Buswell to Receive UCI Distinguished Early-Career Faculty Award
Nov. 30, 2020 – The UC Irvine Academic Senate has selected Natascha Buswell, assistant professor of teaching in mechanical and aerospace engineering, for the 2020-2021 Distinguished Early-Career Faculty Award for Teaching. This award, one of the senate’s highest honors, recognizes members who have achieved excellence through their activities in research, teaching, mentorship and service.
It was as an undergraduate student when Buswell started facilitating small study sessions with other students that she tried on her “teaching hat” for the first time. She realized she had a strong desire to help anyone who was interested in becoming an engineer, and she set out to pursue a teaching career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Syracuse University and her doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University.
Buswell’s research focuses on the development of teaching methods for engineering graduate students and faculty, supporting student learning in engineering, and the experiences of engineers in multiple contexts. She is especially interested in integrating inclusive teaching approaches in her practice that support students who identify as female, Black, Asian or Hispanic; members of the LGBTQ community; first-generation students; and students of low socio-economic status.
“During this pandemic, a time when many people feel disconnected, I was reminded that teaching is one of the main ways I feel connected with people,” said Buswell. “I am tremendously honored to receive this award, as teaching and supporting students lie close to my heart.”
The awards will be presented virtually at the Distinguished Faculty Awards Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2021.
– Megan Lohre