September 29, 2023 UMD Home FabLab AIMLab

A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean Samuel Graham, Jr. sent the following email to the Clark School community today:

Welcome to Women’s History Month.

American history features examples of women making great strides—and taking great risks—to move our country forward. The Hello Girls made sure we could effectively communicate during World War I. Dr. Antonia Novello was our country’s first Surgeon General. Valerie Thomas invented the illusion transmitter, letting people see 3-D images across a distance.

To this day, women continue to shape history, including at the Clark School of Engineering.

During each of the past three years, the Clark School Dean’s Award has been presented to women: Emily Leo in 2022, Abigail Meyer in 2021, and Kristen Edwards in 2020. For the first time in our history, 27 percent of Clark School undergraduates identify as women.

Sennur Ulukus is our first female chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Alison Flatau is our first female chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Akua Asa-Awuku is our inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. 

This month we celebrate those landmarks and the work necessary to forge them, and how it’s incumbent upon our larger community to assist in this work. We encourage you to visit our various websites and social media channels for more stories as we celebrate Women’s History Month.

At the same time, we invite you to take action by becoming a stronger ally for our female faculty, staff, and students.

Here are actions we can all take:

  • Listen, affirm, and support: ask what people need and provide space for them to have uninhibited conversation without fear of discreditation or retaliation.
  • Speak out: challenge inappropriate comments and say something when you see gender bias or discrimination. 
  • Act: Be aware of what is going on in your environment and take responsibility for your role in it; work to create the environment that will allow our female faculty, staff, and students to thrive in the Clark School.

Working for women’s rights is working for human rights. Let’s empower each other to make contributions by becoming allies.


Samuel Graham, Jr. (he/him/his), Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor

Paige E. Smith, Director (she/her/hers), Women in Engineering Program

Jen Bishop, Assistant Director - Outreach and Recruitment (she/her/hers), Women in Engineering Program

Sam Murillo, Program Coordinator (she/her/hers), Women in Engineering Program

Tabatha Cuadra Rodriguez, Assistant Director - Retention (she/her/hers), Women in Engineering Program

Related Articles:
Women’s History Month Spotlight
Standing with our Asian-American Community
Promoting Diversity and Addressing Unconscious Bias
Feathers Not Included

March 9, 2023

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