Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.
Background: My early experiences in industry engrained the engineering value of solving technical issues on the fly and have driven my teaching emphasis on problem-solving. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I used real-world problems to explain fundamental concepts to students and continued to integrate problem-solving into engineering curricula as an Assistant Professor. As a new faculty, I became co-founder of the BME Department at CCNY, the first at a public Minority Serving Institution (MSI), where I helped create a 128-credit undergraduate major and developed 11 of its new technical courses. I led my undergraduate courses with a strong emphasis in problem-solving and affirmed its successful impacts when I directed the Department ABET accreditation a decade later. At Rutgers, I produced a new syllabus for a core undergraduate course I had not previously taught, and incorporated my teaching style using experiments and simulations to complement engineering theory. I also used my experience to co-develop a teaching observation pilot in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research (CTAAR) that is lauded as a model for other engineering departments.
Teaching Experience and Responsibilities: Prior to my time at Rutgers, I had been the primary and/or co-instructor for 3-4 courses per year teaching lecture-based courses, laboratory courses, and hybrid courses with both weekly lectures and lab modules. I have taught early undergraduate courses of Introduction to Engineering/Biomedical Engineering, Thermodynamics, and Science and Technology (Honors College, HNC). I have developed curricula for core courses of Experimental Methods and Capstone Design I, II, and produced specialized Independent Study courses to train rising seniors as summer research mentors for high school STEM outreach programs. At the graduate level, I have developed new courses in Microfluidics and Microfabrication, Bio-Nanotechnology, and Bio-Design I, II, and III in Translational Medicine. Moreover, I have engaged in cross-campus and cross-institutional courses funded by NSF and NIH centers. At Rutgers, I have used my experiences to produce a new syllabus for the core undergraduate course of Transport Phenomena, where I combined concepts of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics with the traditional Heat and Mass Transfer taught previously. In total, I have presented over 55 courses as a faculty member using 15+ years of experience of engagement with instructional workshops.
My Teaching Philosophy is that hands-on engineering experiences enrich problem-solving skills by linking analytical concepts with physical intuition. This methodology helps students bridge academic gaps, and is especially beneficial to growing numbers of non-traditional students, including first-in-college, disabled, under-represented minorities, and second-career adults. My goal as an instructor is to inspire creativity alongside engineering rigor by highlighting the strengths of new technical approaches in the development of BME products and innovations.
Outreach: I believe a Professor is more than the sum of research publications and teaching scores, but rather an advocate for educational attainment across all communities. I am passionate about community outreach and tirelessly support public education through engagement with government advisory panels, private foundations that recognize STEM instruction, and interactions with local K-12 students, community college scholars, and their families.
Lastly: Please visit my Research Website to view the laboratory activities that complement my contributions to teaching.