Stockar receives 2021 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award

Posted: August 6, 2021

Department of mechanical and aerospace engineering assistant professor Stephanie Stockar has been selected as a recipient of the 2021 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. The award, presented by SAE International, recognizes young engineering educators working to prepare students for careers in industry. 

“It is a great honor to receive this award, especially looking at the past awardees,” Stockar said.

The Teetor award began in 1963, and has been presented to over 800 educators representing more than 200 institutions. Stockar said that the recognition will be motivation to her, as she continues educating students, and preparing them to be the next generation of leaders in the automotive and transportation industries.

This year’s award was presented following an unprecedented year in higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic posed educators with challenges that required them to adapt to a “new classroom.” Like many, Stockar said the transition to online teaching was an obstacle.

“There is no replacement for the in-person interaction with the audience. That immediate feedback provided by having eye contact with people, or simply walking around the room, is impossible to have on Zoom,” said Stockar.

However, despite all the challenges faced by students and educators alike, Stockar believes that some of the changes will strengthen educators in the long run.

“On the bright side, I think we were ‘forced’ to learn new tools and strategies that will still be helpful after the return to in-person teaching,” Stockar said. “Teaching remotely gave everyone the opportunity to experiment with new approaches, and make long lasting changes and improvements to our courses.”

Professor Stockar has excelled in adapting to both online and hybrid teaching, and continues to engage her students, who she credits with helping in her achievement, especially during a tumultuous year.

“[The award] speaks to the ability of the students and instructors to adapt to changes. I think in engineering, lifelong learning is a crucial skill and this past year has been a test for that,” said Stockar.

As Stockar looks forward to continuing to prepare future groups of automotive and mechanical engineers, she hopes to also continue to engage students through a comprehensive curriculum.

“I believe a multidisciplinary curriculum is key for forming well-prepared engineers able to tackle the challenges that our society is facing,” Stockar said. “One of the most effective way to prepare and motivate the students is to engage them through examples and hands-on experiences, and expose them to the most recent advances in research and development.”