Notable Accomplishments

They Led the Way

First women graduates by department and program:

  • Norma (Doell) Miller, BS optics 1939
  • Marie (Bessey) Boardway, BS mechanical engineering 1939
  • Simone (Blumenthal) Greene, BS chemical engineering 1955
  • Joan Rose Ewing, MS, electrical engineering 1967
  • Cathie (Lubell) Burke, MS, materials science 1975
  • Harriet (Schippers) Marisa, BS, interdepartmental engineering 1975
  • Shirley Turner, BS, geomechanics, 1975
  • Michele Denber, MS, computer science 1980
  • Jill Carrie (Greenberg) Hildreth, BA, engineering science 1995
  • Christine Michelle (Myers) Vietz, MS, biomedical engineering 1999

First women PhD graduates by department, program:

  • Joan Rose Ewing, electrical engineering, 1973
  • Diana Nyyssonen, optics, 1975
  • Julie Harmon, materials science, 1983
  • Diane Judith Litman, computer science, 1986
  • Glori Chu-Shu Lee, chemical engineering, 1986
  • Catherine Irene (Funk) Weisman, mechanical engineering, 1990
  • Christine Michelle (Myers) Vietz, biomedical engineering, 2001

First woman tenure-track faculty member:

  • Carla Schlatter Ellis, computer science (1980)

First woman tenured faculty member:

  • Sheryl Gracewski, mechanical engineering (1984)

First woman instructional track faculty member:

  • Julie Bentley, optics (1998)

First women department chairs/program directors:

  • Sandhya Dwarkadas, chair computer science (2014)
  • Diane Dalecki, director Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (2007), chair biomedical engineering (2016)
  • Danielle Benoit, director Materials Science Program (2019)

First woman dean:

  • Wendi Heinzelman (2016)

Did you know?

11 women engineering and computer science graduates are in the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame?
(Theresa Tuthill, Janice Vanselow, Susan Lathan, Jill McCabe, Pamela Church, Tracey Buettgens Clancy, Kareen Coulombe, Barbara Bliss Mahnke, Rebekah Meeker, Rachel Cahan, Jenny Green Rogers)

Faculty members Danielle Benoit and Jannick Rolland were included in a series about notable women inventors at the University?

Joan Rose Ewing was the first woman to receive the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award?
(Jeanine Hays and Theo Mitsa also received the award.)

Sheryl Gracewski was the first woman to receive the school’s Lifetime Achievement Award?

13 of 19 Hajim School Outstanding Staff Awards have been given to women?
(Bonnie Lipari, Jennifer Condit, Gina Kern, Cindy Gary, Eileen Pullara, Michelle Foster, Marty Guenther, Gayle Thompson, Deb Neiner-Lingg, Dottie Welch, Lisa Norwood, Donna Porcelli, Maureen Muar)