Lori Miraldi, Ph.D.

Director of the Engineering Ambassadors Program and Assistant Teaching Professor

My path to the Leonhard Center:

I first worked with the Leonhard Center years ago as a Liberal Arts instructor running a few group communication workshops for first-year engineering students. I continued to work with engineering students in my previous department of Communication Arts and Sciences as the lead instructor for the sections of the Effective Speech course (CAS 100) for engineering students. Having already enjoyed teaching engineering students how to give effective presentations for years, I was excited to join the College of Engineering full-time in 2017 as the Director of the Engineering Ambassadors Program. This program gives me the opportunity to continue helping engineers hone their communication skills while preparing them to be linchpins in the workforce. As an added bonus, I get to watch these talented Penn State engineers inspire the next generation of engineers through K-12 outreach. I recently completed my PhD in Workforce Education and Development enhancing the tools I have to help my students grow professionally. My research allowed me to combine my background in communication studies with my current work. In my dissertation, I explored how we can take the innovations in technical presentation technique pioneered here in the Leonhard Center by Michael Alley and spread these ideas more widely in industry. 

Lori is passionate about:

  • Creating effective and impactful presentations.
  • Helping teams communicate and collaborate.
  • Developing well-rounded and passionate future leaders.
  • Creating a more equitable world for future engineers.

Proud moments:

  • Outstanding Dissertation Nominee, University Council for Workforce and Human Resource Educations (2022)
  • The Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award, College of Engineering (2018)
  • Cynthia Finch Award for Teaching Excellence, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences (2011)
  • Top Thesis Award, National and International Communication Associations (2005)

Favorite Leonhard Center Halloween costume:

Wendy from the Peter Pan Theme (2018)

a woman dressed in a costume

What to contact Lori for:

Email Lori if you want to learn more about the Engineering Ambassadors

lori miraldi headshot


The Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education was established in 1990 by an endowment from William and Wyllis Leonhard. Its mission is to catalyze the changes that are crucial to maintaining world-class engineering education at Penn State. In 2006 the Leonhard Center became the home for two other major programs that support teaching and learning in the College - the Office of Assessment & Instructional Support and Programs for Engineering Writing & Speaking.

The Leonhard Center

201 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-4020