Common Question Areas Points of contact
Student applications & registration
Peer evaluations and the VIP Grading Tool
Starting a VIP Team Ed Coyle
Sponsorship for a VIP team or the VIP Program Leah Misemer
VIP Program Administration
Edward Coyle
Director, Arbutus Center for the Integration of Research and Education
Director, VIP

John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Phone: 404.894.8136
Office: Klaus 3132
Edward J. Coyle is the John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. He is the Founder and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program, which integrates research and education by embedding large-scale, long-term teams of undergraduates in the research efforts of faculty and their graduate students. He is also the Director of the VIP Consortium, a set of 35 (and growing) universities that have VIP Programs and work together to improve, evaluate, and disseminate it. Dr. Coyle was a co-recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s 2005 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. In 1998, Dr. Coyle was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to the theory of nonlinear signal processing. He has received a number of other awards, including the 1997 Chester F. Carlson Award from the American Society for Engineering Education and the 1986 Paper Award from IEEE Signal Processing Society. His current research interests include systemic reform of higher education, signal and information processing, and wireless and sensor networks.
Julie Sonnenberg-Klein
Executive Director, VIP Program
Phone: 404.894.8142
Office: Klaus 3134
Julie holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Masters of Education in Education Organization and Leadership, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She is now pursing a PhD in Educational Policy Studies with an emphasis on Research, Measurement and Statistics at Georgia State University. Julie has coordinated academic programs, summer undergraduate research programs, departmental recruiting for graduates and undergraduates, as well as community outreach programs. She began her career at the Univeristy of Illinois Urbana Champaign Department of Physics, moved to the the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Physics, and then joined the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004.
Leah Misemer
Assistant Director, VIP Program
Office: Klaus 3117

Leah Misemer holds a PhD in English from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a specialization in visual rhetoric and popular culture. She comes to VIP from Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program, where she taught first year writing and worked in the Communication Center while a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow. In VIP, she facilitates and develops relationships between the program’s current and potential stakeholders both at Georgia Tech and globally.  Her specialties include marketing, communication, event planning, and interdisciplinary program building.

Deon O'Bryant
Assistant Director, VIP Program
Office: Klaus XXXX
Academic Team  
Chris Malbrue
Christopher Malbrue
Academic Program Manager
Office: Klaus 3130
Chris Malbrue manages key operations of the VIP program and serves as the primary point of contact for faculty. He has studied Computer Science at Morehouse College and also Marketing at Kennesaw State University. Chris joined Georgia Tech in 2008 and previously was the Admissions Coordinator for Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program and has over 15 years of experience in higher education.
IT Team
Ha Hang (Hanna) Ai
Application Developer II and IT Lead

Phone: 404.894.3612
Office: Klaus 3115


Ha Hang Ai holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she was involved in the design and development of VIP's web-based user management tools. She later worked with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering on their air quality research and developed an interactive data visualization system for the prescribed fire and air quality data analyses. She joined the VIP team as an application developer in 2018. Currently, she leads the VIT IT team and responsible for overall computing infrastructure and any technology that supports the academic environments within the VIP Program.



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