Director, Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach, College of Engineering, NC State University
Laura joined NC State University in fall of 1997 with the mission of creating a Women in Engineering program. She soon realized the need for and originated a K-12 Outreach program in 1999. She is responsible for the oversight of the Engineering Place and its strategic operations. She is also a frequent creative contributor to program content. She holds primary responsibility for funding operation and personnel. Laura also runs the Women in Engineering program, advises students and teaches the E 101 Introduction to Engineering and Problem-Solving class for first-year students.
Laura graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering in 1984 and 1985 respectively. She spent two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories, before returning to school at NC State for her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. She has also taught at Duke University, where she began her work in K-12 Outreach while teaching undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering courses. Since then, she has consulted with Lockheed Martin, IBM, MCNC and others before eventually originating her current position in the Office Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at NC State.
Laura is a senior member of IEEE, a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, a faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers at NC State, a member of the steering committee for the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment in technological literacy and a frequent guest speaker for various groups (e.g., http://www.allbusiness.com/services/business-services/4342779-1.html).
She has been inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women for her work in empowering women and eliminating racism. The combined Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach Program under her tutelage received the institutional President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2000. In 2009 Laura received the individual President’s Award for Excellence. Also in 2009 IEEE honored her with the Educational Activities Board Informal Education Award. Some of her National Science Foundation-sponsored work with K-12 was featured on the NSF Discoveries website in 2005.