Acoff Honored as Diversity “Trailblazer” and Keynote Speaker by TMS

By Sarah Graham

Viola Acoff

Dr. Viola Acoff, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, was recently chosen to be the Keynote Speaker at the “Diversity in the Minerals, Metals & Materials Professions” annual meeting of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. The meeting is set to occur in Anaheim, California, on March 3rd. Dr. Acoff’s keynote speech is titled “The Road to Equity and Inclusion: Lessons Learned on the Journey.”

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society also recognized Dr. Acoff as a “modern trailblazer” for her significant accomplishments within her profession and in engineering education. In 1994, Dr. Acoff was selected as the first tenure-track African-American woman in the College of Engineering. She would soon make history again as the first African-American woman promoted to Full Professor within the College.

Currently, Dr. Acoff serves as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs and as a Professor for the Metallurgical Department and the Director of the Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program here at UA, a position she has held since 1996. Dr. Acoff has also been the recipient of numerous other awards such as the Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award from the UA National Alumni Association, and the Educator of the Year Award from the Engineering Council of Birmingham, Inc.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,200 students and more than 170 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

Author: Sarah Graham    /    Posted on: February 22, 2022    /    Posted in:   Awards and Honors, Faculty and Staff, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering    /    Features: