“I really enjoy what I do. I love teaching and learning. My job gives me an opportunity to go out and see the new technological developments that people are researching and working on right now and bring those new concepts and ideas back to my students. I get to see what the future might hold and then talk to the students about those advances.”
Bograd began working at MassBay in 2002 as an adjunct professor. “Being able to work with diverse MassBay students and the fact that I could actually make a difference in students’ lives are what is most important to me at MassBay.” Bograd proudly uses a project-based teaching style, something that largely sets her apart from other professors.
“Projects are where our students truly shine, with all their ideas and the challenging work they do. It’s wonderful to see them learn so much. The classes that I teach are primarily hybrid, which means that my touchpoint with students face-to-face is very limited. Everything is done online. I truly believe in this teaching method as it allows students to gain confidence by their having to do a lot of the work on their own, but still having a support system that they can count on.”
Bograd says one of the best parts of the job is seeing all the hard work of her students pay off. It is evident at the STEM Expo, held at the end of each semester. She’s proud of all her students’ work and was recently especially impressed with one of her current student’s projects.
“The student who stands out right now is an international student from Vietnam. He designed and built a robotic arm. He is independent and innovative, he’ll ask me or other faculty questions and then does the research and comes up with a solution. It’s outstanding! He’s a one-of-a-kind student. He worked with a partner in his electrical engineering course where they designed and built a robotic arm that reacts to a muscle sensor—it can move fingers based on the commands from a muscle sensor. For his Engineering Computation class, he programmed the arm using MATLAB to recognize alphabetic characters. If a character is shown to a camera, the fingers will execute American Sign Language.”
Seeing students succeed is one of Bograd’s greatest rewards. She encourages anyone who is interested in engineering to pursue a higher education pathway. Students can take advantage of a great scholarship program currently at MassBay in conjunction with Northeastern University. Bograd believes that what makes MassBay so unique is the great support that staff provides for students.
“We are small, so students can have a one-on-one relationship with faculty. We really know and encourage our students, which allows them to grow. There’s a lot of support for them here, including academic, career, and co-curricular.”
Bograd got her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Northeastern University. She found her passion for teaching during a co-op focused on Computer-Aided Design (CAD). “It was my job to teach others how to use it and to help my professor teach drafting. That’s when I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.” Later she received a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training from University of Phoenix.
After graduating from college, Bograd went on to work as an engineer for many years at a company that designed water and wastewater treatment plants. She began teaching after her daughter was born and has worked at several colleges including Wentworth Institute of Technology and Lasell University. She made her way to MassBay about 18 years ago.
Through her years at MassBay, Bograd has received several honors including, most recently, a distinguished teaching award. Looking ahead, her goal is to continue to learn and grow. “I love to learn, so I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
Bograd is married with a 30-year-old daughter. In her spare time, she loves to travel, especially to Europe.