Engineering | The Polytechnic School

Usha Jagannathan

Directory profile

Research expertise: Hands-on (authentic learning) labs, database and web development, data analytics, use programming for community based projects to help solve civic problems, STEM education


Usha Jagannathan received her bachelor’s degree in industrial electronics (University 1st Rank, Gold Medalist) from Bharathidasan University, India (1994) and her master’s degree in computer applications (University Topper) from Bharathiar University, India (1997). She later completed her Ph.D. in Technology and E-learning from Northcentral University, Arizona (2011-2016).

Her doctoral dissertation is a multi-case study that explored on how, why, and at what rate virtual (simulated) labs are being adopted in online IT degree programs. Her work provided new insights into the use of virtual labs for enhanced learning. 

Jagannathan brings extensive experience in classroom teaching, curriculum development and applied project mentorship to this position, in addition to her industry experience from her previous corporate positions. She has been teaching in the IT academia both for on-ground and online for 15 years, with expertise in databases, web programming, and online course design.

Prior to joining ASU, Jagannathan worked as a Senior IT Consultant for four years serving corporate clients nationwide through a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co.  

Jagannathan teaches Information Technology courses for ASU undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the IT program. She also currently serves as a capstone co-chair and an applied project chair for iProjects in placing senior undergraduate and master’s IT program students at the client sites for real world applied projects, as a part of undergraduate and graduate degree completion.

Jagannathan is a strong promoter of STEM education and stays active volunteering for STEM programs within the valley. She has also led numerous computer clubs and an undergraduate honors program in her previous teaching positions. She actively participates and presents her research in regional and out-of-state conferences.

One of her recent papers for ‘Infusion of Virtual Labs in IT and Engineering Degree Programs’ earned the best keynote presenter award in the International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics, Orlando, Florida in March 2015.


B.S. in Industrial Electronics, Bharathidasan University, India
M.S. in Computer Applications, Bharathiar University, India
Ph.D. in Technology and E-learning, Northcentral University, Arizona, United States

Professional Awards and Recognitions:

  • Member of the International Honor society 2011-2016

  • Kappa Delta Pi and Golden Key recognition 2011-2016

  • “Outstanding Faculty of the Year” from Kaplan University, Chicago, Illinois 2005

  • “Outstanding Faculty Recognition” from Baker Online for Graduate Studies, Flint, Michigan, 2004

  • Award of Excellence for work recognition from AZ Dept. of Economic Security (DES) – DDD Management Information Systems, 2000

  • Served as a National Social Service (NSS) Chief from 1991 through 1997 and a continued NSS volunteer

Professional Licenses and Certifications:

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrum Alliance to adopt Agile Practices for Project Management, 2011
  • E-Learning Design & Web Certification, 2010
  • Microsoft SQL Server Certification, 2001

Publications/Peer-reviewed Articles and Paper Presentations:

Jagannathan, U., & Blair, R. (2015, March). “Interdisciplinary Initiative for Infusion of Virtual Labs in IT and Engineering Degree Programs”. Proceedings from the 6th International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics: IMCIC 2015 held in Orlando, Florida, March 10-13 2015.

Jagannathan, U. (2015). Can Video Feedback have a Positive Impact on Students’ Learning to Promote Continuous Learning Engagement? TCC 2015 Online Conference, Hawaii  

Jagannathan, U., & Blair, R. (2014, November). Empowering educators to adopt virtual labs in online IT classrooms. Global Education Conference 2014 (GLOBALEDCON). Retrieved from

Jagannathan, U., & Blair, R. (2013). Engage the Disengaged.  Distance Learning Journal, 10(4), 1-7. Available at:

Jagannathan, U. (2013). Engage the Disengaged: Strategies for addressing the expectations of today’s online millennials. PAASHE Conference 2013, Pennsylvania

Jagannathan, U., & Blair, R. (2013).  I deserve an “A”: Effective assessment in online courses. TCC 2013 Online Conference, Hawaii

Jagannathan, U. (1996). Cyberspace defines our tomorrow’s world! IT talks as a graduate student presenter February 1996, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, TN: India

Jagannathan, U. (1995, March). Microprocessor Circuit Design Contest and Presentation. In 1995 Inter-collegiate competition and workshop presentation, Bharathidasan University, Trichy, TN: India