

Project Evaluator

Gwen Lee Thomas has been an external consultant for over 20 years serving local, state, and federal government organizations, businesses, and private and public colleges and universities in several states across North America. She has conducted over 60 evaluations and 100 workshops and presentations on various works including cultural, racial, and generational diversity; assessment, evaluation, and accreditation; teaching and learning; and leadership and organizational development. Gwen is also an AQIP Reviewer for NCA-HLC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1984, a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction and Media Technology from Indiana State University in 1996, and a PhD in Education Administration from Indiana State University in 1999.


Sarah Williams

Project Team Student 

Sarah Williams is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She has experience in qualitative and mixed methods research study design, implementation, and analysis. Her research interests include exploring how engineering faculty develop as self-regulated learners and how they seek out teaching-focused professional development. Her research experience includes exploring how undergraduates form teams and team relationships, developing a sustainable process for peer review and feedback among engineering faculty, exploring how engineering students (both at the undergraduate and graduate level) perceive diversity in engineering, developing and piloting instructor tools to teach metacognition, and exploring student indicators of metacognition.

Doctoral Mentors

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Dr. Wendy Y. Carter-Veale

Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Wendy Y. Carter-Veale is the founder and Head Coach of Dr. Carter’s HigherEd Consulting and an Adjunct Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Carter-Veale has doctorate in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializes in Graduate School Education. She currently serves as the Project coordinator for the Council of Graduate Schools’ PhD completion Project and PROMISE. Her research focuses on alleviating the severely high withdrawal rate of graduate students. Dr. Carter-Veale has written many publications that focuses primarily on the research she has conducted. Her synergistic activities include being a Lead coach, Presentations, Workshop Speaker, and Data coordinator.

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Dr. Howard G. Adams

Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Howard G. Adams is the Founder and President of H.G. Adams & Associates, Inc., a Norfolk, VA based consulting company that provides human development services and products to educational, governmental and industrial organizations. Adams is a leading expert on mentoring and mentorship program development and has written, lectured, and consulted extensively on mentoring as an effective strategy for career, educational, and personal development. Adams is the author or coauthored of fifteen self-help guides and handbooks. From 1978 to 1994 Adams served as Executive Director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM), University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN. Prior to joining GEM, Adams served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Norfolk State University. Adams holds a B.Sc. from Norfolk State University, M.S. from Virginia State University and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

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Dr. Javier Kypuros

Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Javier Kypuros is the College of Engineering dean at The University of Texas at Tyler. He also holds the Ronald D. Brazzel Endowed Professorship of Engineering. Dr. Kypuros previously served as associate dean of academic affairs within a college of engineering and computer science for the University of Texas, Pan American. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University in 1996; a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998 and his PhD. From the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. Dr. Kypuros has been awarded more than $4 million in research funding and has written more than 40 publications.


Dr. Ella Ingram

Doctoral Mentor

Dr. Ella Ingram is the Associate Professor of Biology at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her specialties includes both ecology and methods of teaching and learning. She has advised award-winning student project teams, accompanied students on a field studies program to Kenya, and collaborated with undergraduate researchers to study such topics as wetland ecology, sexual selection in humans and plant-fungi interactions. Ingram is enjoying her second term as director of the institute’s Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education, and is a regular mentor to the Making Academic Change Happen workshop, which has created change agents on campuses across the nation. Dr.
Ingram received the Honorary Alumnus Designation award from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Alumni Association in 2016. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Augustana College in 1997 and her PhD from Indiana University in 2004.