Vicki Hollub found her purpose early. She joined Occidental Petroleum upon graduation and worked her way to the top, becoming the first female CEO of a major U.S. oil and gas company.
Austin Pearson did not speak German when he came to The University of Alabama, but now has lived, learned and worked as an engineering student and intern in Germany as…
The senior majoring in chemical engineering was honored in November by the organization, which has more than 40,000 members globally.
In 2011, third grader Mary Virginia McKinley competed in UA’s first-ever robotics competition. Now she is studying computer science.
Awarded annually to recognize and promote excellence in research, scholarship and teaching, the Burnum Award recognizes distinguished careers at UA.
National Academies’ Gulf Research Program has named a University of Alabama engineering faculty member one of the 20 recipients of their 2020 Early-Career Research Fellowship. Dr. Hamed Moftakhari, an assistant…
Over the summer, four professors at The University of Alabama received national recognition early in their careers for innovative research that will increase understanding of our world while boosting UA’s…
A University of Alabama aerospace engineering faculty member has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Composites for the first time in its history. Through his research and…
Lisa Nicole Smith joined the College of Engineering in January 2021 as the new Multicultural Engineering Program director and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion manager. The MEP director collaborates with students, faculty and staff across the College and University to design, implement and assess a comprehensive program with focused recruitment, retention and completion strategies for diverse students. Learn more about Smith and her position in this Q&A.
CE: What are your first priorities as MEP director?
Smith: As I begin this awesome journey as the director of the Multicultural Engineering Program, one of my main priorities is building relationships. There are a number of entities that could assist the College of Engineering as we begin to build the foundation to recruit, retain and graduate new diverse students; a large part of my job is to help build and manage those relationships as they would cause UA to benefit from those opportunities.
CE: Why is having an MEP director important for the College?
Smith: I believe that this position is important for the College of Engineering for many reasons; namely, the deliberate and intentional effort to recruit and retain diverse students and assist in the diversification of the profession of engineering. Unfortunately, in higher education, diversity is not yet an organic occurrence. Leaders must be diligent to create paths for inclusion and access so that students, particularly diverse students, know that even at a place that is as well-known and respected as the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama, they, too, are welcome.
CE: How will the work of this program benefit the College?
Smith: A major part about understanding the significance of diversity and the importance of there being multicultural student experiences within our historic educational system is knowing that this service benefits everyone. The student body is better having the opportunities to learn from and live among people with different backgrounds and cultures. The faculty and staff are enlightened as they interact with diverse students and learn different methods of connecting with students.
CE: How can you make a difference in the College through this position?
Smith: I intend to make a difference by reminding our community of the many opportunities that are available and accessible for all. The position of director for the MEP is not a new position for the College of Engineering, but it is one where the focus of targeted populations became slightly out of focus. My aim is to bring those targeted populations back into view while serving as a liaison, advocate and recruiter for them.
CE: Why did you apply for this position?
Smith: I applied for this position because it is an excellent opportunity to use my background of recruiting highly desired, academically strong college-bound diverse students. The College of Engineering at The University of Alabama has a tradition of graduating the best of the best diverse students. I am just here to serve and help further that tradition.
CE: What kind of support will you need from the UA engineering community?
Smith: I would say that it would help that our community understand that we are in the process of building. This would require all of us to understand that things are changing, developing and growing. There are new ideas for creating new things and there will be many things that leadership might allow us to try. I ask for patience as we create the formula that works for who we are and what we would like to ultimately do.
CE: What are you looking forward to most working in this position at UA?
Smith: I am looking forward to creating new programming and opportunities for students.