It is a profound honor to have been selected as one of three finalists for the Global Engineering Deans Council & Airbus Diversity Award. I have the pleasure of being among two other major contributors to diversity in engineering, Martin Baumann from Germany, and Fadi Aloul from the United Arab Emirates. Thank you Global Engineering Deans Council. Thank you Airbus! Thank you for recognizing and showcasing our work. I am inspired to do even more!
As we work toward inclusion of people from all backgrounds in engineering, I am increasingly aware of the fact that the journey toward this honor has been comprised of thousands of people and events along the way. I am reminded that everyone who has been part of my life, has contributed to this honor in some way. Encouraging words, opportunities to try to make a difference, admonishments to try again … my collective communities have paved the way for me to seek ways to broaden participation in engineering. There are people to thank! I thank my entire family (all Robinsons, Medleys, Oranges, and Garrisons) – and all extended family of “play” aunts/uncles/cousins; my hometown of Plainfield, NJ; people from my home church (Calvary Baptist on the the West side); people from Howard U; Northwestern U; Wisconsin U; UMBC; the University System of Maryland; Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan (UMET); my church in Baltimore (Mount Pleasant); the National Society of Black Engineers; the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions; my students in Maryland; my students and colleagues, and “familia” in Puerto Rico (todos de UMET, SUAGM, UPRM, UPR, y la familia de Jessica); my colleagues and students in Colombia; my colleagues and students in Ecuador (y Los Jerves, “mi familia” de Cuenca), my PROMISE AGEP family; diversity program colleagues in the U.S.; the National Science Foundation; friends, supporters, encouragers, and more! You pour into me! You have had an influence on me, and you pour an abundance of love, prayers, opportunities, competencies, and skills. I draw from that well daily.
Thank you to my students. You allow me into your lives. I cherish you! Thank you to my Mom, who lives to see my Dad’s dream: the daughter who tries to make a difference in engineering. Thank you to my husband Damon, who has been by my side through the early days of engineering homework, and the recent days of dinner discussions about STEM. One of my colleagues at UMBC said it best today, “you have the most supportive husband ever.” I agree. Thank you!
Again, thank you to the GEDC and to Airbus. I look forward to presenting to the jury in Australia. Congratulations to all of the finalists; may our collective work continue to make a difference!
Original nomination video: