Dianne Hendricks and Elena Agapie receive the College of Engineering awards for teaching

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton announced that two HCDE instructors received the 2020 College of Engineering Awards for teaching: Lecturer Dianne Hendricks received the faculty award and PhD student Elena Agapie received the student award.

Awarded annually, the College of Engineering Awards acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the College’s teaching and research assistants, staff, and faculty members.

Dianne HendricksFaculty Award: Teaching
Dr. Dianne Hendricks, Human Centered Design and Engineering

Dr. Dianne Hendricks has been a Lecturer in HCDE since 2018, and in the Department of Bioengineering before that since 2013. In her current role, she directs the Engineering Communications Program for the College of Engineering, which is an essential part of the educational experience for students across the College of Engineering. Hendricks develops curriculum for the program and mentors six part-time lecturers, reaching nearly 900 students enrolled in the Engineering Technical Communication course. Student feedback for Hendricks' courses consistently cites her enthusiasm, approachability, and creative in-class activities. 

"Dianne is an outstanding and dedicated educator who has an excellent track record of teaching, curriculum development, outreach, and leadership in engineering communication," said HCDE Professor and Interim Chair Julie Kientz. "She has contributed greatly to the field of engineering education in her scholarship and outreach activities. More specifically, she has been particularly innovative in engaging active learning techniques in her course work, and has shown to effectively engage students in classes ranging in size from 12 to 150."

Elena AgapieStudent Award: Teaching
Elena Agapie, Human Centered Design and Engineering

Elena Agapie is a PhD candidate in HCDE, in her final year of the program. She has served as a lead instructor for new courses in HCDE and been instrumental in leading HCDE's K-12 outreach efforts. Agapie designed and taught an introduction to programming course, a new class for the department for Master's students with no prior experience in the subject. Students in Agapie's course commented on how accessible and accommodating she was, giving them empathy and understanding and providing a strong intellectual foundation to master difficult concepts.

Working alongside HCDE Senior Lecturer Andrew Davidson, Agapie has also developed activities for HCDE's K-12 outreach program, helping younger students learn about human-centered design. Agapie coordinated over 50 workshops on design and engineering at schools across Washington State, reaching over 2,000 K-12 students and teachers. 

"Elena has also been an outstanding student citizen and mentor to students across the department," Kientz said. "She plays an active role in helping others with their work, including giving numerous guest lectures, running panels with PhD students on topics such as finding internships and working with PhD advisors and time management, and just being a general good citizen to all who interact with her. And all of this is on top of conducting and publishing top tier research."

The College of Engineering will honor Hendricks and Agapie at an awards ceremony in spring quarter. Find previous HCDE recipients of Engineering awards at hcde.uw.edu/awards