Princeton, Smith College Partner to Increase Women in Engineering: Five out of Six Engineering Students and Nine out of 10 Engineering Professors Are Male

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PRINCETON, N.J.

Advancing its goal of increasing the number of women in engineering, Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science has partnered with Smith College to create a student exchange program. Smith, the nation's first women s college to have an engineering school, graduated its first class of engineers in 2004 (see Black Issues, June 3, 2004).

The spring-semester exchange, which will start in the spring of 2006, is intended to expose students from both schools to different learning environments and better prepare women to enter and succeed in graduate school and engineering careers. Smith students and Princeton students, both male and female, who are in their junior year and rank in the top 20 percent of their classes, are eligible for the program.

"One of the major components of our newly created strategic vision is to increase the diversity of students and faculty in our engineering school," says Dr. Maria Klawe, Princeton's dean of engineering. "This is a wonderful partnership for both schools to explore approaches to what really makes engineering attractive to women and other underrepresented groups."

"Students from both institutions will benefit greatly from the exchange experience, given the unique academic and social environments at each institution," says Dr. Joseph O'Rourke, interim director of Smith's Picker Engineering Program. "The interaction between the two schools will enable both to enhance their students' educational experiences and encourage more women to see engineering and applied science as a viable route for making significant contributions to society."

Smith students attending Princeton will have an opportunity to work closely with faculty members and graduate students on cutting-edge research, with the goal of encouraging and preparing the students to go on to graduate school at Princeton and other top institutions. …

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