Engineering professor receives outstanding teaching award

Jennifer Marley, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has just been named the recipient of the National 2020 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award. This award was first established back in 1972 and was created to highlight the achievements of college professors in the early days of their careers. 


This award is only given to one professor of the electrical and computer engineering community, across many schools throughout the country. Marley was given the award for the excellence and creativity she displayed in both her classrooms and her research. 


Marley was honored to receive this award.


“It definitely means a lot, it means a lot to have such a supportive department here in college, it makes you think of everyone along the way who helped you get to where you went,” Marley said. 


She completed her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and renewable electrical engineering systems at North Carolina State University, then went to obtain her PhD at the University of Michigan. She started teaching at Valpo in Aug. of 2017, this being her fourth year of teaching. 


Marley, who has research interest in renewable energy, teaches the following courses: GE100, fundamentals of electrical and computer engineering, tech writing, power systems and control systems.


Marley is known for being very interactive with her students, as she works to come up with creative activities to do with her students to promote their understanding in the field of engineering and in her research.  


By working with students for the whole time they are enrolled at Valpo and including them into her own research she has helped the growth and development of numerous students in the major. She has displayed the skills they need to write as an engineer and has provided hands on experience in showing them how to run a power system. 


“It’s a different way of teaching things, it's not a common thing to take like a small scale wind turbine and try and see some system level issues but I think kind of pushing beyond sheer of the theory and let's go with it, but really pushing students to engage in the moment with the material because I think that is the creative part of what I teach,” Marley said. 


Marley was nominated earlier this year in April by Doug Tougaw, department chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering, and was officially selected for the award Aug. 4. She will be honored with the award via virtual ceremony next month on Nov. 7 and will be given the award via email.

“It was an honor just to be nominated. I mean that sincerely and then of course it's an even bigger honor to be selected, it's very exciting,” Marley said.  

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