Wu joins College of Engineering as director of data analysis and assessment

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jennifer Wu loves numbers. As the inaugural director of data analysis and assessment in Penn State’s College of Engineering, she hopes to utilize her passion to play an influential part in the college’s strategic planning, rankings and accreditation processes.

Anthony Atchley, senior associate dean in the College of Engineering, said creating the Office of Data Analysis and Analytics is an important step in achieving the college’s vision of becoming one of the preeminent global academies in world-class engineering education, research and service.

“We are a strategy-driven college and the demands for data and assessment are ever-increasing. Dr. Wu’s experience in data analytics and educational assessment and her understanding of how academic institutions function make her the ideal person to head this initiative,” he said.

Wu, who joined the college June 1, will collect and manage data that will be used in the short term to assess the college’s progress toward its 2014-2019 strategic plan and to help enhance the college’s and departments’ rankings.           

Over the long term, Wu will curate, mine, analyze, verify and report academic and administrative data for the college’s dean’s office. Her efforts will assist the college’s leadership with drawing conclusions and making recommendations based on the data for the advancement of the college.

“When we provide numbers, we can also better inform ourselves, as well as the University and external organizations, of our strengths and challenges, and identify resources to bridge the gaps,” said Wu.

For now, she is excited to learn more about what kind of data already exists in the college and to use that data to either confirm how the college has been doing things or make recommendations for how things might be done more efficiently and more effectively.

“I don’t know what I don’t know at this point, but I also have no idea what we might discover,” said Wu.

Wu earned a doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and previously served as associate director of communications, continuing medical education, and global initiatives in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and as assistant director of the China Center at the University of Minnesota.

She was an academic adviser in Penn State’s Division of Undergraduate Studies before joining the College of Engineering.

Jennifer Wu joined Penn State's College of Engineering as the college's inaugural director of data analysis and assessment. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated July 05, 2016