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spacer spacer spacer spacer August 20, 2008

Female engineers earn network awards

Margaret Bailey wins Women in Science honors


Margaret Bailey

Kate Gleason was a pioneering engineer and business executive who was the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the first female U.S. bank president. She was also a major Rochester activist and prominent benefactor of RIT whose legacy of giving has been continued by the Gleason family up to the present day.

RIT has worked to honor Gleason’s accomplishments in a number of ways but none more important than its continued efforts to expand opportunities for women and minorities in science and engineering, efforts that have recently won national recognition.

The Women in Engineering Program, also known as WE@RIT, received the 2008 Women in Engineering Program Award from the Women in Engineering Proactive Network, or WEPAN, which recognizes college and university programs that are working to enhance the entrance of women in engineering fields as well as expanding educational opportunities in science and math for women of all ages. The award was presented to WE@RIT at the network’s national conference in July in St. Louis.

In addition, Margaret Bailey, director of the We@RIT program received the Women in Science Award from the Maria Mitchell Association, a national engineering and science education center and museum named for America’s first professional woman astronomer.

“We are extremely honored to receive these two prestigious awards, and I would like to personally thank WEPAN and the Maria Mitchell Association for their recognition of our efforts,” notes Bailey, who also serves as the Kate Gleason Endowed Chair and associate professor of mechanical engineering at RIT.

WE@RIT was founded in 2003 within RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the only engineering college in the country named for a woman, to recruit and retain women in engineering disciplines and promote enthusiasm and understanding of engineering concepts among elementary and secondary students and educators.

The program focuses on comprehensive college and pre-college outreach, recruitment, and community building initiatives—offering numerous training sessions, on campus events and camps throughout the year. Presently, the program reaches over 2,300 engineering students, K-12 students and educators.

“It is our hope that the continued efforts of RIT and organizations such as WEPAN and the Maria Mitchell Association will enhance Kate Gleason’s legacy and promote the continued advancement of women and minorities in science and engineering,” adds Bailey. “All of us involved in the WE@RIT program hope we soon are able to say that the Kate Gleason College of Engineering is one of several engineering colleges recognizing the accomplishments of America’s women engineers.”

Will Dube

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