Engineering's McTernan receives graduate assistant teaching award

04/24/2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Jesse McTernan, Ph.D. candidate in aerospace engineering, was named a recipient of the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award.

Sponsored by the Graduate School, through the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award endowment, and the Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, the award recognizes graduate assistants for outstanding teaching performance. The award is open to those who have served as graduate assistants for at least two semesters within the last two years and are registered as graduate students in the spring semester the honor is awarded. Typically, ten awards are offered each year.

McTernan’s teaching experience at Penn State began in the summer of 2014 when he assisted Sven Bilén, head of the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) and professor of engineering design, electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, in running a week-long Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design (ICED) workshop, in which a dozen elementary and secondary education teachers were exposed to the engineering design process. Bilén serves as McTernan’s Ph.D. supervisor.

“Teaching is more than explaining,” McTernan said. “It is engaging a student’s whole self. To engage students this way, I need to step down from the podium and interact in small groups. This is when a lecture hall becomes like an apprenticeship. This is where I feel the most effective.”

Recognizing his potential for teaching, McTernan was provided with the chance to teach a section of EDSGN 100: Introduction to Engineering Design in spring 2015. He has taught a section of EDSGN 100 each semester since.

“As a first-year class, we look for faculty who can connect with these young students, are good role models and genuinely care for the students’ well-being,” Bilén said. “Jesse excels in all of these areas.”

McTernan has also played a large role in the development and deployment of new curriculum materials for EDSGN 100 as part of a revision to the course, specifically helping in the development of two modules: Engineering Ethics and Professional Communications.

Bilén said McTernan’s passion for teaching is remarkable, as is his ability to inspire students.

“I am confident that Jesse will continue to make positive and lasting impacts on the lives and careers of those whom he has taught,” he said.

—Samantha Chavanic

 

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Jesse McTernan, Ph.D. candidate in aerospace engineering

Jesse McTernan, Ph.D. candidate in aerospace engineering

Jesse McTernan in the Space Propulsion Lab

McTernan conducting research in the Space Propulsion Lab.

“I am confident that Jesse will continue to make positive and lasting impacts on the lives and careers of those whom he has taught,” said Bilén.

 
 

About

The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569