Arizona State University Adds Women Faculty in STEM Fields

asuArizona State University in Tempe is one of the largest universities in the United States with more than 50,000 students, including nearly 40,000 undergraduates. This year there are more than 140 new tenured and tenure-track faculty on campus. Some 42 percent of the new tenure and tenure-track faculty hires are women, many of them in STEM disciplines. Here are three examples:

OtakuyeOtakuye Conroy-Ben is joining the faculty in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. She was an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Utah. Dr. Conroy-Ben is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. In 2006, she was the first Lakota in history to earn a Ph.D. in environmental engineering.

“If we can get more representation of women in science and engineering, the students feel a stronger connection and more engagement to their degree, particularly the female students if they see someone in a leadership role,” Dr. Conroy-Ben said. “The same goes for underrepresented minorities. Studies have shown they can perform better in the classroom if they see someone like them leading the class itself.”

Heather_ThroopHeather L. Throop is a new associate professor in the School of Life Sciences and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. She was an associate professor of biology at New Mexico State University. Dr. Throop is a magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Stony Brook University of the State University of New York System.

“I’m glad to see that ASU is committed to developing an academically strong faculty that also reflects the diversity of our population,” Throop said. “For me, one of the really exciting things about teaching is challenging preconceived notions about who can excel in science. It is fantastic to watch students who have never envisioned themselves as scientists become empowered with the realization of their scientific skills and potential.”

LondonJeremi London is a new assistant professor of engineering systems. She has been conducting postdoctoral research at the university after spending several years at the National Science Foundation. Dr. London holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering and a doctorate in engineering education, all from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“The demographics of the new cohort of ASU faculty is just one more piece of compelling evidence that demonstrates ASU’s commitment to recruiting top talent — regardless of race and gender,” Dr. London said. “It also reveals a culture that values diverse perspectives, and is another step in the relentless pursuit of being a model for the next generation of American universities.”

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