Matthew Wisnioski, associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, has received the Graduate School’s 2018 Faculty Outstanding Mentor Award for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Sponsored by the Graduate School, the annual award recognizes excellence in mentoring graduate students. Students nominate recipients, and one professor from each college receives an award.
In his own work, Wisnioski studies the interplay between expertise and imagination in science, technology, and innovation. He is the author of Engineers for Change: Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America, published by MIT Press in 2012, and an associate editor of the journal Engineering Studies.
At Virginia Tech, Wisnioski is a senior fellow in the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; a faculty member in the Human-Centered Design Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program; and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering.
Wisnioski is also a co-principal investigator on the Virginia Tech faculty team for the RED (Revolutionizing Engineering Departments) program, a National Science Foundation initiative that aims to redesign undergraduate engineering and computer science education.
During his tenure at Virginia Tech, Wisnioski has mentored 20 graduate students, and his former students now hold teaching and research positions at a number of universities.
The graduate students who nominated Wisnioski for the Faculty Outstanding Mentor Award said he was a joy to work with, providing insightful feedback and encouragement, and helping them develop personalized research trajectories and career plans. Students said he also helped them secure research funding and find opportunities to present and publish their work. He treats advisees as “trustworthy, competent junior scholars and teachers,” the students wrote in their nomination letter.
In 2014, Wisnioski received Virginia Tech’s XCaliber Award for Exceptional, High-caliber Contributions to Technology-enriched Teaching and Learning. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences honored him with its Excellence in Advising Award this year, as well as its Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award in 2014.
Wisnioski earned his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Johns Hopkins University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Princeton University. He also undertook postdoctoral training as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry Program at Washington University in St. Louis.