Engineering Fundamentals Faculty Coordinators of eVOL9 Conference Receive NAMEPA Wings to Succeed Award

The National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) is pleased to announce the selection of the Engineering Fundamentals Faculty Coordinators of the Engineering VOLunteers for Ninth Graders (eVOL9) Conference for the 2017 NAMEPA Wings to Succeed Award recipients. The group consists of five phenomenal individuals within the Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Dr. Caleb Rucker, Dr. Jennifer Retherford, Dr. Rachel McCord, Mr. Erin Wills and, Mr. Chris Wetteland. Each of these individuals have been instrumental in promoting engineering awareness for underrepresented students.

These faculty engage with students in creative and inclusive hands-on experiences and learning environments.  The team introduces difficult engineering concepts in the appropriate context for early high school students while teaching students the importance of an iterative design process. Most importantly, they instill in students the belief that they can become successful engineers. Over the last five years, the eVOL9 program has grown substantially as a result of the support provided by faculty who serve as engineering champions for the program.  Through these partnerships, the eVOL9 faculty and the Office of Diversity Programs has served over 1,000 students since its inception.

The NAMEPA Wings to Succeed awards were established to honor individuals or teams who have catalyzed change to help students from URM populations overcome historic barriers or those who go above and beyond standard expectations in their jobs and are instrumental in the success of students from URM backgrounds in engineering. This award aims to recognize non-traditional diversity roles including but not limited to faculty, corporate representatives, community organizers, and other university administrators.

NAMEPA is a national network of educators and representatives from industry, government, and nonprofit organizations who share a common commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic American, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander students earning degrees in engineering. NAMEPA promotes the professional development of its members and serves as an advocate for and resource to those programs and organizations that seek to recruit, educate, and employ diverse engineering talent.

NAMEPA is very grateful for these Faculty Coordinators efforts in advancing the achievement and persistence of students from URM backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  They will be recognized at the NAMEPA Awards Celebration Dinner on September 12th, 2017 during the 38th Annual NAMEPA National Conference (Sept 10th -13th, 2017) in Blacksburg, VA at Virginia Tech.


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