St. Thomas Engineer Magazine

A technically overstuffed and abstract curriculum

know that major transformations to the curricula happen at the

to understand what you do not know and the power to learn something new. And that is why, as our graduates were virtually flipping their tassels last month that I was confident that the arc of humanity will make a slight bend toward a better place for all. I

widens the chasm between engineering education and the people and society that our students will serve. The perception of engineering as a non-people-based profession

scale of glacial speeds and Deborah numbers. Each

university is making strides and trying to share those experiences through our ASEE, KEEN and other networks. I can speak

has not really changed in the past decades despite our efforts to convince society otherwise. In 2000, 20% of the engineers graduating in the U.S. were women, and with decades of a persistent drumbeat of promoting STEM in our K-12 system, in 2019 only 22% were women. Similarly, the percentages of black and Hispanic engineering graduates lag significantly behind the national demographics. The predominately technical lens of engineering curricula across the nation continues to reinforce the notion that engineering is a profession considerably distanced from the people we serve. OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONES AND INTO THE WORLD For those who study the historical arc of engineering education, we

confidently about the small disruptions that we are pursuing at the University of St. Thomas. I ammost proud that we have pulled our engineering students out of their science andmath comfort zones by requiring extensive coursework experience in philosophy, theology, history, social science and the fine arts. These are realms of study where an understanding of people and a comfort with ambiguity reign. I am equally proud that they have had to develop empathy and intense listening skills through the process of learning to understand new cultures and communicate in a second language. While it is true that the technologies and markets our graduates will be walking into are virtually infinite, there are two things that will be the same in every domain: 1) Engineering is about serving people, and 2) Success comes from the humility

want to thank all of the engineering graduates of 2020 in advance for the work you are about to engage on behalf of all of us. I promise you, as an engineering educator, that in honor of this 2020 milestone we will continue to get better at our craft of preparing the next generation of engineers for the next generation of problems our world will face. Thank you.

St. Thomas Engineer 2020 Page 9

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