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Character Education Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Engineering

Department of Engineering, Wake Forest University

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS Open
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Job description

The Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University in collaboration with the Program for Leadership and Character seek a creative and dynamic scholar with a research background in virtue ethics, character education, and/or character assessment to serve as a Postdoctoral Fellow. The two-year position is funded by a grant from the Kern Family Foundation to support the development and assessment of character interventions in the context of the undergraduate engineering program. The successful candidate will collaborate directly with engineering faculty, an engineering postdoctoral fellow, and graduate student research assistants to design and coordinate character interventions, assist with course development workshops, conduct empirical studies to assess the efficacy of these pedagogical interventions, and prepare manuscripts for publication. The successful candidate will diversify our team and will provide significant educational contributions in support of our students’ development as engineers. We seek a colleague who is excited about helping us build a new program that embodies the values of empowerment, integrity, inclusion, compassion, growth, and joy in every layer of our fabric (i.e., team interactions and department culture, curriculum development, classroom environment, space design, etc.). Further information is available at college.wfu.edu/engineering/.


Who We Want - We are particularly interested in philosophers, social scientists, education scholars, or scholars in other related fields who have a strong conceptual understanding of virtue and character and a desire to design interventions that cultivate virtue in undergraduates. We are seeking colleagues who share our vision, who embody the same attributes we desire in our students, and who want to contribute to an educational environment that emphasizes excellence in engineering, creative design and problem solving, and broad societal impact.


Essential Functions:

  • Works with engineering faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate research assistants to design and evaluate character interventions in the undergraduate engineering curriculum.
  • Prepares pedagogical and curricular resources to train and support engineering faculty, staff, and students.
  • Assists with course development workshops and course design.
  • Assists with curricular and co-curricular student programming related to character in engineering.
  • Conducts research on character and ethics in engineering, prepares manuscripts for publication, and presents findings at academic conferences.
  • Mentors research assistants and coordinates interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff, and students.


Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant field, such as philosophy, ethics, religious studies, psychology, human development, education, engineering education, or program evaluation.
  • Familiarity with character education, moral development, virtue ethics, or related concepts.
  • Strong philosophical and analytical skills, or strong statistical skills with experience using mixed-method (quantitative and qualitative) approaches to empirical research and assessment.
  • Excellent writing, research, and communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, and interpersonal skills, with accuracy and attention to detail. 
  • Good character, sound judgment, and a strong work ethic.
  • Commitment to supporting the moral and intellectual development of students.
  • Experience with, and sensitivity to, diverse populations and the ability to build inclusive and equitable communities where differences are appreciated and engaged.
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • Initiate projects and work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Develop research goals, set priorities, and effectively manage time and resources.
    • Collaborate with program staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants to design and assess interventions and successfully conduct, analyze, and disseminate co-authored research. 
    • Positively influence colleagues and develop constructive relationships with a wide range of people.
  • Willingness to learn more about leadership and character development and apply that knowledge to inform curriculum design, implementation, and assessment. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of academic cultures, rules, and regulations.
  • Openness to feedback and a commitment to personal and professional growth.


Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Extensive knowledge of virtue ethics, character education, character interventions, moral psychology and development, and/or character assessment.
  • Familiarity with engineering and/or engineering education.
  • Experience working on interdisciplinary projects and publications.


Note - This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.


What To Submit - Interested applicants should apply via the University’s career website at: http://www.wfu.careers/. The application should be submitted as ONE PDF file and include the following: (1) a cover letter that addresses the applicant’s motivation, personal values in alignment with the job description; (2) a CV; and (3) a list of 3-5 references. References will only be contacted with prior approval of the applicant. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Further information is available at college.wfu.edu/engineering/.

Inquiries about the position and application process may be addressed to Dr. Olga Pierrakos (Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Engineering) at pierrao@wfu.edu or Dr. Michael Lamb (Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character, Assistant Professor of Politics, Ethics, and Interdisciplinary Humanities) at lambkm@wfu.edu.

Wake Forest University is a highly ranked, private university with 5100 undergraduates and 3000 graduate and professional students in the Schools of Medicine, Law, Divinity and Business. Wake Forest University welcomes and encourages diversity and inclusivity, and seeks applicants with demonstrated success in working with diverse populations. Wake Forest University is an AA/EO employer and values an inclusive and diverse learning community and campus climate.

In order to provide a safe and productive learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final staff candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://bit.ly/3appizW
Deadline for full consideration: May 1, 2020, 12:00am EST

(applications under review)

Hard deadline No deadline specified (applications considered on an ongoing basis)
Web address for more information https://bit.ly/3appizW
Time created April 21, 2020, 5:08pm EST
Scheduled expiry date November 7, 2020, 4:03pm EST
Last updated April 21, 2020, 5:08pm EST
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