March 02, 2022
News Release: ITEEA Announces 21st Century Leadership Academy Class of 2021-22
ITEEA's 21st Century Leadership Academy provides an opportunity for rising technology and engineering educators from across the country to develop as professional leaders, develop community, and have experiences related to the promotion of technology and engineering education and support technological and engineering literacy for all students in our schools. Furthermore, the best of practices are being shared throughout different regions of the country via the media technology established in the course of this year long program.
Participants in the program are selected from early career university technology and engineering education teachers. Each participant will be self-nominated or nominated by another CTETE member and must agree to participate in the program for one year.
The following individuals will comprise the 2022-23 cohort.
M. Kathleen Ferguson
M. Kathleen Ferguson earned her MEd in Industrial Education at Clemson University and her BS in Technology Education at Virginia Tech. She is currently a PhD candidate pursuing her degree in Education specializing in Technology Education at Old Dominion University. She has taught technology education for over 25 years at all grade levels. She takes pride in her diverse teaching background which includes teaching in an alternative education, international baccalaureate, career academy, rural, and urban classroom settings. Currently an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, Kathleen has been focused on student issues since being employed as the Virginia Technology Student Association State Advisor and her work as a TEECA student and advisor. She has won various awards for her dedication to the profession including Henrico County Teacher of the Year, ITEEA’s Program of the Year, the Maley Spirit of Excellence Outstanding Graduate Student Citation, and ODU’s Technology Education Outstanding Graduate Student. The focus of her research is technology education teacher recruitment and the branding issues of our curriculum.
Dr. Joseph S. Furse is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education at Utah State University where he leads the Technology and Engineering Education program. He earned both his Bachelor of Science degree in Technology and Engineering Education (2014), and his doctoral degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction – Career & Technical Education (2019) at Utah State University. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Measuring the Self-efficacy of Students Participating in VEX Robotics Competitions.” Following the completion of his doctoral coursework, Joseph taught Technology Education at Desert Hills Middle School in St. George, Utah, where he taught 8th and 9th grade courses in technology, manufacturing, engineering, transportation, and construction, and established a thriving after-school VEX Robotics program which served over 50 students per year. In August of 2021, Joseph began his current role as an assistant professor in the Technology and Engineering Education program at Utah State, where he teaches and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in Technology & Engineering Education and Career & Technical Education. His current research interests revolve primarily around CTE/STEM teacher education and retention, and especially in the development of innovative pathways to recruit, prepare, and retain future generations of Technology and Engineering Education teachers.
Chih-Jung Ku is a second-year Ph.D. student at the Department of Technology Application and Human Resource Development, College of Technology and Engineering, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan. She graduated from National Taiwan Normal University with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in 2015 and a master’s degree in Education in 2020. She got her teaching certificate in 2015 and has had technology education teaching experience in secondary schools for over seven years. During her time in NTNU, she assisted technology teacher training programs and was one of the ICTE conference 2021 organizing committee leaders. With the experience of holding national competitions and tutoring teacher training workshops, Chih-Jung enjoys communicating and collaborating with people. Chih-Jung’s future objective is to be a professor to expand the influence of technology and engineering education and be committed to academic research in the field. Her current research interests involve technology and engineering teacher education and iSTEM education, especially iSTEM teacher professional development. As for her recent academic performance, three papers were published in SSCI Q1 journals, including the British Journal of Educational Technology and the International Journal of STEM Education.
Erik Schettig is a faculty member at NC State University in the College of Education's Department of STEM Education. He has experience as a technology, engineering, and design education teacher and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Learning and Teaching in STEM. Erik has served as a CTE department Chair as well as a lead instructor and director for STEM pre-college and research experience programs funded by various industry and university partnerships. His main research interests are developing interactive STEM curricula for students and engaging professional development opportunities for teachers that incorporate the Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy as well as 21st Century Skills including spatial visualization and problem-solving methods in both formal and informal environments. As an active member in Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, and other professional organizations, Erik highly values collaborating on methods of enhancing STEM education for both students and teachers.
Scott Thorne is a first-year Ph.D. student at Purdue University in Technology, Leadership, and Innovation, and a Purdue Doctoral Fellow. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Technology Teacher Education in 2009, and a master’s degree in Technology, Leadership, and Innovation in 2021, both from Purdue University. His research focuses on meaningful dual credit experiences, and teaching tools and strategies for the 9-12 engineering and technology classroom. Scott has taught Engineering & Technology at the high school level in Indiana and Iowa, Design Thinking as an instructor at Purdue, and has engineering experience in design and manufacturing. He is also a former Technology Student Association (TSA) advisor, and currently serves as a board member for Indiana TSA as the Competitive Events Coordinator. Scott’s goal is to teach at the collegiate level, preparing future engineering and technology teachers.
Blaire Thrasher is an Engineering and Technology teacher at East Coweta Middle School in Senoia, Georgia. Ms. Thrasher also works for the ITEEA STEM Center for Teaching and Learning as a curriculum author and a National Teacher Effectiveness Coach. Her bachelor’s degree is in Technology Education from Georgia Southern University. Ms. Thrasher received a master’s degree in Technology Education from Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota and a specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Valdosta State University located in Valdosta, Georgia. Ms. Thrasher sponsors a Technology Student Association chapter at both her middle school and the local high school along with a First Lego League Robotics team. Ms. Thrasher’s goal is to provide hands-on problem solving activities and lessons to help students grow in both engineering and technical literacy and critical thinking skills.
ITEEA President and former Cohort Member, Debra Shapiro, DTE, shared "the Academy was an AMAZING opportuniity to meet with incredible mentors, travel to Washington, DC and meet with many leaders in the Technology and Engineering Education field, as well as grow as students, educators, and leaders. I was personally able to extend myself way outside of my comfort zone by participating in research projects to become a published writer. Special thanks to Program Leaders, Dr. Roger Hill and Dr. Douglas Lecorchick."
Click to learn more about ITEEA's 21st Century Leadership Academy
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