In “Rooted in Community,” six women speak about their experiences in academia: how they broke through barriers, made impacts through research, and are guiding the next generation of engineers.
Ingrid Arocho, assistant professor of construction engineering, found in the College of Engineering a place where she could succeed in her career without sacrificing other important aspects of her life. “I was looking for a place that I felt I could have my research and career — and have a family with a good work-life balance,” she said.
Belinda Batten, executive associate dean and professor of mechanical engineering, sees leadership as an opportunity to pay forward the encouragement and support she has received in her own career. “Through having bosses and colleagues who were really encouraging and supportive, it’s given me that place where I can thrive as a leader and now really try to give back to some of my younger colleagues and so I get that in spades in my current position,” she said.
Pallavi Dhagat, professor of electrical and computer engineering and president of the IEEE Magnetics Society, hopes her students see her as a role model for how they can succeed in their careers. “I think I have had impact in many ways,” she said. “I have created a whole new research area. I have created collaborations across the world and my students have gotten the skills that they need to be successful.”
Bryony DuPont, associate professor of mechanical engineering and Boeing Professor of Mechanical Engineering Design, loves to teach and draws inspiration from her students. “We've gone in research directions I couldn't have envisioned. We've worked on collaborations that I never saw coming that I'm really excited about. And almost all of that is driven by the quality of our students,” she said.
Kathryn Higley, professor of nuclear science and engineering, sees diversity in the College of Engineering as one of its strengths. “By bringing in people that don’t always look and act the same you broaden your view of what’s normal, and the people that are coming in feel more comfortable,” she said.
The College of Engineering ranks second nationally among land-grant universities in the percentage of tenured or tenure-track engineering faculty who are women, and third among the nation’s 94 public R1 universities (those having the Carnegie Classification for very high research activity), according to the American Society for Engineering Education.