California State University, East Bay
Fadi Castronovo, Ph.D., assistant professor of engineering at Cal State East Bay, is recognized for his efforts to enhance the educational experience of construction management students by creatively leveraging multimedia and virtual reality (VR) technology.
Since joining the department in 2016, Castronovo has dedicated his teachings to ensure students have the technical knowledge, confidence and interpersonal skills to succeed in both the classroom and the competitive construction management industry. His learn-by-doing approach to preparing the future workforce includes the use of educational video games and VR.
In one example, Castronovo addressed a common challenge for engineering students: translating their 2D designs in a 3D space. By teaching students to use VR to apply their designs, they developed strong visualization skills—an essential skill for engineering professionals.
Castronovo's teaching style motivates and engages all of his students and has lowered the achievement gap between underrepresented students and their peers. His course evaluation score—an average of 3.64 out of 4 (96.93%)—is a testament to his teaching effectiveness and students' satisfaction.
“Dr. Castronovo is truly innovative in his teaching methods. He has the intellectual ability, knowledge, professional experience and character to be a star in the department and beyond," says Saeid Motavalli, Ph.D., chair of engineering at CSUEB.