Ellen Bass, PhD, interim senior associate dean for research & professor of information science at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), was named one of two 2023 Outstanding Mentors of the Year for the University’s STAR Scholars Program.
The award recognizes Bass’ passion towards sharing her research expertise with students in the field, and her active engagement with students in learning and celebrating their successes. Bass was noted for going above and beyond in supporting her students, and creating a comfortable but challenging work environment that encouraged open discussion.
The award nomination was submitted by STAR Scholars and student mentees of Bass. “I was very humbled to learn that Sukriti Dhungel, Bhavya Isotia and Loren Lei nominated me for the 2023 Outstanding Mentor of the Year for the STAR Scholars Program at Drexel University,” Bass said. “It is a pleasure to work with such motivated and talented students. It is so touching that they took the time to submit a nomination.”
“Her genuine enthusiasm for the progress surpassed my own, and she wholeheartedly embraced every stage of my learning process. Her mentoring efforts radiate genuine passion,” Dhungel said.
Dhungel also recounted how Bass also organized social events for all CCI STAR Scholars and curated special outings for her mentees, including a day trip to Ocean City and the Chinese Lantern Festival. “As an international student, these experiences enriched my understanding of both Philadelphia’s surroundings and helped me enjoy my summer,” Dhungel said. “Her focus consistently revolved around nurturing our learning and igniting a research-driven passion.”
Lei commented on Bass’ efforts towards his intellectual and professional development: “I came into the STAR experience without prior experience of what research is like, let alone the analytical thinking that it requires. Professor Bass understands that, and instead of holding my hand throughout the process, she found the right balance of letting me make mistakes and pointing them out to me, no matter how small or ‘stupid’ they were. While she never sugarcoats the truth, no matter how many times I ran into mistakes, she kept her composure and addressed the mistake in different ways until I understood. Most importantly, Professor Bass cared about the development of me as a person, not just the research.”
Isotia also mentioned Bass’ dedication throughout the summer: “Professor Bass has been my most inspiring mentor who has consistently focused on broadening our horizons, nurturing our intellectual curiosity in research by giving us a chance to keep on working on our projects even after STARS, and igniting a genuine fervor for research. Her dedication has left an indelible mark, and her influence extends far beyond the confines of our academic pursuits. Thank you, Professor, for everything!”
Bass also earned a financial award of $1,000 from the Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs in the Pennoni Honors College to support her continued work with undergraduate students in research. The award also covers this year’s annual registration fee for the Council on Undergraduate Research, which helps to guide and assist faculty, mentors, administrators, researchers, staff and students in their efforts to develop, enhance, sustain and support undergraduate research on their campuses and beyond.
Bass has over thirty years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in air transportation, healthcare, meteorology and other domains. The focus of her research is to develop theories of human performance, quantitative modeling methodologies, and associated experimental designs that can be used to evaluate human-automation interaction and human-human collaboration in the context of total system performance. The outcomes of the research can be used in the systems engineering process: to inform system requirements, procedures, display designs and training interventions and to support system evaluation.
She holds a joint appointment in the College of Nursing & Health Professions as professor and department chair of health systems and sciences research, and is an affiliate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems.
She earned her PhD in Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS in Advanced Technology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a BSEng in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BSEcon in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania.