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Cooperative Education Director Maureen Barcic Elected to ASEE Board of Directors

PITTSBURGH (May 9, 2019) … Maureen Barcic, Director of the Cooperative Education Program at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, is one of eight officers elected  to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Board of Directors. She will serve a three-year term which begins at the end of the ASEE Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, June 15-19, 2019.

Barcic will chair the Professional Interest Council (PIC) V, which consists of three ASEE divisions: Continuing Professional Development, College and Industry Partnership, and Cooperative and Experiential Education.  

ASEE has a total of five Professional Interest Councils, which are responsible for:

  • Providing a formal organizational structure to promote, encourage, and facilitate activities pertaining to their areas of interest;
  • Providing forums for discussion and exchange of information about problems and experiences;
  • Coordinating the professional interests of individual members and speaking on their behalf; and
  • Establishing and maintaining a liaison with other organizations concerned with these areas of interest.

Barcic has been a member of ASEE since 1991 and was elected as a fellow in 2013. Her main involvement is with the Cooperative and Experiential Education Division of ASEE, which focuses on the improvement and promotion of experiential learning through cooperative education, internships, and other quality work integrated learning programs.

“I am grateful to be part of ASEE,” said Barcic. “I have received much guidance throughout the years from colleagues and mentors in this organization, and they have assisted us in strengthening Pitt’s co-op program.”

The University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering was among the first in the United States to establish a co-operative education program in 1910. The School ended the program during the Great Depression in the 1930s, but in 1987, then-Dean Charles A. Sorber reestablished the program for a small group of engineering students and appointed Barcic as assistant director. The program quickly grew and today serves more than 1,000 students each academic year, linking them with nearly 300 employers across the U.S.

“I am also thankful for the leadership I have enjoyed throughout my 32 years at Pitt,” said Barcic. “Our Deans have allowed me to engage in ASEE, first to assist us in establishing a program at Pitt, but it has also enabled me to experience leadership roles, great conferences, and lifelong friendships. ASEE has been an amazing part of my career.”

“I am incredibly proud of Maureen’s election to the ASEE Board of Directors,” said Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Nickolas A. Dececco Professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “Her decades of experience and passion for engineering education have not gone unnoticed in the Swanson School. Through the Co-operative Education Program, she has helped countless students gain meaningful work experience and technical skills during their studies. She’s an invaluable member of our team and will be an excellent addition to the ASEE board.”

The co-op experience is beneficial for both employers and students - average starting salary is between approximately $12-21 per hour for undergraduate students and between $16-30 per hour for graduate students. The co-op is also an employer’s potential pipeline for a future, experienced hire, and starting salaries for students who participated in co-op average $4,000 more than students who do not co-op.


Contact: Leah Russell