By: Adam M. Rainear
The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department is pleased to announce Jennifer Pascal as an Assistant-Professor in Residence, who will mainly have a teaching emphasis for the department.
Joining UConn after spending three years teaching at her alma mater, Tennessee Technological University (TTU), Dr. Pascal attributes her passion for teaching and education as one of the main reasons for joining UConn.
“The school I was at – I thought – had a nice balance between research and teaching,” she said. “But, it turns out they’re really pushing research. [And] I really wanted to focus on teaching and engineering education.”
With her new role, Dr. Pascal is most looking forward to improving her classes and refining her teaching abilities.
“Just actually getting to focus on your classes, and try to make them good,” she said. “Trying new things, because you have time now to prepare and do some different activities and stuff like that. And then, getting to go to some of the workshops at CETL, and interacting with some of the folks over there. It’s been exciting, those were the meetings I always liked going to.”
In her first semester here in Storrs, Dr. Pascal co-taught Introduction to Chemical Engineering (CHEG 2103), in addition to Unit Operations and Process Simulation (CHEG 4142). In the upcoming spring semester, she will teach two advanced transport special topics courses and will co-teach the chemical engineering senior laboratory.
Dr. Pascal received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from TTU in 2011, researching Modeling Electrokinetic-based Bioseparations and Learning Transport Phenomena for her dissertation. From there, she went on to begin her career at the University of New Mexico on a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship, where she could devote a portion of her fellowship to teaching at a minority serving institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Though she doesn’t have specific research requirements, moving forward Dr. Pascal hopes to continue engaging in research with her new colleagues.
“I’m interested in engineering education research, so I’m trying to get some things going with that and build that up. Before I did mathematical modeling of bio-transport systems, so I’m open.”
Dr. Pascal denotes her father, a former television weatherman in Tennessee, for her passion of all-things science when she was younger.
“I grew up with all this science stuff around – he’s a big nerd – so, weather stations in our house and experiments all the time,” Pascal noted. “He got me a microscope when I was five – and growing up around that – I’m sure influenced me.”