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WSU Everett faculty present research at the University of Zagreb, Croatia

EVERETT, Wash. – Dec. 19, 2020 – The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) at the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Section of the global Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) invited a team of professors from Washington State University, Everett to present their research and host a workshop for students, professors and industry professionals in Europe this month.

The team was made up of:

  • Dr. Mark Beattie, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management,
  • Prof. Lucrezia Cuen Paxson, Clinical Assistant Professor, Edward E. Murrow College of Communication,
  • Dr. Jacob Murray, Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
  • Dr. Soobin Seo, Assistant Professor of hospitality business management at the WSU Everett.

It held the interactive session on Dec. 11 with 52 students, professors and professionals taking part virtually from the University of Zagreb and broadcast live across Europe via the IEEE live stream channel.

The team presented the development, design, and implementation of an interdisciplinary project-based learning approach at the WSU and its results. 

The project called SOAR (STEM-Oriented Alliance for Research) offers a transformative educational experience to students, merging coursework across three different academic disciplines.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education has been challenged by industries to incorporate business and communication experiences (and vice versa) that prepare students for the workplace.

Incorporating interdisciplinary project-based coursework provides experiential learning for students, a skillset that employers indicate as desirable.

The data obtained during the work on the SOAR project suggest that the collaboration in interdisciplinary project-based learning led to transformative learning, increased confidence, and cohesion among disciplines.

The workshop demonstrated how to make students engage their full creativity potentials and make learning more interesting and, ultimately, useful and applicable in the fast-changing economy and society. The presentation and workshop can be viewed here: