Hajim School welcomes new chairs of computer science, electrical and computer engineering

July 27, 2020

New and departing department chairs
From top to bottom, left to right: Sandhya Dwarkadas, Michael Scott, Mark Bocko, and Marvin Doyley.

Two remarkably productive Hajim School department chairs – Mark Bocko and Sandhya Dwarkadas -- stepped down effective July 1.

“It is our good fortune that we have two outstanding faculty members—Marvin Doyley and Michael Scott--who have stepped in to succeed them,” says Dean Wendi Heinzelman.

For 14 years, deans of engineering have benefited from Bocko‘s leadership as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, from 2004-2010 and again since 2013.

Bocko, the Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was the driving force behind one of the Hajim School’s most popular undergraduate programs – audio and music engineering – which was launched in 2013 and gives students the skills they need to enter the rapidly changing field of audio and sound engineering. The University’s $3 million investment in a state-of-the-art recording studio, control room, mixing rooms, and sound design lab was a major milestone for the program.

Bocko will continue to direct that program, as well as the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS), enabling him to continue to forge links between academic researchers and local companies, and advocate for developing the Rochester region as a center for light- and sound-based technologies. “Mark has been an outstanding leader and we are glad that we will continue to benefit from his vision and ideas moving forward,” Heinzelman says.

Doyley, who will succeed Bocko, has already been serving as associate chair, and last year was one of 20 faculty members nationwide who were selected as the first cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a program aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. Doyle’s project for the program involved growing a pipeline to help diversify graduate students and faculty in the department.

Doyley, recently elected a fellow of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering), “is a great faculty colleague and over the years he has contributed tremendously to ECE’s research profile and teaching mission,” Bocko says. “He clearly already possesses the skills and energy to be a wonderful leader for our department and the University.”

“We will certainly benefit from Marvin’s leadership,” Heinzelman says.

Dwarkadas, the Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor, has guided the Department of Computer Science through dramatic changes since becoming chair in 2014. During that time, undergraduate enrollments more than doubled. The department relocated into new offices and labs in Wegmans Hall. It launched a master’s degree program, and a training program for teaching assistants to assist with increased class sizes. Eight new faculty members were hired, including two women.

Dwarkadas was instrumental in enrolling the department in the BRAID (Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity) Initiative, which has helped the department attract and retain women undergraduates. The percentage of women undergraduates this spring was 29.4 percent, well above the national average. “This has obviously been a group effort,” Sandhya says.

“Nonetheless, she has done an exemplary job in leading the department,’ Heinzelman says.

Scott, the Arthur Gould Yates Professor, who will succeed Dwarkadas, has already demonstrated--multiple times--that he is up to the task of leading the department. He chaired the department from 1996 to 1999, and was interim chair for six months in 2007, and again in 2017.

In addition to his outstanding teaching and research credentials (Goergen and Riker teaching awards; fellow of ACM and IEEE), Scott has been actively engaged in University governance. He has served on the senate executive committee and on multiple search committees, including those that resulted in hiring Mary Ann Mavrinac as Dean of Libraries, Denise Yarbrough as Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Wendi Heinzelman as Dean of Engineering, Donald Hall as Dean of the Faculty of AS&E, Rob Clark as Senior VP for Research, and Sara Mangelsdorf as President.

“We will benefit immensely from Michael’s leadership as we navigate the challenges that confront us as a school and University,” Heinzelman says.