Dr. Wendy C. Newstetter
Dr. Wendy C. Newstetter Gordon Prize
Assistant Dean for Educational Research and Innovation , Georgia Tech
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  • Gordon
Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education
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Wendy Newstetter is assistant dean for educational research and innovation in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. She was a founding faculty member in the university’s Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), where she was a cognitive and learning scientist (2000–2012). During this time, she worked with faculty to build an innovative curriculum both based on the principles of problem-based learning (PBL) and informed by the ethnographic studies she and her research team conducted in biomedical engineering research laboratories. The objective was to enhance fidelity between the authentic, unscripted learning environment of a research lab and the synthetic or designed environment of a classroom. What started as a single PBL class has grown to a suite of carefully designed engineering learning environments collectively referred to as problem-driven learning (PDL). This unique collection of classroom environments was recognized in 2013 with the Georgia Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award. More recently, Dr. Newstetter and BME colleagues were awarded an NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Department (RED) grant to create inclusive engineering leaders. 
For their work in the research laboratories, Dr. Newstetter and her team received the American Psychological Association William James Book Award in 2012. She is a past senior associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education and a current member of the federal Army Science Board. 
Dr. Newstetter earned her BA from Colby College and her MA and PhD in linguistics from Lancaster University (UK). 
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  • Gordon
  • 2019
  • For fusing problem-driven engineering education with learning science principles to create a pioneering program that develops leaders in biomedical engineering.