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Ohio Northern University to graduate first individual with Bachelor of Science in engineering education

May 8, 2014

Ohio Northern University will award the nation’s first Bachelor of Science in engineering education to Elizabeth Spingola, a 2014 candidate for graduation from Butler, Pa., during commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 11.

Spingola, who will enter a Ph.D. program in engineering education at Virginia Tech following her graduation, is the first graduate from the ONU engineering education program, which was introduced in 2011.

ONU’s degree program in engineering education is the first of its kind in Ohio and one of the first in the nation. The program directly addresses the need to develop a new generation of high school students who can contribute to solving our nation’s challenges through engineering and innovation. The four-year engineering degree will prepare graduates to become licensed secondary math teachers but with a more specialized perspective than teachers who have a traditional education diploma.

Kenneth Reid, ONU director of engineering education and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, said “As the first graduate in engineering education, Liz is already a pioneer. We expect her to continue to do great things and bring recognition to the program as she continues toward her Ph.D. As more of our first cohorts of students graduate, we hope to really make a difference with students pursuing research opportunities in grad school to students entering K-12 as math teachers.”  

An honor student, Spingola is active in numerous community and service organizations. She served on the Relay for Life committee as well as the Northern Engineering Without Boundries as a member and officer. She also volunteered for every outreach activity to introduce engineering to K-12 students. Spingola was a volunteer serving at STEM in the Park (Bowling Green) and STEM Days (Piqua high school) for the past two years, since the programs have existed.  

Spingola also served as project manager for the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) project to build a scale-model replica of the Mars rover Curiosity for the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio. She also served on the team helping to develop the TEAMS competition for the Technology Student Association, serving as a reviewer for regional- and national-level conference papers. She has published at least seven conference papers and presented at national-level conferences such as Frontiers in Education and the ASEE annual conference.