College of Engineering Leadership Fellows

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College of Engineering Leadership Fellows

College of Engineering Leadership Fellows

Leadership Fellows
  • 2018-2019: David Hernandez Escobar & Olivia Chesniak
  • 2019-2020: Hamid Karimi
  • 2020-2022: Chelsie Boodoo

David Hernandez Escobar (2018-2019)
As one of the first College of Engineering Leadership Fellows, David worked with Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services, Dr. Katy Colbry, to develop a needs assessment survey to identify the concerns of graduate students in the College of Engineering. The assessment collected over 100 responses, included open-answer personal reflections from graduate students and ideas on effective actions that could be taken to strengthen the graduate student community within the College of Engineering. Jacob also focused on his own leadership development by collaborating with other Fellows as a strong, cross-disciplinary team who attended professional development sessions together and discussed program communication, building buy-in, and a variety of other topics.

Olivia Chesniak (2018-2019)
Olivia’s Fellowship focused on bringing together graduate student organizations focused on women in STEM with the goal of sharing resources, networking, and providing peer mentorship. Olivia’s relationship-building efforts reinforced a cosponsored event among her connections in the College of Natural Science, the College of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. During the Spring semester, Olivia worked with Lydia Weiss to develop, advertise, and facilitate discussion sessions for graduate students following the Academic Womens Forum, known as the gradAWF. The Academic Womens Forum has been a valuable and unique space for women in the university to connect with fellow faculty, staff, and administrators. However, the lack of space for graduate students was reflected in unsteady attendance. Olivia was able to work across the university to create a space for graduate student women and ensure its promotion within her College.

Hamid Karimi (2019-2020)
Hamid worked with Assistant Dean Dr. Katy Colbry and engaged with stakeholders across the College to identify the need for professional development sessions regarding graduate students' knowledge of and preparedness for the job market following the completion of their degrees. Hamid also explored how to build DEI awareness within the lab setting and promote the benefits of diverse teams in STEM.

Chelsie Boodoo (2020-2022)
Chelsie organized the MSU SciComm Conveyance Conference, a virtual science communications conference that brought experts and students from various disciplines together to discuss scicomm practices and the role of science in today’s society. The conference offered an incredible twenty-two sessions including workshops, lectures, networking opportunities, and social events. Sessions included Science, Equity, and Advocacy in the Nuclear Weapons Field, Science vs. Journalistic Writing, Podcast Kickstarter, Creating Effective Data Visualizations, and Building Trust in Scientists, among others. Through her program, students were able to gather valuable information on the science communication field and experts were given the opportunity to connect with peers and provide advice to the next generation. Chelsie led a team through the difficulties of hosting a virtual conference and the process of learning skills related to event planning, public relations, marketing, grant-writing, and innovative-technology use. In her second year as a Fellow, Chelsie worked on developing a Science Art Tool Kit to help graduate students in the science field to communicate about their research using the arts. Her goal was to equip scientists to utilize physical and digital art to more effectively convey data and information. Her tool kit has a wide array of practical examples and resources.

Posted by:
Megumi Moore The MSU Graduate Leadership Institute