John Osburn

Associate Director, Engineering Communication Workshops

John Osburn is Associate Director of the CONNECT Program, which he co-founded, along with Professor Richard Stock (now Acting Dean of Engineering), in 1997. Established with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, CONNECT instills an awareness of the importance of effective communication through workshops and seminars coordinated with other Cooper programs and individual classes. He is also Coordinator of Engineering Professional Development Workshops and Seminars, of which CONNECT is a key component.

Dr. Osburn holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from New York University and a B.F.A. from the University of Utah. In his work at Cooper, he brings to bear an interconnected background in journalism, higher education, and the performing arts. He has worked as a writer and editor in arts and entertainment journalism and in literary management and educational outreach in the professional theater. He has been an instructor at New York University since 1998, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College, and part-time faculty at New School University. In his work at Cooper, he puts his multidisciplinary experience into practice, acquainting students with the range of issues and concerns they will encounter in the professional world.

His scholarship has appeared in Theatre Studies, Modern Drama, American Journalism, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, and Journal of Business Strategy. He has presented at numerous conferences, including the American Association for Engineering Education, Theatres of Science, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Forum on Assessment in Arts Education, Center for Engineering Education and Practice, Gateway/SUCCEED, Product Management and Development Association, and American Communication Association.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.