Dr. Rebecca Bates, Professor & Chair, Distinguished Faculty Scholar

PhD | Faculty

Address: Office | 231 Wissink Hall
Phone: 507-389-5587
Email: bates@mnsu.edu

Dr. Rebecca Bates is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Integrated Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she directs our upper-division, project-based and co-op-based learning engineering programs, Iron Range Engineering & Twin Cities Engineering. These cutting edge programs were recognized with the 2017 ABET Innovation Award and the 2018 Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Award for STEM Workforce Development. She was recognized by the University as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar and is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

She joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2015 as a rotator Program Officer in the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR) where she worked through 2016. She supported the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) and the Alliances for Graduate Education & the Professoriate (AGEP) program. In 2017, she was a half-time Program Officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education where she supported the IUSE-EHR (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) program.

She was a PI on a multi-year, five-institution project examining the impact of connections to community and sense of belonging on STEM student engagement. Other funded work has included the development of community research infrastructure in automatic speech recognition, generation of community statements on new pathways for STEM assessment, evaluation and accreditation, and development and analysis of training methods to support professional development for peer review. She has been the chair of the American Society for Engineering Education Commission (ASEE) on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and works to support inclusive excellence and practices in engineering education and the field of engineering. She is the current chair of the ASEE Ethics Committee and an Engineering Editor for the Online Ethics Center.

She earned her BS in Biomedical Engineering and M.S. in Electrical Engineering degrees from Boston University, an MTS. (theological studies) degree from Harvard Divinity School, and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. She grew up in Montana and judges figure skating in her spare time.


  • PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington

Research Areas

  • Engineering & Computer Science Education
  • Belonging in STEM Post-Secondary Education
  • Automatic Speech Recognition and Computational Linguistics
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