Miami University named Beena Sukumaran as the new dean of the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) last week.
Sukumaran is the current vice president of research at Rowan University. She has worked at Rowan for the past 22 years, building the engineering department and serving as a study abroad adviser and a president’s fellow for diversity and inclusion.
While visiting campus in February, Sukumaran discussed her ideas for Miami’s CEC program, which include more funding for research. She also hopes to implement a teacher-scholar learning model, emphasizing teamwork and research between students and professors, which she found successful in her position at Rowan.
The current CEC dean, Marek Dollár, will step down from his position in July after leading the program for 20 years. He plans to return to his roots of teaching and research.
Sukumaran hopes to increase diversity in Miami’s CEC program.
“Engineering can be done by anyone,” she said. “Anybody, with whatever walk of life you come from, with whatever disability status you might have or whatever socioeconomic status you come from. So we try to feature these diverse role models, and we have also done that with our curriculum [at Rowan].”
Sukumaran also wants students to expand their knowledge outside of CEC and become well-rounded by taking courses in varying subjects and always reaching to see the “bigger picture.”