The Hajim School is committed to:

  • Increasing the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty
  • Creating policies, programs, and opportunities to ensure that women and those traditionally underrepresented in engineering are treated equitably
  • Supporting everyone with a spirit of genuine inclusivity

The profiles below are just a sampling of the Hajim School faculty and alumni who serve as role models in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Headshot of Jennifer Allen.

Jennifer Allen ’97 (chemical engineering) ’10 MBA

Chairs the board of trustees of the Young Women’s College Prep (YWCP) Charter School of Rochester, which offers young women from the city of Rochester the opportunity to learn in a single-gender environment, free from stereotypes, where a strong focus is placed on preparation for college enrollment and graduation. Allen also enjoys mentoring undergraduates at the Hajim School as a Real Reader.

Headshot of Mercy Asiedu.

Mercy Asiedu ’14 (biomedical engineering)

An inaugural recipient of the Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Changemakers award, Asiedu is founder of two start-up companies that use advances in machine learning to provide preventative and diagnostic health care to chronic disease victims in sub-Sahara Africa.

Headshot of Delali Attiogbe Attipoe.

Delali Attiogbe Attipoe ’03 (biomedical engineering)

A global executive with deep experience in the biopharma sector ranging from logistics and supply chain management to commercial marketing and managed care.

Headshot of Tanzeem Choudhury.

Tanzeem Choudhury '97 (electrical engineering)

The Roger and Joelle Burnell Chair in Integrated Health and Technology at Cornell Tech directs the People-Aware Computing group and leads the Precision Behavioral Health Initiative, focused on advancing the future of technology-assisted well-being.

Headshot of Peter Delfyett ‘83M.

Peter Delfyett ‘83M (electrical engineering)

The University of Central Florida Trustee Chair Professor of Optics, Electrical & Computer Engineering, & Physics, Delfyett is an expert in semiconductor lasers and recipient of multiple awards, including election to the National Academy of Engineering. He has served two terms as president of the National Society of Black Physicists.

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Joan Ewing '67M '73PhD (electrical engineering)

The first woman PhD graduate in engineering at Rochester, Ewing was a former principal scientist at Xerox and an advocate for hearing disabled persons.

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Jeanine Hayes '92 (optics)

The Hajim School Distinguished Alumnae recipient has thrived at leading teams and scaling innovative ideas at Internet start-ups and iconic global companies, such as Yahoo! And NIKE. She relishes opportunities to talk to students about her career and offer advice.

Headshot of Sharon Hoffman-Manning.

Sharon Hoffman-Manning '79 (chemical engineering)

The former director of Johnson&Johnson's global supply chain has also served as operations consultant with IZBA. She has served in several leadership roles for CASA, which trains volunteers to help judges develop a fuller picture of a neglected or abused child’s home life, schooling, and health care needs.

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Susan Houde-Walter '83 '87PhD (optics)

The first woman tenured faculty member of the Institute of Optics is a former president of OSA (now Optica) and the CEO of LMD Power of Light Corp. The company produces field-ready quantum cascade lasers, solid state lasers and diode lasers for life-saving applications such as beacons, markers, aiming devices, and improved communications.

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Marylou Ingram '47MD

An innovative researcher in cytometry, radiation biology, cellular biology, and immunology, Ingram was a role model for women in STEM and a generous benefactor supporting fellowships and a professorship in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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Diane Litman '82M '86PhD

The professor of computer science at University of Pittsburgh was first woman PhD recipient in computer science at Rochester. Litman is a leader in artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and other areas of computer science.

Headshot of Beauclaire.

Beauclaire Mbanya ’20 (chemical engineering)

Only the third University of Rochester Rhodes Scholar, Mbanya is also a Schwarzman Scholar who is guided by deeply ingrained values and beliefs that he learned while growing up in Cameroon, Africa.

Headshot of Theophano.

Theophano Mitsa '88M '91PhD (electrical engineering)

As a PhD student, Mitsa co-invented Blue Noise Mask, one of the most lucrative inventions in University of Rochester history. She is a consultant, author, and managing member of Aretisoft LLC.

Headshot of Lisa.

Lisa Norwood '86 (geomechanics), '95 (MW)

The long-time Hajim School assistant dean for undergraduate studies was the architect of the award-winning STEM-Gems program to retain underrepresented minority engineering students. Now retired, she was the recipient of the University Witmer Award, the Dottie Welch Award, and the Hajim School Outstanding Staff Award for unceasing efforts to attract and retain women and minority students in engineering.

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Diana Nyyssonen '75PhD (optics)

The first woman PhD graduate at the Institute of Optics helped reorient the metrology direction of the semiconductor industry as a researcher at the National Bureau of Standards.

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Shawn Rochester ’97 (chemical engineering)

The chemical engineering alumnus has skillfully documented the staggering, pervasive tax driven by conscious and unconscious anti-Black bias that continues to prevent Black Americans from accumulating wealth in proportion to their contributions and population.

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Sean Rodrigues ’12 (chemical engineering)

The senior scientist at Toyota leads projects that advance the development of autonomous vehicle systems.

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Katie Schwertz '08 (optics)

The senior engineering manager at Edmund Optics and former director of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, is a rising leader in the field and an outspoken advocate for gender equity.

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Mario Simpson ’99 (electrical engineering)

As a member of the Hajim School Visiting Committee and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, Simpson raises questions the School to address about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the relevance of our curriculum to industry needs. Simpson also mentors students as a volunteer Real Reader.

Headshot of Christopher.

Christopher Stewart ‘05MS ‘08PhD (computer science)

A pioneer in the modeling of computer operating systems to make data centers more efficient, Stewart is an associate professor in computer science at Ohio State University.

Donna posing with a group of students.

Donna Strickland '89PhD (optics)

The University of Waterloo professor was a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for helping to develop “chirped pulse amplification” while completing her PhD in optics at Rochester. The technology has harnessed the power of lasers as precision tools, paving the way for laser-eye surgery, the machining of key parts for cell phones and other devices, tools for cancer treatment, and other clinical and commercial applications.

Headshot of Tim.

Tim Talley ’88 (electrical engineering)

As an entrepreneur, Talley rose to fame by wooing a national TV audience and a panel of celebrity investors with a flawless pitch for his dual-patented modular, no-tie sneaker laces on CBS’ Shark Tank program.

Headshot of Theresa.

Theresa Tuthill '84 '87M '91PhD (electrical engineering)

An outstanding scholar athlete while at Rochester, she was the first woman full-time faculty member at University of Dayton's engineering school. Tuthill is now digital research manager for the ultrasound research group at GE HealthCare.

Headshot of Alexis.

Alexis Vogt '00 '08PhD (optics)

The endowed chair and professor of optics at Monroe Community College reinvigorated the school's Optical Systems Technology Program to address an acute shortage in the technical workforce of an industry vital to Rochester and the nation.

Headshot of Charity.

Charity Wallace ’09 (biomedical engineering)

In addition to her position as principal research associate at Moderna, Wallace is a dedicated Real Reader mentor for Hajim School undergraduates.

Headshot of Sharon.

Sharon Weiss '99 '01M '05PhD (optics)

The Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering at Vanderbilt University and director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is an expert in the use of silicon in photonics and optoelectronics. She has also been recognized for excellence in teaching.

Headshot of Michele.

Michele R. Weslander Quaid '94M (optics)

Served as Google's chief evangelist and chief technology officer for its public-sector division. Weslander Quaid was named among the "7 most powerful women to watch" in 2014 by Entrepreneur magazine for her work in national defense after 9/11.


Headshot of Miguel Alonso.

Miguel Alonso

Professor of optics, a leading expert in theoretical optics, recipient of the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and a recipient of the G. G. Stokes Award in Optical Polarization by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Headshot of Zhen Bai.

Zhen Bai

The assistant professor of computer science is an NSF CAREER Award winner whose research focuses on creating embodied and intelligent interfaces that transcend learning, communication and wellbeing for people with diverse abilities and backgrounds.

Headshot of Yasemin Basdogan.

Yasemin Basdogan

The assistant professor of chemical engineering uses computational simulations to understand problems related to climate change and leverages artificial intelligence and machine-learning to design new materials for sustainability and energy applications.

Julie speaking from behind a podium.

Julie Bentley '90 '92M '96PhD (optics)

Professor of optics and first woman instructional track faculty member in the Hajim School. Bentley is an internationally recognized expert in lens design and recipient of the Goergen Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Headshot of Mark Buckley.

Mark Buckley

Associate professor biomedical engineering. Buckley forges collaborations across the university to find new ways to treat diseases and injuries to soft biological tissues. Buckley was one of five inaugural recipients of a Kearns Center mentoring award recognizing “outstanding faculty members who excel at mentoring and teaching low-income, first-generation, and/or underrepresented minority students who participate in Kearns programs.”

Headshot of Jaime Cardenas.

Jaime Cardenas

Associate professor of optics. Cardenas creates nanoscale and quantum optical devices with microfabrication techniques.

Headshot of Laurel Carney.

Laurel Carney

MaryLou Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering and an expert in the physiology and psychophysics of hearing. Carney was one of five inaugural recipients of a Kearns Center mentoring award recognizing “outstanding faculty members who excel at mentoring and teaching low-income, first-generation, and/or underrepresented minority students who participate in Kearns programs.”

Headshot of Diane Dalecki.

Diane Dalecki

Holds the Kevin J. Parker Distinguished Professorship in Biomedical Engineering and is director of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound. Dalecki is an expert in the use of ultrasound for tissue engineering. She designed the curriculum for the biomedical engineering program in its infancy.

Headshot of Marvin Doyley.

Marvin Doyley

The chair of electrical and computer engineering is an expert in ultrasound and elastography imaging to detect diseases and principal investigator of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates site dedicated to Imaging in Medicine and Biology for Underrepresented Minorities.

Headshot of Sheryl Gracewski.

Sheryl Gracewski

The emeritus professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering was the first woman tenured faculty member in engineering at Rochester and the first woman recipient of the Hajim School Lifetime Achievement Award. Gracewski, an expert in modeling the interaction of ultrasound with bubbles and stones in biological fluids and tissues, also was faculty advisor for the Baja SAE student team for several years.

Headshot of Wendi Heinzelman.

Wendi Heinzelman

The first woman dean of the Hajim School and former AS&E dean of graduate students is co-founder of Networking Networking Women (N2 Women), the first organization of its kind supporting women in networking and communications. Heinzelman is an expert in wireless communication systems and protocols.

Headshot of Marisol Herrera-Perez.

Marisol Herrera-Perez

The assistant professor of biomedical engineering specializes in generating tissue models and genetic tools to understand how cells communicate and organize to create multicellular structures.

Headshot of Cherice Hill.

Cherice Hill

The assistant professor of biomedical engineering studies multi-scale biomechanics of the human temporomandibular and lower extremity joints with a particular focus on diverse populations. Her work will address musculoskeletal health disparities by evaluating mechanisms of pathology and improving equity in translational research.

Headshot of Melodie Lawton.

Melodie Lawton

The assistant professor of instruction in chemical engineering brings strong academic research and extensive industry experience from years working at Bausch & Lomb to her teaching.

Headshot of Amy Lerner.

Amy Lerner

The associate professor of biomedical engineering was the first female faculty member appointed to the department. Lerner has created a model senior design program and serves as academic director of the Center for Medical Technology & Innovation. She is also a recipient of the Goergen Teaching Award.

Headshot of Allison Lopatkin.

Allison Lopatkin ’13 (applied mathematics)

The assistant professor of chemical engineering uses systems and synthetic biology approaches to engineer genetic communication in bacterial communities.

Headshot of Susana Marcos.

Susana Marcos

The Nicholas George Endowed Professor in Optics and David R. Williams Director of the Center for Visual Science is an internationally recognized expert in the optics of the eye and the interactions of light with the retina.

Headshot of Gonzalo Mateos.

Gonzalo Mateos

The associate professor of electrical and computer engineering is an emerging leader in using computational tools to understand networks as diverse as social media, power grids, and the human brain. Mateos works actively with the Goergen Institute of Data Science to forge new research collaborations.

Headshot of Astrid Müller.

Astrid Müller

The assistant professor of chemical engineering’s research focuses on understanding which properties or combination of properties govern a material’s performance, particularly as it relates to solar energy.

Headshot of Jannick Rolland.

Jannick Rolland

The Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering and director of the Center for Freeform Optics is also co-founder of LighTopTech. Rolland is a recipient of the Edmund A. Hajim Outstanding Faculty Award and is a recognized pioneer in augmented and virtual reality.