Friday KeyNote Address

Lorelle A Meadows, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Academic Programs
College of Engineering
University of Michigan
Title: The Power of Empowering Students
Empowerment by definition is the act of giving to someone the authority or power to do something. In reality, it is much more than a simple act. It is a process through which individuals who are empowered come to challenge the way things are and the way they can be. In undertaking the course of opening our classrooms and curricula to this process, we engage in these challenges along with our students, and push the boundaries of the learning process. We shift from a model in which power is used to influence outcomes and conceived as a conservative quantity, to a condition where power is created to allow the process of discovery, understanding and ownership. In this talk I will share some of my own experiences with this process over the past few years that I believe have enhanced both my perception of engineering education and my students' experiences in the classroom. And, I empower you to challenge the ways things are and the way they can be.

Dr. Lorelle Meadows is Assistant Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her primary responsibility is to assure the delivery of a curriculum that addresses our college-wide educational objectives in order to prepare students for the careers of the 21st century. In this role Dr. Meadows leads the design, planning, implementation and assessment of the College of Engineering first year program, oversees the Program in Technical Communication and undertakes targeted curriculum development projects in areas such as ethics education and the Program in Sustainable Engineering.

Dr. Meadows received her Ph.D. in the area of Applied Ocean Physics through at the University of Michigan, College of Engineering. She then joined the department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering as a research faculty member. Her primary areas of research include the application of High Frequency radar to the determination of a variety of air-sea parameters in the near-shore zone as well as natural and anthropogenic influences on near-shore processes and productivity. Much of her research has involved an interdisciplinary approach with the overall objective of improving ecosystem understanding, health and management. In addition to research in this area, Dr. Meadows has expanded her research portfolio to include research in engineering education, with specific emphasis on the influence of gender stereotypes in student teamwork as well as general issues of motivation and engagement.