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Engineering professor wins women's educator award

June 17, 2009

Mary Anderson-Rowland, associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, has won the 2009 Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN) Educator’s Award.

The annual honor recognizes an engineering educator for exceptional achievement in increasing the participation and retention of women in engineering.

“She has had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of students,” said James Collofello, associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs for the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. “Professor Anderson-Rowland has changed the face of our engineering school with her leadership in supporting women in engineering.”

Since becoming the first woman engineering faculty member at ASU in 1974, Anderson-Rowland has been an influential advocate for women engineering students.

In 1975, she helped establish the ASU Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student section, and in 1982 she started a Graduate Career Change program that increased the percentage of women industrial engineering graduate students from 5 percent to more 30 percent.

Anderson-Rowland served as the associate dean of student affairs in the engineering school from 1993 to 2004, during which time she created the Women In Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) program, bolstered the Minority Engineering Program, and helped many engineering student organizations attain national visibility.

For the past seven years, Anderson-Rowland has directed two upper division Academic Scholarship Programs designed for women and underrepresented minority students with unmet financial need.

As director, she serves as an advisor, mentor, and role model to more than 30 women students each semester.

She will be given the Educator’s Award at the 2009 WEPAN Conference Awards Luncheon June 19 in Austin, Texas.