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Santiago appointed fundamentals of engineering program director

Lizzie Santiago

Lizzie Santiago has been named director of the fundamentals of engineering program, effective July 1, 2022. (WVU Photo/Paige Nesbit)

Lizzie Santiago, teaching professor in the  fundamentals of engineering program, has been named director of the program, effective July 1, 2022.

Story by Adrianne Uphold, Multi-media Specialist


“I am extremely grateful to Dr. Pedro Mago for the opportunity to lead the fundamentals of engineering program that is focused on transitioning students, helping them find a home in engineering, and supporting their academic success,” Santiago said. “I appreciate the foundation that Dr. Robin Hensel has built, and I am excited to work with a talented team of faculty, graduate students and staff committed to the success of our students.”

In this new capacity, Santiago will lead the program to expand the exposure of students to different engineering majors and industry partners, and to enhance services provided to students enrolled in the program. She will also hire new faculty to support the program. 

Santiago has been a dedicated faculty member at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources since 2009. She promotes passion for learning and engineering by teaching first-year engineering courses and serving as an academic adviser to at least 125 students each semester. 

Prior to coming to West Virginia University, Santiago received her bachelor’s in chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico and her doctorate in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She also has postdoctoral training in neural tissue engineering, stem cell research and molecular neurosciences.

Her excellence in teaching and academic advising have been recognized at both the College and university level as she has received the 2017 Statler College Outstanding Teaching Award, 2020 Statler College Educator of the Year Award, 2021 Statler College Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2017 WVU Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award. She has been the recipient of two National Science Foundation grants in engineering education. 

Since 2013, she has served as an active academic adviser for the WVU student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, while guiding the organization in their campus activities and has supported student participation in annual SHPE conferences. In 2021, she was recognized nationally by the organization and was named the Chapter Advisor of the Year by the SHPE through their Technical Achievement and Recognition award program. 

Santiago’s research interests involve self-regulation, metacognition, critical thinking, student retention, problem solving skills, transitioning students from high school to college, minorities in engineering, neural tissue engineering and molecular neurosciences. She aims to provide first-year engineering students with the skills necessary to succeed in engineering. 

“I am excited about Dr. Santiago’s enthusiasm, ideas and vision for the future of the program,” Dean Pedro Mago said. “The new director replaces the assistant dean position held by Robin Hensel for several years. I want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge Robin for her leadership, service and all she has done to support our program, students and faculty in the College.”



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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