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 two upper-division, project-based learning engineering programs, Iron Range Engineering & Twin Cities Engineering. These cutting edge programs were recognized with the 2017 ABET Innovation Award. She was recognized as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar in 2015.

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. She is a PI on a collaborative grant supporting community research infrastructure in automatic speech recognition. She is the current Vice Chair of the American Society for Engineering Education Diversity Committee and works to support inclusive excellence and practices in engineering education and the field of engineering. She is the Associate Editor for the Engineering community of 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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