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Get to Know Dr. Breigh Roszelle

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Tali Koziol Thomason

Director of Marketing, Communication, & Events

The Ritchie School's New Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Feature  •
Dr. Breigh Roszelle

The Ritchie School is always looking for ways to improve and modernize the undergraduate student experience. Recently Dr. Breigh Roszelle, Associate Teaching Professor, was promoted to Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. This well-deserved promotion follows Roszelle's excellent track record in the classroom as well as her role as faculty adviser to the Society of Women Engineers, award-winning co-author of ASEE's Annual Conference Best Paper 'What Can DISC and Motivation Profiles Disclose About Student Retention in Engineering?' and Office of Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Fellow. We recently had a chance to talk with Dr. Roszelle about her history at the University of Denver and her new role. 

When did you began teaching at DU and where were you at prior?

I started teaching at DU in January of 2013. Before that I completed a Post-Doc in the Image Processing Application Lab at Arizona State University, where I researched the fluid mechanics of aneurysms and their associated interventional devices, and taught in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering.

How has DU and specifically the Engineering School changed since you joined the faculty?

It has grown! My first fluid mechanics class had about 25 students, and my current one has 50. However this growth has been for the better, as we have more faculty, a great new building, and a more active RSECS community. I've seen more activity in our student groups, our outreach efforts, and our endeavors in undergraduate experiences including the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, Study Abroad, Project-Based Learning in the classroom, and so much more. 

In addition to teaching you're now the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Tell us about that role and your goals for this position. 

The new role is an exciting one for our students, as I now get to focus on making sure our undergraduates are having the best experience they can and being set up to have a bright future beyond DU as well. One my goals with this new position is to make sure that, even with the growth mentioned above, our students are still getting the experience that comes with being at a smaller university including faculty interaction and personalized advising. Another priority will be developing a better way for our first-year students to feel connected to RSECS, as often they are taking most of their courses outside of the school. This may include mentoring by upperclass students and more pointed advising by RSECS faculty. I also hope to support our students as they branch out beyond their regular coursework, whether this be going on a Co-Op, taking courses in different departments, studying abroad, serving the community, or working on undergraduate research.

What's your favorite DU memory?

This is probably cheating, but my favorite thing is hearing from past students! Whether they stop by my office while on campus, write me an email, or I run into them at the mall (true story) I love to hear what they are up to. It makes me so proud to see what exciting things they are doing, engineering related or not. And also being the Golden Spatula Winner (multiple times)!

What does Inclusive Excellence mean to you?

Inclusive Excellence can mean so many things, but I think for me it is providing a climate and experience where everyone feels comfortable and supported. It isn't about focusing on just one group of students, but it is helping all of our students learn about the importance of diversity in the fields of engineering and computer science.

In five years what changes would you like to see for Undergraduate Studies at the Ritchie School?

I would like to see our school continue to move towards a curriculum that is flexible and adaptable to individual student needs. I think the most important thing is that our students gain the technical knowledge for careers in engineering and computer science, but beyond that I would like to see them be able to pursue their passions in other ways. This may include community service, taking courses in other departments, leading a start-up, working with Engineers Without Borders, or researching new medical devices. College is such an important time for our students to branch out and find their passions beyond the classroom, and I hope we can provide the best environment for this.

If you could require one non-textbook to be required reading for all DU students, faculty, and staff what would it be?

I would suggest 'Brotopia' by Emily Chang. It is a very eye-opening view into the current world of Silicon Valley, and reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to the culture of technical fields. Also everyone should buy every girl under the age of 10 that they know "Rosie Revere, Engineer."

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