The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Yanfei Xu Chosen as 2021-22 TIDE Ambassador

Yanfei Xu

Yanfei Xu

The Center for Teaching and Learning has announced that Assistant Professor Yanfei Xu of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been selected as one of the 10 members of the 2021-2022 TIDE Ambassadors (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, & Equity) Faculty Fellowship cohort. As part of her participation in the TIDE Program, she will receive $1,500 to use for her further professional development and will participate in numerous TIDE activities designed to help her enhance an inclusive experience in her classes and beyond.

As Xu says, “I feel very honored to be chosen as one of the 10 [TIDE] Ambassadors on campus ( I very much look forward to working together on enhancing campus-wide teaching for inclusiveness, diversity, and equity and learning more from other faculties!”

In 2016–2017, the Center for Teaching and Learning inaugurated the TIDE Ambassadors Program, which supports the UMass Diversity Strategic Plan and recognizes the vital role that faculty fulfill in creating an inclusive and equitable college experience for students.

Tide Ambassadors participate in many group activities throughout the year, including sharing in experiential learning activities about inclusive and equitable teaching practices, putting into practice what they learn through course design and pedagogical practices, identifying and carrying out a TIDE Ambassadors project through which they will share their experiences and knowledge, and many other developmental opportunities.

As Xu says in her TIDE application, “As a junior faculty in the [MIE] department at UMASS Amherst, I am very passionate about education and promoting inclusiveness, diversity, and equity within the engineering community. I believe engineering is for everyone.”

Xu also explains that she is committed to training all students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, especially in mechanical engineering and polymer engineering, and helping all students to achieve their full potential.

“I can sharpen my teaching skills through TIDE Ambassador Program training,” says Xu. “I can learn how to enhance students’ active learning and reflective learning and how to enhance students’ academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences.”

Xu currently teaches MIE 597/697 (Advanced Manufacturing Polymers). In the future she will teach MIE 375 (Manufacturing Processes) in the Fall of 2021 and MIE 302 (ME Lab) in the Spring of 2022.

Xu already has a wealth of research and teaching experience. In 2012-2013, she was a Marie-Curie Fellow of the European Commission and worked on GENIUS projects together with other Marie-Curie Fellows from nine different countries. In 2017, she participated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Kaufman Teaching Program and obtained the Teaching Certificate.

In the Fall of 2020, Xu took the UMass Deans Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Curriculum Challenge and brought DEI into the MIE 375 curriculum. And in 2021, she participated in UMass Public Service Endowment Grant outreach.

In addition, in 2019, she developed a heat transfer course and participated in the annual URep (underrepresented) UMass Summer Access Program.

“After TIDE Ambassador Training,” says Xu, “I will communicate with my colleagues in the engineering college, share my TIDE Ambassador learning experience, learn from each other, and develop the culture of diversity, inclusivity, and equity together.”

Xu adds that “Eventually, my colleagues and I will make systemic and sustainable practices of teaching for all colors, characters, and cultures. We will help all students in the engineering college move on to successful STEM careers and achieve their full potential.” (April 2021)