On Friday, April 12, 2013, I had the distinct honor of giving the keynote address at the Ohio State University Minority Engineering Awards Program banquet. It was an impressive affair, attended by a few hundred people. I was seated next to David Williams, the Dean of Engineering, along with several other distinguished guests. I was impressed to see the number, diversity, and quality of students in the program. Ohio State is clearly devoted to enhancing both the diversity and quality of its engineering programs, due in no small measure to the work of Dean Minnie McGee, who for years has overseen the Minority Engineering Program.
My visit to Ohio State was hosted by Dean McGee and facilitated by friend, supporter, and fellow Flintite Norma Richards. She herself has done an outstanding job nurturing her own kids, and the children of others, toward careers in engineering. She is someone other parents can learn much from. Norma’s son Jonathan is already an engineer. Her daughter Victoria will be graduating from OSU Engineering this spring, and daughter Nyla will enter this fall. Quite a track record, wouldn’t you say? Talk about a Tiger Mom – Norma is a lioness!
Thanks to everyone who said such nice things about my speech, and to all those folks who stayed around and purchased books after the event. I enjoyed every minute of my visit, from the dinner that night right through to the picnic session with students the next morning. OSU and Michigan are bitter rivals on the football field, and that is well and good. I’d like to see that kind of fierce competition extend to excellence at recruiting, educating, and graduating the future leaders in engineering and technology.