RIT faculty-researcher Iris Rivero awarded ELATES Fellowship for 2020-21

ISE department head begins national, yearlong leadership program for female faculty-researchers

Iris Rivero, professor and head of RIT’s industrial and systems engineering department, shown here in a file photo from February 2019, was recently named an ELATES Fellow and will participate in a yearlong executive leadership program.

RIT engineering professor Iris Rivero will be part of the newest class of the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science, also known as ELATES. The national program based at Drexel University is intended to prepare senior women faculty into leadership roles within their respective institutions.

Rivero, department head of the industrial and systems engineering (ISE) department in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, will be among 30 female professors from U.S. universities participating in the prestigious year-long program. The online and onsite program is designed to increase personal and professional leadership effectiveness and develop knowledge of organizational dynamics, finance, and strategic management of participants’ colleges and universities.

Throughout the year, the participants will be required to do an institutional-focused project with either the provost of their respective institutions or dean of their college department. Rivero will concentrate on improvements to the ISE department and engineering college’s K-12 outreach in an effort to recruit and retain an even more diverse student body. She will also seek more opportunities for faculty professional development including increasing cross-college research collaborations, interdisciplinary course development, and accessibility initiatives.

“I believe that you have to be continually seeking professional development, but what I also think is important and what this opportunity might give me, is an understanding of how to navigate making changes to the profession,” said Rivero, who joined RIT in 2018, and who is an expert in 3D-printing and its application to develop and manufacture biomedical devices. “Can we push the engineering profession into looking at new directions and new ways of thinking? ELATES might provide me with the tools and the platform to help me initiate something of that magnitude, that big-picture thinking.”

“I am thrilled that Dr. Rivero is participating in the ELATES program. This is an opportunity for her that will also benefit the engineering college and RIT,” said Doreen Edwards, dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, and one of Rivero’s sponsors for the program. “I look forward to working with her on the projects she has proposed.”

The 2020-21 group met informally this summer online and will continue networking, workshops, and training in that format until such time as onsite meetings are allowed due to the pandemic. 

Previous ELATES Fellows from RIT include Margaret Bailey, professor of mechanical engineering and former director of Advance RIT, who was among the first cohort in 2012.

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