Celebrating Diversity - Speaker Dr Stephanie Adams

Seminar Series: Dr. Stephanie Adams

Dr. Stephanie Adams

Expanding Engineering’s Limits: Why Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Matter

ZOOM PRESENTATION / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Stephanie Adams
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
University of Texas - Dallas

The past year saw a significant increase in the conversations about diversity, equity and belonging in our society and our institutions of higher learning. For most, the increase is a direct result of the actions, last summer, of several police officers in Minnesota. However, in engineering conversations about the representation of minorities in engineering have been happening for decades. In 1973, some 48 years ago, the National Academy of Engineering’s Commission on Education hosted a symposium focused on increasing minority participation in engineering by ten-fold. Of the 43,000 engineers who graduated, in 1971, only 407 were Black. Today, according to ASEE’s By the Numbers, Blacks or African Americans earned a mere 4.3% (or 6,299) of the 146,495 degrees. While ten-fold the goal was achieved, should it have taken 44 years.

The time is now, to take advantage of this current momentum and re-emphasize the need for diversity in engineering, particularly amongst the Black and African American community, which struggles to achieve a population that mirrors national statistics. During the symposium, Dr. Myron Tribus, Senior Vice President for Research and Engineering, at Xerox stated, "unless we solved the problem of race, our nation would one day be destroyed by it. The challenge is not only to our courage, our will and our decency - - the challenge is also to our willingness to learn, to adapt, to give up cherished notions and prejudices”. This presentation will connect our current perspectives with the historic past and offer visions for the future. Armed with this information the audience will gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges faced in diversifying engineering and hear evidenced based actions and recommendations, which will equip them in a positive and proactive manner to increase the representation and inclusion of Blacks and African Americans.

About Stephanie
Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the 5th Dean of the Eric Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas, Dallas and Past President of the American Society of Engineering Education. Previously Dr. Adams served as the Dean of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University (2016–2019), Department Head and Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech (2011–2016) and held faculty and administrative positions at Virginia Commonwealth University (2008–2011) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1998–2008).

Her research interests include: Broadening Participation, Faculty and Graduate Student Development, International/Global Education, Teamwork and Team Effectiveness, and Quality Control and Management. In 2003, she received the CAREER award from the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Adams is a leader in the advancement and inclusion of all in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. She has worked with a number of colleges and universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations on topics related to graduate education, mentoring, faculty development and diversifying STEM.

Dr. Adams is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering, in 1988. In 1991, she was awarded the Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998, where she concentrated on Industrial Engineering and Management.