Aug. 12, 2021

Engineering faculty member awarded national fellowship


Jessica Vold, assistant professor, has been named an Engineering Unleashed Fellow.

Jessica Vold, assistant professor of engineering entrepreneurship and innovation, has been named an Engineering Unleashed Fellow for her leadership in undergraduate engineering education.

Vold is one of 27 individuals from higher education institutions across the country named fellows in 2021.

“I was really excited when I found out I had been selected for this award,” Vold said. “This means I get to continue the work I started last year to make changes in how I deliver technical content in a way that encourages students to find the value in what they are doing, and share the outcomes on a national platform. More importantly it gives me a platform to share within the College of Engineering at NDSU how a change in mindset can better serve our students, and their future employers, in their engineering careers.”

Vold was nominated for the fellowship by her peer coaches after participating in an Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development workshop focused on integrating an entrepreneurial mindset into course curriculum. The goal is to encourage students to identify ways of increasing value in the work they do, to be curious about the world around them and to make connections between course content and the world around them.

“When we can get students to think critically about how they create value for various stakeholders, we enable them to think entrepreneurially and be the agents of change employers are looking for. One way to encourage this mindset is through alternative assessments such as project or problem-based learning, which I started working with through the workshop and deployed in my courses,” Vold said.

Engineering Unleashed Fellows are awarded a $10,000 grant. Vold plans to use the money to help develop project-based learning assessments for her courses. She’ll also use her cohort of likeminded faculty and mentors from across the country as a sounding board for her ideas.

“The Engineering Unleased community holds a wealth of knowledge on how to better serve our students in all engineering disciplines,” Vold said.

Vold earned her master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering from NDSU. She joined the faculty in 2019 after several years working in industry as a research and design engineer.

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