N.C. A&T’s Center of Excellence Recognizes Women Faculty in Manufacturing, Launches Academy

By Jamie Crockett / 04/09/2021 Research and Economic Development

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 9, 2021) – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up approximately 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce in 2020. Data show this trend has been consistent over the last five decades, seeing a peak at 33 percent in 1990. The Center of Excellence in Product Design and Manufacturing (CEPDAM) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University recently launched a new academy to recognize and further enhance support of women faculty and students in the field.

“The Women in Design and Advanced Manufacturing Academy provides a platform for women, led by women, to promote their research and practical industry contributions as well as to expand professional development opportunities,” said Salil Desai, Ph.D., university distinguished professor and CEPDAM director.

Academy participants will plan and execute outreach activities, exchange ideas resulting in increased collaboration and advancement and build a support network for faculty and students as they pursue funding opportunities, membership in professional societies and other activities.

Seventeen A&T faculty members formally affiliated with CEPDAM are women, representing multiple departments and colleges across campus, and their diverse expertise areas range from computational molecular modeling to textile recycling and waste management. 

During a virtual launch event coinciding with Women’s History Month, CEPDAM hosted Lizbeth Stuck, senior director of workforce development for the Digital Manufacturing Institute (MxD) who has a background in policy related to STEM and manufacturing. She served as an appointee in the Obama administration, holding several positions, and restarted the United States Manufacturing Council. 

The MxD Learn program Stuck leads focuses on external workforce development. She cites a 2018 Deloitte study forecasting 4.2 million jobs will be added to the workforce by 2028, but 2.4 million of those positions will not be filled because of a skills shortage.

“Industry has to lead best efforts by putting women in leadership positions throughout the organization, not just at certain levels, and they need to provide strong mentorship programs and partnership programs,” said Stuck.

In addition to industry-led efforts, Stuck believes there must be a focus on community-driven collaborations and increased attention to populations historically underrepresented in this field.

The center also showcased the following faculty members’ research and collaborations with colleagues and students in a comprehensive video presentation and through individual introductions during the event:

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (Department of Family and Consumer Sciences)

  • Devona Dixon, Ph.D., associate professor
  • *Geetika Jaiswal, Ph.D., assistant professor
  • Elizabeth Newcomb-Hopfer, Ph.D., associate professor
  • Roberta Claro da Silva Ph.D., assistant professor

College of Education

  • *Geleana D. Alston, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Leadership Studies and Adult Education

College of Engineering

  • *Kristen Rhinehardt, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Computational Science and Engineering
  • Lauren Davis, Ph.D., professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

College of Health and Human Sciences

  • Stephanie Teixeira-Poit, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work

College of Science and Technology

  • Dongyang Deng, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Built Environment
  • *Ming Dong, Ph.D., an assistant professor, Department of Chemistry
  • *Andrea Ofori-Boadu, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Built Environment
  • Jenora Waterman, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Biology
  • Ling Xu, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Alanna Wise, M.S., adjunct instructor, Department of Graphic Design Technology

Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics

  • Shona Morgan, Ph.D., professor, Department of Management

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

  • *Kristen Dellinger, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Nanoengineering
  • Shanthi Iyer, Ph.D., professor, Department of Nanoengineering

Iyer also shared her journey over nearly four decades, detailing exceptional contributions to A&T and the field in the forms of mentorship and research accomplishments.

To learn more about the research collaborations showcased during the event, please view the video presentation.

 *-Denotes faculty members featured in video presentation.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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