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Helen L. Chen

Helen L. Chen

Resarch Scientist, Mechanical Engineering


(650) 352-3481
Wallenberg Hall, Bldg. 160


  • Ph.D. in Communication with a minor in Psychology, Stanford University, 1998
  • B.A. in Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993

Research Interests

My current research interests focus on engineering and entrepreneurship education; applications of design thinking methods for curricular change; the pedagogy of portfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and redesigning how learning is recorded and recognized in traditional transcripts and academic credentials.

Professional Affiliations and Organizations

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU)
  • Association for Authentic, Experiential Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL)
  • EPAC ePortfolio Community of Practice

Honors & Awards

  • Batson Lecture Speaker, Association for Authentic, Experiential Evidence-Based Learning, New York, NY, 2019
  • Invited Keynote, University of Texas Student Success Summit, Austin, TX, 2018
  • Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Webster University, St. Louis, MO, 2016
  • Honorable mention research paper award, Exploring the Interest and Intention of Entrepreneurship in Engineering Alumni, ASEE Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division

Selected Publications/Presentations

Chen, H.L., Powers, K., Prasad, K.V., Anderson, M., Royalty, A., Aquino, M., Gilmartin, S. & Sheppard, S. (2018). A mixed methods approach to understanding how colleges, universities, and employers prepare and support undergraduates in engineering internships. In Proceedings of the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, San Jose, CA.

Chen, H.L. & Black, T. (2018, April 17). Clear as Mud: Finding Ways to Improve Upon the College Transcript. The evoLLLution.

Penny Light, T., Chen, H.L., Ittelson, J.  (2011). Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Hobbies and Interests

  • Coaching and mentoring Girl Scouts/FIRST robotics team
  • Advocating for and fostering rescue dogs