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College of Engineering

Jorgensen is recognized for new course challenging the way students view ethics for 2021

Tennessee Tech University professor Stephanie Jorgensen has been selected to receive the 2020-2021 Leighton E. Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award from the College of Engineering. She was selected for her innovative redesign of a Chemical Engineering Process, Products, Ethics course, which students have described as “changing the way we think.”

“Engineering ethics became less of something we should do, and more of an actual ideology to follow through our lives and careers,” said Phoebe Dawson a recently graduated student who completed the new course. With the new format, topics are viewed and discussed through five different lenses: global, economic, societal, environmental, and societal impact.”

Jorgensen developed the redesigned format with support from the university’s EDGE – Enhanced Discovery through Guided Exploration – Curriculum Grant Program. EDGE is part of Tennessee Tech’s five-year Quality Enhancement Plan that is included in the strategic plan for the university and is a component of its accreditation process. It encourages analyzing existing ideas in original ways.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” said Jorgensen, “The redesign set out to demonstrate to our students the ethical implications when considering perspectives for a project. Leveraging the Social Construction of Technology framework, students were challenged to develop e-portfolios, which connected the ethical implications of real-world decision making on their impacts.”

Jorgensen holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Biomolecular Engineering and a doctorate degree in Engineering, with a Chemical Engineering specialization, both from Tennessee Tech. Her research interests include Engineering education to bridge pedagogical theory to practical applications and biotechnology to develop mathematically-driven models that guide healing in wounds and facilitate new and more efficient closure approaches to avoid dermal scarring.

The Sissom award was established in honor of the late Leighton E. Sissom, Ph.D., emeritus professor, and a former chair of the Mechanical Engineering program at Tech for 13 years and dean of the College of Engineering for nine years. The award recognizes innovation and creativity in scholarship, methodology, invention, technique, processes, or other unique contributions that demonstrate creativity and innovation. The winner of the Sissom award receives a plaque and a stipend.

Tech has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in its Best National University listing for the past four years, and in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs listing for a doctorate university for the past five years.

The College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech offers ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in basic engineering, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, manufacturing and engineering technology, and mechanical engineering. At the graduate level, Tech offers both master’s degrees in the above disciplines and an engineering doctorate. 

Founded in 1915, the state’s only public technological university, Tennessee Tech offers degrees from eight academic schools and colleges to more than 10,000 students across its 282-acre campus. Its degree programs focus on Agriculture and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Nursing.

College of Engineering Dean Joseph C Slater presents the Leighton E. Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award for 2021 plaque to Stephanie Jorgensen

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