The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame has appointed Ivan Favila director of the Minority Engineering Program (MEP). He joined the University in December.
“I am excited to be part of the Notre Dame family and the MEP as we continue to work toward addressing the under-representation of minorities studying and practicing engineering at Notre Dame,” Favila said. “Minority engineering at Notre Dame is not a new program, but we are renewing our commitment to encourage students with diverse backgrounds to become more fully engaged in what the college offers.”
According to Favila, over the next few months the MEP will focus on developing leadership skills in students, building a community of engineering students, developing engineering-related extracurricular activities, and promoting academic excellence among all students.
“Creative solutions rise from people who think differently,” he said. “Students from varied ethnicities, ancestries and social conditions bring diverse ideas and solutions, which is quite valuable for problem-solving professions, such as engineering.”
Most recently, Favila was assistant director of the Minority Engineering Recruitment and Retention Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he also served as director of the Cooperative Engineering Education Program. In addition to advising students on academic, technical, interpersonal and professional issues, he coordinated the Minority Engineering Orientation course and recruitment programs for pre-college students, supervised graduate and undergraduate students in peer mentor programs, and worked as an adviser to student chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Professional Engineers, as well as the student-run Minority Engineering Design Team.
Favila also works with organizations such as the Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering (CASHEE). As a CASHEE volunteer, he has served as site director for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Institute of Chicago since 1995.
Favila earned his bachelors degree in general engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a masters degree in mechanical engineering from UIC.
The MEP was established in 1987 to encourage minority students in their pursuit of undergraduate degrees in engineering. Although the primary activities in the program are aimed at recruitment and retention of students, leadership skills also are cultivated throughout the MEP via lecture series, workshops, student competitions, scholarships, internships, and career placement activities. Upon graduation, students become part of the MEP Alumni Network, a group of engineering graduates who make themselves available to answer the questions and concerns of engineering students. The network also serves as a Notre Dame resource for students whose internships require them to live away from families and friends.