Dr. Bevlee Watford

Dr. Bevlee Watford

Institution: Virginia Tech

  • Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED)
  • Professor, Engineering Education
  • President-Elect, American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)

Watford is a Professor of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. in Mining Engineering, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech. Since 1992 she has been the Founding Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). She has secured more than $6.5 million dollars in funding and support for CEED and other undergraduate initiatives. Her research activities have focused on the recruitment and retention of students in engineering, with a particular emphasis on under-represented students. CEED has implemented nationally recognized programs that have enhanced the success of all students. These include freshmen peer mentoring, a summer bridge for incoming freshman and residential living-learning communities. CEED received the 2010 Claire Felbinger Diversity Award from ABET and the 2011 NSBE-ExxonMobil Impact award for implementing successful research based efforts to improve retention. In 2008 Watford received the WEPAN Founders Award in recognition of her service to WEPAN and her efforts to increase the participation of women in the engineering profession. Most recently, she was awarded the 2016 Principles of Community Award from Virginia Tech is recognition of her efforts in support of diversity and inclusion.

Watford has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering since 1997, responsible for all undergraduate activities from recruiting to commencement. From 2010-2011 she served as Interim Department Head of Engineering Education. From 2005-2007, she served as a program manager in the Division of Undergraduate Education for the National Science Foundation, returning from 2013-2015 to serve as the program director for broadening participation in the Directorate for Engineering.

An active member of ASEE since 1986, Bevlee A. Watford has served the organization in several capacities. She has held multiple elected offices in both WIED and MIND and served as Chair of PIC IV. She chaired the Diversity Task Force that resulted in the creation of the ASEE Diversity Strategic Plan as well as the formation of the ASEE Diversity Committee. She is the 2016 president-elect for ASEE. She serves as an associate editor of JEE and currently serves as an associate editor of AEE. In 2010, she was elected as a Fellow of ASEE. Watford was the 2004-5 President of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators (NAMEPA). She is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl Website Committee.