RIT’s Women in Engineering Program Receives National Award of Excellence

WE@RIT seeks to enhance number of women and minorities in science and math fields

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The Women in Engineering Program at Rochester Institute of Technology, also known as WE@RIT, has been honored with the 2008 Women in Engineering Program Award from the Women in Engineering Proactive Network, or WEPAN. Each year the organization recognizes college and university programs that are working to enhance the entrance of women in engineering fields as well as broadening educational opportunities in science and math for women of all ages. The award was recently presented to WE@RIT at the network’s national conference in St. Louis.

“We are extremely honored to receive this prestigious award, and I would like to personally thank WEPAN for their recognition of our efforts,” notes Margaret Bailey, executive director of WE@RIT, Kate Gleason Endowed Chair and associate professor of mechanical engineering.

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, to promoting 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 will ultimately enhance the overall number of women and minorities going into science and math fields and allow these disciplines to more directly mirror the national population as a whole,” adds Bailey.

The Women in Engineering Proactive Network was founded in 1990 and is the the nation’s leading organization promoting the inclusion of women in engineering education. The network includes over 175 women in engineering programs and initiatives at American colleges and universities serving over 42,000 female engineering students.