Furtney selected to receive HWCOE Undergraduate/Advisor Mentor of the Year Award

Sarah Rowlinson

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Furtney, lecturer and undergraduate coordinator, for being selected to receive the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Undergraduate/Advisor Mentor of the Year for 2020-21.

This honor, based on an extensive review of her credentials, letters of recommendation, and peer and student evaluations, recognizes excellence in mentoring our students. College Undergraduate Adviser/Mentor Award winners are also submitted to University Faculty Development for consideration for the university-wide Undergraduate Adviser/Mentor of the Year Award.

Furtney teaches two required courses for the department: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (freshmen) and Cellular Engineering Laboratory (junior). The Intro course is commonly a student’s first BME-specific course and is an excellent opportunity to establish both their understanding of the field and professional foundation in the discipline. She uses this course not only to provide technical content but also to carefully curate content and discussions that establish fundamental knowledge useful for mentor relationships. This effort nicely aligns with her role as Undergraduate Coordinator, in which she often meets with students in advising appointments to go over curriculum mechanics. She also established the Student Leadership Summit, in which student leaders from our BME organizations come together to share best practices and brainstorm solutions for overcoming organizational issues.

“I am interested in mentoring that is personalized and tailored to each student and mentoring that is scalable and can lead to significant gains in our student population’s quality and success,” she said.

Since 2018, she has mentored 19 Supervised Teaching Students as they navigate how to become effective educators and facilitators of learning. Some of these STS’s have since graduated and are now teaching faculty. Furtney also has teaching and mentoring research published in nationally recognized venues such as the National Science Teacher’s Association and American Society for Engineering Education.