Cockrell School of Engineering Dean Sharon L. Wood has named Christine Julien, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Anna and Jack Bowen Professor of Engineering, as the Cockrell School’s assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion — a new position established this year.
Julien, who began her appointment on Sept. 1, joined the UT faculty in 2004, working principally at the Center for Advanced Research in Software Engineering and serving as director of the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Laboratory. Since then, she has established a strong reputation among students, staff and fellow professors as an outstanding collaborator and a passionate educator. Julien is known throughout the school for her efforts to increase diversity among the faculty and foster an inclusive environment within the electrical and computer engineering department.
Julien has received several awards recognizing her teaching and research efforts, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Young Investigator Award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and a University of Texas Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award. For many years, Julien has spearheaded the Edison Lecture Series, an annual event hosted by her department that engages middle and high school students with electrical and computer engineering concepts through hands-on demonstrations.
In 2009, Julien helped to establish the Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering (WECE) group, an initiative aimed at providing support for female students and faculty in her department and educating them on opportunities for advancement in the field. In her new role as assistant dean, Julien intends to work closely with all of the school’s diversity programs and groups to build a cohesive strategy and a supportive environment where all engineering faculty, staff and students feel like they belong and can thrive.
“I am extremely proud and excited to serve as the school’s first assistant dean in this critical area,” Julien said. “My aim is not to look for what we’re doing wrong and try to correct it — I am more interested in identifying what we’re doing right and supporting those initiatives. Many of my colleagues are already working tirelessly behind the scenes to create a more diverse and inclusive community in their departments and across the school, and I want to encourage those who are leading these initiatives to expand their efforts and involve other members of our community.”
While Julien will be guided in these efforts by the Cockrell School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan, an initial framework and set of goals developed over the past two years by a committee of faculty, students and staff, she will have the authority to expand and continually revisit the plan, ensuring that our vision for a more diverse, inclusive and supportive community can be adjusted in real time to reflect the immediate needs and priorities of the day.
“The Cockrell School is absolutely committed to providing an inclusive environment for our students, faculty and staff in which we are all valued and can learn and collaborate in a positive and supportive place,” Wood said. “We believe that diversity is a fundamental part of engineering education and the engineering profession, and Christine’s important work in this new role will help us ensure that everyone in the Texas Engineering community, regardless of their background, feels welcome and able to succeed.”