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Engineering Success Reflects the Makeup of Society

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Engineering Success Reflects the Makeup of Society

Feb. 15, 2021
A message from the dean about the Winter 2021 edition of Arizona Engineer

See the newest issue of the Arizona Engineer alumni magazine.

I hope you had a joyous and safe holiday season and 2021 is starting on a note of optimism. Along with the rest of the nation, our campus community has experienced a range of emotions with the close of 2020 – from apprehension and relief to confidence and pride.

The cover of the winter 2021 Arizona Engineer magazine. Multicolored hands come together in the center of the page behind the word "Diversity."

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has experienced loss and hardship.

Despite the extraordinary events over much of the last year, the college is moving the needle, and I am so very proud of our students, faculty and staff in advancing the college’s teaching and research enterprises.

While the pursuit of engineering knowledge has at times seemed inconsequential in the course of the pandemic, the work we’ve done to advance technology, help fight COVID-19, and graduate students ready to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow has proven that the spirit of Wildcat Engineering is stronger than ever.

Look out, world!

Rightful Place Among Top Land-Grant Institutions

I’ve shared with many of you plans to grow the college to its rightful place among other top land-grant universities, and UA Provost Folks and President Robbins are fully behind the college’s strategic priorities.

Support from UA leadership, the state, and Arizona industry to grow the college is built largely on the recognition that engineering graduates play a key role in driving a robust and innovative economy. It is also well known that to achieve optimal impact, the engineering enterprise must reflect the diversity of society at large.

Research shows that diverse teams outperform nondiverse teams. We simply will not meet workforce needs if large percentages of the population are excluded from participation. The one constant I hear from industry and government is strong support for a deep and richly diverse pool of talented and well-trained engineers. My unwavering goal is to deliver these students.

A Strong Foundation for Growth and Change

With the UA’s designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution; an Excelencia award for Arizona’s Science, Engineering, and Math Scholars program; and the college’s ASEE Diversity Recognition award, we are starting on solid ground. The college also has outstanding student-led efforts, including local chapters of the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Phi Sigma Rho. I look forward to increasing support to all of our student organizations, and am grateful for your support to date.

Let’s Work Together!

This year's issue of the alumni magazine focuses on what success looks like for the college. I hope you enjoy reading about the many outstanding people working toward creating the best engineering program in the nation – one that is rich in the student experience and reflects the diversity of our society. It has been great to see so many of you at virtual events, like the recent town hall and research speaker series. We’ll continue to hold them for as long as we must remain distant to be safe. Thank you for your continued support of the college. Together we will keep building on our strengths and striving for excellence in all that we do.