U of M News
U of M's Herff College Expands Programs to Attract Young Women to Engineering University News
For release: May 14, 2008

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

The Herff College of Engineering instituted its first summer program for pre-college women in 2004. Since then, it has continued to expand its offerings for females to cultivate their interest in science, math, engineering, and technology.

According to the American Society for Engineering Education, women have accounted for about 20 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees for more than a decade, yet only 11 percent of engineers are females. “The Herff College and other engineering colleges around the country are working to improve these statistics by creating programs that inspire young women to consider a future career that’s creative, exciting, and rewarding in terms of salaries earned and of opportunities to make the world a better place,” said Dean Richard C. Warder.

Girls Experiencing Engineering (GEE) will offer three sessions this summer: June 2-6, a general session for young women entering grades 10-12; June 9-13 for those entering grades 10-12 who have previously attended a general session; and June 16-20 for students entering grades 7-9. Memphis City and Shelby County School students, as well as their math and science teachers, may apply for admission. Through hands-on projects, participants will discover what engineers do and how skills such as creative thinking, problem solving, and communications can lead to a rewarding career.

The highly successful GEE program is sponsored by the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. Stephanie Ivey, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Paul Palazolo, assistant dean of recruiting and retention for the College, are co-directors of GEE.


Introduced last year and returning this year with expanded sessions is the Girls in Manufacturing (GiM) program for high school students. Highlights will include a robotics competition, a field trip to a manufacturing plant, daily guest speakers, and the poplar design-and-take-home-your-own-manufactured-product. The session for women entering grade 12 is scheduled for June 23-27; grade 11, July 7-11; and grade 10, July 21-25. Memphis City and Shelby County School students may apply for admission.

GiM is sponsored by Carrier, a United Technologies Company, and Cargill. Deborah Hochstein, associate professor and chair of engineering technology, and Robert Hewitt, assistant professor of engineering technology, are co-directors of GiM.

For more information about the Herff College of Engineering summer programs for young women, call 901-678-4933 or e-mail srmoses@memphis.edu  Information is also available at www.ce.memphis.edu/gee and  www.engr.memphis.edu/gim

The Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis offers undergraduate programs in biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and in computer, electronics, and manufacturing engineering technology. Graduate programs are offered in biomedical (in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center), computer, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering and in engineering technology.

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