Opening Session Speakers


Introduction and Overview of The Conference

Dr. Robert Gustafson


Dr. Robert J. Gustafson is a Professor of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Students Services for the College of Engineering of The Ohio State University.  Dr. Gustafson is a registered professional engineer and is actively engaged in the development of first-year engineering programs and teaching improvement.  He is an active participant in the curriculum development process and teaches in the Introduction to Engineering (IE) program at Ohio State.  Dr. Gustafson received his BS and MS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1971 and 1972 and a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University in 1974. 


“The OSU Story”

Dr. John Demel


Dr. John T. Demel is a Professor of Engineering Graphics in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science at the Ohio State University. Dr. Demel is a registered professional engineer in Texas and is involved in engineering education research. He  serves as the Faculty Coordinator for the to the IE program and helped to create and develop as well as teach in both the IE and the Freshman Engineering Honors (FEH) programs.  Dr. Demel earned his BSME at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1965 and his MS and PhD degrees in Metallurgy from Iowa State University in 1968 and 1973 respectively.  He taught at Savannah State College and Texas A&M University prior to joining the faculty at Ohio State in 1980.


“Keys to Success in College:  Strategies for Increasing Freshman Year Retention”

Dr. Karl Smith


Dr. Karl Smith is a Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Smith’s principal research area is in collaboration and cooperation in learning and design.  His appointment is currently split between the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University, where he works with faculty in the Lilly Teaching Fellows Program, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Natural Science, and the College of Engineering.  He has served as co-coordinator for the Bush Faculty Development Program for Excellence and Diversity in Teaching, and Associate Director for Education at the Center for Interfacial Engineering at the University of Minnesota; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning; and as Chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.  He has also published numerous articles on the active learning strategies of cooperative learning and structured controversy, knowledge representation and expert systems, and instructional uses of personal computers.  Dr. Smith has a BS and MS degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.