As a college professor, I have the opportunity not only to excite students about my field of materials science and engineering, but to help them develop holistically as critical thinkers, lifelong learners, innovators, and effective and ethical communicators during an important formative period in their personal and professional lives. I was an undergraduate at WPI and really valued the project-based learning, the Global Projects Program, and the extent of contact I had with my professors. Those same values drew me back to WPI as a faculty member.
Much of my work pertains to women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Women remain underrepresented in many fields of engineering and science, limiting innovation in our society. To address that problem, I develop and study programs that broaden notions of STEM and scholarship to include values of service and community engagement. My work with middle school girls in Camp Reach has made a difference in the number who pursue engineering pathways.
As Director of the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center, I work with faculty colleagues, professional staff, and other units on campus to coordinate programs and services that foster excellence and innovation in teaching and curricular design. Since 2006, I have also shepherded New Faculty Orientation and the New Faculty Mentoring Program and helped introduce mutual mentoring groups for women faculty in 2015. As a co-PI on WPI's ADVANCE Adaptation grant from the National Science Foundation (2018-2021), I am coordinating efforts to enact our new Associate-to-Full promotion policy that recognizes and rewards multiple forms of scholarship in additional to traditional research. This work has great potential to lessen gender inequity among the senior ranks of faculty, to better align rewards with the breadth of our institutional mission and strengths.