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Statler College announces inaugural Thriving Women Program recipients

A portrait of Leslie Hopkinson, Cate Schlobohm, and Xinyu Zhang

Recipients of the Thriving Women Program grants (pictured left to right) Leslie Hopkinson, Cate Schlobohm and Xinyu Zhang. 

Pedro Mago, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, has announced the recipients of the College’s inaugural Thriving Women Program grants, intended to empower female faculty and staff to advance in their professional careers through individual or community transformation.

Story by Olivia Miller, Communications Specialist 
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

The program, designed by Cerasela Zoica Dinu, professor and coordinator of the Statler College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic initiatives, was funded by dedicated alumna Dianne Anderson. The program offers support of up to $2,000 for three applicants over a one-year period.

“There is no better time to shine a light on those that can make the largest impact to this College through their own individual growth,” Anderson said.

Cate Schlobohm, outreach coordinator, will use the grant to aid the College’s student organizations from under-represented groups to fund, organize, and implement a program to highlight their voices at a College-wide conference.

“I’m thankful to have received this grant so we can continue the important work of championing our students from diverse backgrounds,” said Schlobohm. “This lays the groundwork for what will hopefully become an exciting annual event.”

Xinyu Zhang, teaching assistant professor of fundamentals of engineering, intends to advance her career trajectory and knowledge of engineering education by obtaining her professional engineering license and engage in SWE activities as a University leader, as well as work with other faculty and SWE advisers for broader impact activities.

“Obtaining this license will help me achieve several goals,” Zhang said. “Be a role model for Statler College students, help our local community and the state through service projects, and on a personal level, achieve a milestone in my professional career.”

Leslie Hopkinson, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, plans to develop a new general education course that covers the history of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to contribute to a positive and inclusive University community.

“Women have made gains in STEM disciplines and careers, but continued progress is needed,” Hopkinson said. “The achievements of women in STEM fields should be celebrated so that negative stereotypes can be overcome.”



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135