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Winter 2018/Spring 2015

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Diversity/Careers Winter 2018/Spring 2015 Issue





Hispanics in engineering
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Bernard Harris STEM ed
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News and Views


FIU and Chrysler bring Engineers on Wheels to Miami-Dade County public schools

Miami, FL � The College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University (FIU, Miami) rolled engineering education into South Florida�s public school classrooms this fall with the launch of Engineers on Wheels, a hands-on STEM education initiative sponsored by Chrysler Group LLC (Auburn Hills, MI) and the Chrysler Foundation, the automotive company�s charitable arm.

The initiative will be part of FIU�s Education Effect, a university/community/school partnership that launched its second site at Booker T. Washington Senior High School this year. The Engineers on Wheels van will visit South Florida classrooms, providing hands-on activities and engineering experiments led by FIU students and overseen by FIU faculty.

�We are delighted that FIU is bringing its Engineers on Wheels program to Miami-Dade County public schools,�� said Cristian Carranza, an administrative director with the district who oversees science, math, career and technical education. �This will give our students the kind of high-tech, hands-on education they need to prepare for future success in STEM subjects and careers.�

As part of the Chrysler Group�s broader strategy to recruit and retain talent, especially in the field of engineering, the company has worked closely with FIU to recruit twenty-plus students over the past three years. �Inspiring young, bright people to pursue education and careers in STEM is essential to Chrysler Group�s ability to compete and succeed,� said Georgette Borrego Dulworth, director of talent acquisition and diversity at Chrysler.

Chrysler donated a new 2018 Ram ProMaster van and the Chrysler Foundation donated $15,000 to help FIU establish the Engineers on Wheels program.


Great Minds in STEM HENAAC award winners include seven Cal State LA students

Los Angeles, CA � Ernesto Covarrubias, a Cal State Los Angeles ME major, has been selected by Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) as this year�s recipient of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) undergraduate student leadership award.

�I am excited to receive this honor and represent my Cal State LA community,� said Covarrubias. �I�m looking forward to furthering my education and sharing my experiences and knowledge with students so they may also be successful in the future.�

As part of the award, Covarrubias will receive a HENAAC/Chrysler Foundation scholarship. He received a stipend to attend the conference in New Orleans at the beginning of October, and was honored at the conference�s student leadership dinner.

Most recently, Covarrubias was one of six students selected to join a summer research program in Costa Rica. He and his team combined their knowledge of research and statistics methods to analyze problems impacting biodiversity in Costa Rica. He plans to pursue a masters degree after graduating from Cal State LA.

Six additional Cal State LA students were named 2018 HENAAC Scholars and received merit-based scholarships.

At the conference, Grace Lieblein, VP of global purchasing and supply chain at General Motors, was named Engineer of the Year. Scientist of the Year was Dr Sergio Torres, a Lockheed Martin Fellow. Awards for executive excellence went to Maura Gregorio, business president for feedstocks and energy at Dow Chemical, and Rear Admiral Ronald J Rabago, assistant commandant and chief engineer of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Additional honorees are employees of major corporations and government agencies. For a complete list of award winners and more information about GMiS, see www.greatmindsinstem.org.


JoAnn Browning named dean of UTSA engineering college

San Antonio, TX � JoAnn Browning, associate dean of administration and professor of civil engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU), has been named dean and David and Jennifer Spencer distinguished chair of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Engineering.

�Dr Browning has great experience as a researcher and administrator, a strong commitment to student success, and, most importantly, a track record of collaboration and consensus building,� said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. �She is committed to expanding the college and building on its community and industry partnerships.�

Browning earned her bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. She earned her PhD in civil engineering from Purdue University and joined the faculty at KU as assistant professor in 1998, earning tenure in 2004 and promotion to professor in 2010.

As associate dean of administration at KU, Browning oversaw engineering faculty hiring, innovative teaching FAMU STEM Saturday programs and the assessment of every aspect of the school�s operations.

�Joining UTSA is an incredible opportunity to take what I have learned about managing healthy growth in an engineering program and apply my knowledge so the growth benefits UTSA�s talented and diverse student body and supports the goals of the College of Engineering,� said Browning.

Browning also hopes to create faculty development and mentoring programs for the engineering faculty.

Her own research interests include structural engineering, earthquake engineering, engineering materials, and reinforced concrete design and analysis. She is actively involved in research to improve the durability of concrete bridge decks through studies of corrosion protection systems and low cracking, high-performance bridge decks. Her work is also aimed at improving the design and performance of concrete bridges subjected to earthquake motion. She received the Young Member award for professional achievement from the American Concrete Institute (ACI) in 2008 and was named an ACI Fellow in 2009.


Kaspersky Lab partners with LifeJourney to support future generations of malware experts

Woburn, MA � Kaspersky Lab recently announced a partnership with Life-Journey, an online career simulation tool that empowers students to testdrive future career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and determine the skills needed to succeed in these fields.

Under the partnership, Kaspersky Lab will sponsor a total of 120 schools, including ninety-nine in the Washington, DC metro area, whose student population is heavily minority and economically disadvantaged. The additional twenty-one schools are located across the U.S. The sponsored schools range from middle schools to universities.

The partnership is part of Kaspersky Lab�s ongoing commitment to encouraging future generations to choose careers in IT security. As part of the partnership, Kaspersky Lab has produced malware expert and systems engineering LifeJourney segments.

Kaspersky Lab experts will serve as on line mentors to hundreds of students, guiding them on how to navigate malware expert and systems engineering career paths, and what it takes to be successful in the field.

�As an IT security company, one part of Kaspersky Lab�s mission to protect people from cyber threats is to encourage and support future leaders in the industry,� said Chris Doggett, managing director of Kaspersky Lab North America. �With LifeJourney, we will play a powerful role in helping students take the necessary steps in achieving their goals. What may be merely an interest today can turn into a successful career in a few years, and it�s crucial to take the right steps early on.�


FAMU-FSU engineering college names director of diversity and inclusion

Tallahassee, FL � The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering has named Dr Charmane V. Caldwell as its first director of diversity and inclusion. Caldwell will work in the office of the associate dean for student affairs and curriculum. She�ll be responsible for developing strategies that attract and graduate an increased number of minorities and women in professional engineering.

The effort will emphasize outreach and recruitment of prospective undergraduate and graduate students, improving the climate and culture within the college to welcome all its constituents, assisting with the transition of new faculty into the College of Engineering, and providing recommendations to senior administration regarding diversity issues at the college. Caldwell will also serve as a teaching professor for the school�s first-year engineering laboratory.

Prior to joining the College of Engineering, Caldwell led professional development workshops for middle and high school math teachers throughout Florida on Common Core State Standards mathematics curriculum development. She also worked on a project to develop an open-ended, engineeringbased interdisciplinary K-12 curriculum.

Caldwell received BS, MS and PhD degrees in EE from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. During her graduate education, she was a Mc- Knight doctoral Fellow and Office of Naval Research Historically Black Engineering College/University future engineering faculty Fellow.

Caldwell has been the program manager for the faculty hiring, innovative teaching FAMU STEM Saturday Academy and FAMU Business and Engineering Summer Training designed to pique K-12 students� interest in STEM. As the coordinator of the FSU Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Participation program in STEM, she designed programs to improve the academic performance of underrepresented minority undergraduate students and encourage them to attend graduate school.

She has also worked with robotics and other STEM-focused programs for students at many levels, and been active with the National Society of Black Engineers.


Colorado students make and race solar and lithium ion battery cars at annual competition

Littleton, CO � Nearly 300 students on seventy-four teams from twentyone Colorado schools converged on Dakota Ridge High School in May to race solar and lithium ion batterypowered vehicles they designed and built themselves. They were competing for a spot in the Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium Ion Battery car competitions.

Each year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other local sponsors host the races to show middle school students that science, engineering, and design can be rewarding and to encourage them toward careers in STEM.

The batteries used in the competition are supplied by the DOE. Teams purchase authorized solar panels, then design and build the rest of their cars themselves. Solar and lithium ion battery power are highlighted at the competition, since they are important research focuses for NREL and DOE.

Trophies were given out for the fastest solar-powered model cars and the fastest lithium ion-powered model cars. Three solar design trophies and three lithium ion design trophies were given out based on technology, craftsmanship and innovation.

The annual competition is sponsored by NREL, DOE�s Office of Science, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, Jefferson County Schools, Dakota Ridge High School, and the DOE Golden Service Center. Phil Long Ford of Denver, Whole Foods Market, Sam�s Club and Mahnke Auto Body supported the event by providing lunches and trophies for the winning teams.


Purdue student goes to northern slope of Mauna Loa volcano to spend eight months on Mars

West Lafayette, IN � Jocelyn Dunn, an industrial engineering doctoral student at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), is spending eight months in a domed habitat on a volcanic landscape mimicking life on a Martian outpost.

Dunn is one of six participants and one of two grad students in the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission, which began in October.

She and the other researchers are living in a habitat located at an elevation of about 8,000 feet in an abandoned quarry on the northern slope of the Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The program focuses on the study of social, interpersonal and cognitive factors that affect team performance during long-duration space travel, such as missions to Mars.

�It�s analogous to Mars but translates well to any situation that requires teamwork and a reliance on technology,� Dunn said. She will chronicle her experience in a blog at fivestarview.blogspot.com.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa leads the study, supported with NASA funding.

Conditions mimic those of life on a Martian base. The domed structure has a single porthole overlooking lava fields and the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in the distance. When exploring and mapping the terrain, crew members will wear spacesuits as though on Mars. All communications will be delayed twenty minutes to simulate transmissions between Earth and Mars. During their eight months inside the habitat, the crew will be continuously monitored using surveillance cameras, body movement trackers, electronic surveys and other methods.

Dunn�s research specialty is data analytics, using data to support decision- making that can lead to systems improvements. �During the HI-SEAS mission, I will monitor habitat systems data and develop analytics to optimize crew schedules and mission performance,� she said.

Dunn has a 2011 masters in biomedical engineering from Purdue and a 2009 bachelors in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL).


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