For the last 12 years, Associate Professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) Vicki Stieha’s experience in researching and designing teaching practices has increased student persistence, and degree attainment and facilitated successful transitions into the workforce.
Stieha first joined Boise State in 2011 as the Director of the Foundation Studies Program, providing leadership to build an outcomes-based program, which included the hiring, training and evaluation of 20 full-time faculty and 60 part-time adjunct faculty, while also developing an award-winning learning outcomes assessment along the way. She next worked as a faculty associate for assessment in Institutional Effectiveness and has been with the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning since 2017.
“In my 12 years at Boise State I have had the opportunity to lead, research, teach and learn with so many students and colleagues across the university,” Stieha said. “I’m grateful to the College of Engineering and to Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning for being my home for the last six years of my tenure in academia. What an exciting ride it has been.”
Stieha worked with Noah Salzman of electrical and computer engineering and Amy Moll of materials science and engineering to help create the Engineering PLUS program. Her work with this program was featured in the Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers. Boise State was the first university to adopt the program, initially designed by the University of Colorado-Boulder, and incorporate it into College of Engineering degree and education programs. She has presented research at numerous national and international conferences and was recently a co-principal investigator with College of Engineering Dean JoAnn S. Lighty on a National Science Foundation grant to advance the recruitment, education and retention of engineering and computer science students in Idaho.
Stieha has co-authored research and projects with students through the Action Research Lab, which she founded in 2019, to support students and others who want to build research experience and expertise in a supportive community. The labs effectiveness has been evident in the achievements of numerous students who have worked alongside Stieha as their faculty advisor. Over the last five years, students were awarded Graduate Student Showcase awards for their research and presentations, including a Dean’s Graduate Fellowship awarded by the Graduate College to May 2023 graduate Jazlyn Olmedo.
In another testament to her value as an educator, Stieha received a 2023 Boise State Golden Apple Award. The awards are presented to faculty members for exemplifying the seven shared values: academic excellence, caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness.
“Dr. Stieha has been not only an excellent educator and researcher, but also a positive role model and mentor for students and colleagues,” Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Chair and Professor Yonnie Chyung said. “She is the most loved professor. Students talk inside and outside their classroom about how helpful and influential her classes have been for their education and professional development.”
Her work has helped to reimagined the classroom, the strategies of learner engagement and how to ensure learning outcomes are aligned with the knowledge and skills desired in the workplace. The difference Stieha brought has been an important factor in students across campus successfully accomplishing their goals.