Dr. Ellie Fini, assistant professor of civil engineering, recently took a group of A&T students to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here is a report on their trip:
The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering recently released a report, “Academic Institutions of Minority Faculty with Science, Engineering, and Health Doctorates,” that showed the number of African-American faculty remains low at elite research institutions (Carnegie classification of very high research activity).
One of the reasons given is that the elite research institutions hire new faculty from their peers and African American students are more likely to attend graduate school at universities where the research activity is lower. Dr. Fini has been working with colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make sure her students are prepared to gain admission to an elite school. Last month, she took 13 students to MIT, where they participated in a one-day workshop and information session. The students had the opportunity to meet and talk with several MIT faculty members and graduate students.
The objective of the workshop was for N.C. A&T students to hear about educational and research opportunities at MIT. The students learned about the institution’s programs in civil and environmental engineering, materials science, and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering. They were able to meet with the head of each program.
The program was a joint effort by the MIT Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Office of Graduate Education and by the N.C. A&T Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and the Waste Management Institute.