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Denise R Simmons

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    Denise R. Simmons, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, and an affiliate faculty of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in civil engineering and a graduate certificate in engineering education – all from Clemson University. Until 2012, she was the director of the Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station. Dr. Simmons has nearly fourteen years of engineering and project management experience working with public utility companies, a project management consulting company, and a software company. She is a registered professional engineer, project management professional and LEED accredited professional. Her career vision is to become a global leader in research that builds capacity and broadens the participation of students completing construction and engineering degrees and entering the technological workforce by shaping practices and policies in retention, informal learning, pedagogy, professional competency, workforce development and life-long learning. Her research interests are in investigating students’ development of leadership skills and other professional competencies and in students' involvement in curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Dr. Simmons is a NSF CAREER award recipient for her research entitled, “Investigating Co-Curricular Participation of Students Underrepresented in Engineering” and a recently funded NSF award entitled “Preparing a 21st Century STEM Workforce: Defining & Measuring Leadership in Engineering Education” focused on the construction industry. Dr. Simmons is also a 2016 recipient of the College of Engineering Dean's Award for Outstanding New Assistant Professor.

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    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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