MAE Seminar: Engineering Inclusion into University Programs


Kerri Phillips & Sylvie DeLaHunt

Zoom Meeting ID: 986 8942 7128 Passcode: MAE

Faculty Host: Larry Ukeiley

It’s a fact: persistent gender stereotypes lead more women than men to experience low self-efficacy in engineering and technology fields. Resulting socially-induced individual obstacles, such as imposter syndrome and stereotype threat, may affect how women perceive and respond to institutional barriers commonplace in engineering departments such as underrepresentation, biases, alienating cultures, and opaque grading policies. The evidence on this topic is both anecdotal and data-driven. The speakers will present both, and reveal how college engineering programs can improve retention by dismantling the institutional barriers that disproportionately discourage talented women. Attendees seeking to promote the inclusion and success of diverse students and recent graduates will leave this session with recommendations for mitigating individual and institutional obstacles.

Sylvie DeLaHunt, a senior guidance, navigation, and control engineer and supervisor at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), advocates for diversity and inclusion through employee resources groups, professional societies, public speaking, and writing opinion pieces. She has served as president, diversity and inclusion chair, and Women’s History Month committee lead for the APL Women in Technology affinity group. Sylvie earned her B.S. (2014) and M.S. (2016) in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

Kerri Phillips, a program area manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, previously instructed at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She holds dual bachelor degrees in aerospace and mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from West Virginia University, and a master’s degree in systems engineering from JHU. Kerri discussed overcoming adversity for a SWE Diverse Podcast episode and TEDx talk.

Hosted by

UF Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering