Message from the Dean
As 2020 continues onward, I find myself reflecting on my role and responsibility as an engineering educator and leader amidst the turmoil of recent national events. It is an honor to be in a position to pass along knowledge and skills that students will adapt as they develop and pursue their passions. Conversely, I am equally grateful to be learning so much from our students. The ideas and attitudes of each new generation shapes society in evermore positive ways, and our students are contributing to this positivity through engineering.
One of my top priorities has been to build a welcoming community culture of openness where everyone feels valued and inspired. To have an enabled culture that transcends everyone—faculty, staff, students, and alumni—is so important, and I’m proud of what I have seen and heard in my first year as dean.
In recent months, our students and faculty have called upon us to do and be more to eradicate unconscious bias and combat systemic racism. We are extending beyond our Diversity Action Plan (to be completed this fall) with the creation of an Allyship and Antiracism in Engineering Taskforce that will help create plans and work with college leadership to rapidly turn ideas into reality.
I am grateful to have the support of our dedicated alumni as we work to improve our diversity efforts. In particular, the leadership shown by two alums—Robert and Rachel—serve to highlight the three priority areas we are focusing on: 1) Enhancing the engineering experience for all to improve recruitment, retention, and success; 2) Increasing the number of in-state, underserved, undergraduate engineering scholarships; and 3) Building new mentoring partnerships to enhance diversity in our workforce and academia. Read their stories below.
Now, more than ever, it is important for us as engineers to stay positive, be open-minded, and respond to the needs of those in our communities. I encourage you to join us to be actively engaged in support of the college’s diversity efforts.