Thea Pepperl, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been selected by the VCU Division of Community Engagement as a 2019-2020 Service-Learning Faculty Fellow.
Fellows will serve as campus teachers in leading excellence and work with the VCU Service-Learning Office staff to deepen awareness and knowledge of service-learning pedagogy across the university’s academic departments.
“There are so many opportunities for faculty and students in engineering to engage in service-learning,” Pepperl said.
Pepperl has worked with students to use technology to help clinicians treating children who have cerebral palsy. Currently, her students are working with an occupational therapist and rehabilitation engineer to design a mug for people with hand tremors.
“Service-learning exposes students to unique and diverse perspectives, which helps students really understand who they are designing for,” she said. “Everything we design has the potential for profound social impact—it’s important that we prepare our students for that.”