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Veerle Keppens

Keppens Chosen for IAspire Academy

Chancellor’s Professor and Department Head Veerle Keppens is one of two TCE faculty recently selected for participation in the IAspire Leadership Academy, part of the national Aspire Alliance.

Ozlem Kilic, associate dean of academic and student affairs for the college, was also selected.

The alliance, also known as the National Alliance for Inclusive and Diverse STEM Faculty, was created through the National Science Foundation funding to catalyze institutional and national change to improve diversity and inclusion in universities and colleges. The role of the academy is to develop leaders for these changes.

This year’s fellows were selected to be part of a cohort of only 30 fellows nation-wide. It is a two-year cohort-based program where in the first year, the IAspire fellows have a series of three on-site workshops at different locations across the US focused on personal development and the ability to lead at a team and organizational level. In the second year, the fellows execute an “institutional action project” using the concepts learned in the first year.

The academy gathers participants from a broad range of experiences to build an inclusive learning community in which participants can learn from both their differences and similarities.

Keppens expects to gain knowledge and skills from her participation that will help her serve the college with a deeper, and perhaps new, perspective.

“Being a female professor in a predominantly male STEM field, I understand that more is expected from me in terms of leadership and as a role model,” she said. “The academy will provide lasting interactions with leaders from underrepresented groups in higher education.”

“It is a priority of the Tickle College of Engineering to diversify and support the professional development and success of outstanding faculty,” said Dean Janis Terpenny. “We could not be prouder of these pioneering women of engineering and their selection for participation in this highly competitive national program. We are most appreciative of the IAspire program and the opportunities offered for continued growth as leaders.”