Academic Opportunities and Support

Engineering Learning Initiatives provides these academic support programs.

Engineering Learning Initiatives enhances the learning environment in the College of Engineering by providing opportunities for students to engage in collaborative learning, undergraduate research, and peer tutoring. The program also promotes teaching excellence in the college, administering the college’s Teaching Assistant Development Program and training undergraduates to be collaborative learning facilitators and peer tutors.

Engineering Learning Initiatives staff includes:

Lisa Schneider-BentleyLisa Schneider-Bentley, Director
As Director of Engineering Learning Initiatives since 2002, Lisa Schneider-Bentley works with faculty, staff, and students to develop, administer, and evaluate programs for active and collaborative learning, undergraduate research, teaching assistant preparation, and peer tutoring. Schneider-Bentley received her PhD in Sociology from Cornell (1997), taught Sociology as an assistant professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (1997-1999), and was Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at PowerUP (1999-2002), a national nonprofit expanding technology access and youth development resources in underserved communities across the U.S. Her research interests include race, class, and gender inequality in educational access; climate, inclusion, and quality of student learning in engineering education; and the effects of active, collaborative, and applied pedagogical approaches on student learning outcomes, attitudes, and persistence.

Celia Evans photoCelia Evans, Associate Director
Celia Evans joined the Engineering Learning Initiatives team in 2020 after almost 20 years teaching and researching in the natural sciences as professor of Ecology at Paul Smith’s College. Evans completed a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Dartmouth College, and fulfilled a one-year postdoc in Science Education at the University of New Hampshire. Having consistently used and studied engaged learning pedagogy, Evans is convinced that student-centered, active-learning pedagogy works to facilitate all levels of cognition for all sorts of learners in all disciplines. Her areas of expertise include engaged learning strategies, creating and assessing learning objectives, international collaborations in STEM, strategic planning, collaborative partnership building, and ecology. Evans is excited to be part of the ELI team, and aims to collaboratively facilitate the continual improvement of learning outcomes in the College!

Kristin TewksburyKristin Tewksbury, Administrative Coordinator
Kristin Tewksbury came to Cornell after working for ten years in Student Services at Stanford University where she advised students and supported peer advisor programming. She has a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy, a Master's in Organizational Management, and a background in social work, with a focus in youth services. Tewksbury is excited to be part of the ELI Program and to work with Engineering students.


Now featuring the ELI Edublog:

ELI students in action
ELI: Peer Educators, TA Development, Undergraduate Research, and More!


Interested in seeing more details about our ELI activities? Welcome to the ELI Edublog! Read articles about the experiences of our TA Development Consultants and AEW Facilitators and learn more about ELI-supported undergraduate research. Articles highlight the great work of our peer educators in the art and science of teaching and learning – all modes – in the College of Engineering. Leave questions or comments on the blogs, or contact us at eng-learning