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Honorary doctorate recipient

Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent

Doctor of Laws (LLD), 2019
For helping a generation of STEM instructors teach more effectively

Rebecca Brent and her husband and colleague, Richard Felder, have been working tirelessly for decades to help professors become better educators.

Felder is the Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. For roughly the first half of his career, he carried out research on a variety of topics in chemical process engineering. In 1978 Felder co-authored Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes. Now in its fourth edition, the textbook has been adopted by more than 90 per cent of United States chemical engineering departments and translated into four other languages.

Beginning in the late 1980s, Felder shifted his career focus to educational methodologies in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. He co-developed and validated the online Index of Learning Styles with Barbara A. Soloman.

As president of Education Designs, Inc., an educational consulting firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Brent applies her more than 35 years of experience in education at the pre-college and college levels. She has authored or co-authored some 120 papers on staff development, teacher preparation, and educational program evaluation.

From 1991 to 2015, Brent and Felder co-directed the American Society for Engineering Education National Effective Teaching Institute. In 2016, they co-authored Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide, in which they emphasize student-centred instructional methods such as active and cooperative learning. They have presented more than 600 teaching and faculty development workshops and seminars and maintain a well-read blog.

Brent was named a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education in 2014. Among his many honours, Felder was awarded that same body’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

At the ceremony

Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent were granted their Doctorate of Laws at the November 2019 ceremony for the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. 

You can watch the video below.

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