We advocate, connect and empower for a better world
CAWIT: Community Builder and Catalyst for Change
As the digital economy grows it puts new demands on our workforce. We can meet these demands by collaborating across academic, industry and government sectors and creating new technology pathways accessible to more college students. The health of our workforce, our economy and our society depend on it. The impact will be felt for generations to come.
CAWIT Board of Directors
CAWIT Advisory Board
Belle W. Wei
Chair, CAWIT Board of Directors
Dr. Belle Wei is Carolyn Guidry Chair in Engineering Education and Innovative Learning at San José State University (SJSU). For the past 25 years, Dr. Wei has held a range of leadership positions within the California State University system, including her role as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Chico; her decade of service as the Don Beall Dean of Engineering in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at SJSU; and her role as a faculty member of SJSU since 1987. She was a visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University in 1993.
Dr. Wei has advanced an innovative educational agenda to promote student success, foster inclusive excellence, bolster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and champion environmental sustainability programs, all within a framework of interdisciplinary, global thinking.
In 2014, she founded the Center for Advancing Women in Technology (CAWIT) to build a community and bring about systemic change that would increase the number of women technology innovators for the Digital Age. As CAWIT’s president, she led the establishment of the Technology Pathways Initiative (TPI). TPI empowers public universities, sponsored by industry partners, to create new interdisciplinary degree programs that integrate computing with other fields of study such as biology, math, and social and behavioral sciences. The aim of these programs is to provide technology pathways, from campus to career, for today’s diverse student population, a majority of whom are women.
Previously, Dr. Wei led the development of the Engineering Pathways to Success initiative, which brought engineering curricula to the Silicon Valley/San Francisco region’s middle and high schools in order to prepare more students for STEM degrees and careers. She has also inspired the development of new interdisciplinary programs that focus on climate change solutions and environmental sustainability.
In her work, Dr. Wei collaborates with a variety of U.S. and international leaders from academia, industry and government. Between 2009 and 2012, she served on the executive board of the Engineering Deans Council of the American Society for Engineering Education, and chaired its Diversity Committee. In 2006, she spoke before the U.S. Congress about the “Innovation Agenda,” contributing to the America COMPETES Act (2007). She is a founding board member of the US-China Green Energy Council.
Dr. Wei holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and a B.S. in Biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. in Engineering from Harvard University.
Treasurer, CAWIT Board of Directors
Isabel Chiu is a Certified Public Accountant and the founder and owner of Isabel Chiu & Company, LLC. She has 40 years of experience in accounting with a specialization in providing auditing, accounting, and tax services to corporations, limited partnerships, and high net-worth individuals. She has been a leader in community service and philanthropic organizations. Ms. Chiu is a co-founder and past president of the American Cancer Society – California Chinese Unit. She currently serves on the Refugee Resettlement Committee of St. Joseph Church in Fremont, California. She received her M.S. degree in Accounting from University of Missouri.
Secretary, CAWIT Board of Directors
Dr. Hsu is the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering at San José State University (SJSU), a role he also served during the 2012-13 academic year. During the 2015-16 academic year, he served as the College’s General Engineering Program Director. Over the past 26 years, Hsu has held positions in SJSU’s College of Engineering as Associate Dean, Interim Associate Dean, Associate Department Chair, and faculty member. He has also served on the board of directors of SJSU Research Foundation. In 2014, Hsu was invited by the U.S. Department of Energy as a visiting professor at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Previously, he was a faculty member in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Prior to that, he worked as an Engineer with the Navtrol Company of Dallas, Texas. Hsu received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Special Advisor, Office of the Chancellor, California State University
Sue Rosser has served as the Special Advisor on Research Development and External Partnerships for the California State University System Office of the Chancellor since September, 2016. From 2009 to 2016, she was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at San Francisco State University. From July 1999 to 2009, she served as Dean of Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology, where held the endowed Ivan Allen Dean’s Chair of Liberal Arts and Technology. Rosser received her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has authored and edited thirteen books and written approximately 130 journal articles on the theoretical and applied problems of women and science and women’s health. Her most recent book is Breaking into the Lab: Engineering Progress for Women in Science (NYU Press, 2012). She has held several grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including: from 2016 to 2019, serving as PI on IT Catalyst ($250,000); and from 2001 to 2006 as co-PI on a $3.7 million ADVANCE grant, PI on InTEL: Interactive Toolkit for Engineering Learning ($900,000), and on Bridge to the Future for GIs ($217,732). Rosser served as a Clayman Fellow at Stanford University (2007-08), and on the Executive Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2010-14).
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Dean, Equity and Inclusion, College of Engineering
Dr. Kara Nelson is a professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in the College of Engineering at U.C. Berkeley. She received her BA degree in Biophysics from UC Berkeley, her MSE degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington, and her PhD in Environmental Engineering from UC Davis. Her research program addresses innovative strategies to increase the sustainability of urban water infrastructure, including technologies for potable and non-potable water reuse, nutrient recovery, decentralized systems, intermittent water supply, household water treatment, and affordable sanitation. Professor Nelson has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and leads the Engineering Research Thrust and is co-Director of Diversity at the Engineering Research Center for Reinventing our Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). She currently conducts research in the United States, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Panama.
Senior Director of Architecture & Technology, KLA-Tencor
Grace Chen, Ph. D., is Senior Director of Architecture & Technology at KLA-Tencor, where she leads technology innovation development and defines the technology roadmap and system architecture for high speed, high performance wafer inspectors. Chen began her technical career at KLA-Tencor as a Senior Research Scientist, followed by roles as a Principal Scientist and a System Architect on KLA’s Engineering Team. She holds 19 patents in areas of high resolution optical system, machine learning, detection algorithm, and overall system design. Prior to KLA-Tencor, Chen led technical projects at Numerical Technologies, Innovative Imaging Systems, and General Research Corporation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from San Francisco State University and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Executive Vice President and Chief Infrastructure Officer, Salesforce
Randy Kern joined Salesforce in 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Infrastructure Officer. He is responsible for the worldwide Infrastructure engineering and operations teams that deliver Salesforce’s award-winning Software and Platform Services. Prior to Salesforce, Kern spent nearly 20 years driving technical innovations at massive scale for Microsoft, most notably Azure, and Autopilot, which is the engine that drives Bing and many of Microsoft’s other Online Services Division products. In 2013 he received a coveted Microsoft Outstanding Technical Achievement award for his work on Autopilot. Kern also served as the CTO for Spoke Technology.
Dean, Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside
In September 2018, Professor Lynch joined the University of California, Riverside as Dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. Previously he was Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the #2 ranked MS Online Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to 2007, he devoted 12 years to the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Professor Lynch’s research focuses on ferroelectric and magnetostrictive materials. His recent work focuses on magnetoelectric coupling at nanoscale. He leads the modeling thrust of the NSF TANMS NERC. He has contributed to the development of constitutive models, micromechanics, and phase field modeling; and to improving material reliability.
Professor Lynch has served as Chair of the ASME Aerospace Division. He founded the ASME Conference on Smart Materials and Adaptive Structures, and served as General Chair of the annual SPIE Smart Structures conference (2014-2015). He has been honored with the NSF CAREER Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, an ASEE Educator Award, as an ASME Fellow, as a SPIE Fellow, the ASME Smart Structures Prize, the SPIE Smart Materials and Structures Lifetime Achievement Award, and several teaching awards. He serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Multifunctional Materials, and as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Smart Materials and Structures. He earned his MS and PhD degrees and performed post-doctoral work at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Jennifer Sinclair Curtis
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering University of California, Davis
In 2015, Jennifer Sinclair Curtis joined the University of California, Davis, where she serves as Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering. She is a Fellow of AAAS, AIChE and ASEE. Professor Curtis is a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, the CACHE Award for Excellence in Computing in Chemical Engineering Education, AIChE’s Thomas-Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems, the AIChE’s Fluidization Lectureship Award, AIChE’s van Antwerpen Award, the American Society of Engineering Education’s Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, the Eminent Overseas Lectureship Award by the Institution of Engineers in Australia, and ASEE’s Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She has served on the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Engineering Education and has participated in two NAE Frontiers of Research Symposia (2003 and 2008). Professor Curtis received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1983) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University (1989). Prior to joining UC Davis in 2015, she was Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Florida. She has also served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University and Purdue University. At CMU she received the engineering college’s Ladd Research Award, and at Purdue she was named University Faculty Scholar.
Professor Curtis’ research focuses on the development of multiphase CFD models and discrete element method models for particulate flow. Her work has been applied to improve the design and optimization of chemical, energy, mining, pharmaceutical, and agricultural processes in which particulate processes are pervasive. Her multiphase flow models, based on first principles granular kinetic theory, have been adopted by the software package ANSYS Fluent, a product of ANSYS, the largest producer of simulation software used by 96 of the top 100 industrial companies in the FORTUNE 500, with over 40,000 customers worldwide. Her multiphase flow models are also included in the CFD Research Corporation’s multiphase flow CFD software package and the open-source CFD code (OpenFOAM).
Don Beall Dean, Davidson College of Engineering. San Jose State University
Sheryl Ehrman is the Don Beall Dean of the Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University (SJSU), a position she has held since 2017. Prior to joining SJSU she was a member of the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, for 19 years, serving as Keystone Professor and Chair from 2010 to 2017. Dean Ehrman’s educational interests focus on: project-based learning for first year engineering students, increased participation and retention of traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering, and developing smooth pathways between community colleges and universities for engineering transfer students. Her research interests include aerosol technology and air pollution. In 2006, she was awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship supporting a sabbatical visit to the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in Mumbai, India. She served as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador from 2013-2016. Additional distinctions: NSF CAREER Award (2001), E. Robert Kent Outstanding Teaching Award for Junior Faculty from the A. James Clark School of Engineering (2006), Merrill Presidential Scholar Mentorship Honoree (2014), and induction into Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society (2015). She holds a PhD degree from UCLA and a BS degree from UC Santa Barbara, both in chemical engineering.
Kathleen Enz Finken
Provost, EVP for Academic Affairs, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Kathleen Enz Finken has served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo since 2012. She is the senior member of the President’s Cabinet and the senior provost within the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. Previously, she was Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Enz Finken has served on numerous statewide committees, boards and task forces devoted to the visual and performing arts, financial sustainability, economic development, technology transfer, education, information technology, housing, and healthcare. Her most recent service at the university system level includes chairing the Provosts’ Research Committee, and memberships on the Academic Council Steering Committee and the system-wide Sustainable Financial Model Task Force. As an administrator, she takes pride in promoting people and ideas, leading growth and change, solving problems and removing barriers to success for faculty, staff and students. Enz Finken received her doctorate in the history of art and architecture of the ancient Roman Empire and early medieval western world from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Barbara H. Whye
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources
Intel Corporation @steministbarb
Barbara H. Whye is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at Intel Corporation. She leads Intel’s Diversity in Technology initiative as the company endeavors to reach its goal of full representation in its U.S. workforce by 2020. A champion of Intel’s culture of inclusion, with 21 years of experience, she develops strategy that accelerates progress and integrates diversity and inclusion across the ecosystem to enhance innovation and drive business results.
Barbara joined Intel in 1995 as an engineer and held a number of leadership roles driving large scale, enterprise-wide change. Prior to joining HR and Global Diversity and Inclusion in 2015, she spent 15 years in key leadership and project engineering roles responsible for acquiring and starting up new facilities for Intel Corporation worldwide including Talent Management as an expatriate in San José, Costa Rica. Barbara also led the investment strategy for Intel’s global (STEM) education portfolio, with an emphasis on girls and underserved populations and was a strategist on Intel’s global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment, Girl Rising.
Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina and her MBA from the university’s Darla Moore School of Business. Recognized as a force for positive social change, she has been awarded with the 2014 National Society of Black Engineers Career Excellence Award, a 2015 Society of Women Engineers Spark Award, and a 2016 Inspiring Women of South Carolina Award.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
Cultural Anthropologist, Writer and Women’s Rights Activist
Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History
Cultural Anthropologist, Writer and Women’s Rights Activist
Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History