Two faculty members in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have been honored with 2021 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards. 

Seema Dahlheimer and Sandra Matteucci were among the seven recipients at Washington University who will receive the award in mid-November. They are among more than 80 teachers in the St. Louis area who are recognized this year for their outstanding commitment to educational excellence. 

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards Program, now in its 32nd year, honors teachers who are chosen by the deans of their schools and by the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dahlheimer is assistant director of the Engineering Communication Center and a senior lecturer of technical writing. She says she believes that through engineering, we create a more just and equitable world and is passionate about getting to know her students and helping them find their voices.  She teaches Technical Writing, Engineering Leadership & Team Building, Engineers in the Community, and Reflective Writing in Medicine and Healthcare. She has been with McKelvey Engineering for 13 years but has been with WashU since she was an undergraduate student in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She also is the incoming president of the Association of Women Faculty, and she volunteers on various committees on the Danforth Campus.  Professionally outside of WashU, she is a freelance writing consultant, tutor, writer and editor.  Dahlheimer earned an MFA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville; and a bachelor’s degree from WashU.

Matteucci is director of the Engineering Communication Center and a senior lecturer. Since she became director in 2014, she has envisioned ways that students might impact the broader community, and with funding from the Gephardt Institute, she piloted a class entitled Destination Ferguson that has evolved into the present course, Engineers in the Community. She encourages Engineering students to seek leadership roles to positively affect communities. She also serves as co-chair of the Student Education + Curriculum Change working group for the McKelvey Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Matteucci teaches Technical Writing and Engineering Ethics and Sustainability, both required courses for undergraduate engineering students. In her role as director of the Engineering Communication Center, she recently expanded offerings to include graduate courses in Communication Tools, Publication Writing and Presentation Skills.

In 2007, Matteucci received an Innovation in Teaching Award from the Engineering department; and in 2009, she was a Gephardt Institute for Public Service grant recipient for Innovation in Community-Based Teaching and Learning. She earned a master’s degree from WashU and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.


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