‘SEAS’ of new hope
New engineering dean works to bring more women to her field
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 17:03
However, she said dealing with the sudden increase of students can be problematic, and she would have to come up with creative solutions to cater to their needs.
“The challenge for us is that you can’t ramp a university’s capacity to take on students very quickly,” Folks said. “We can’t build our classrooms fast enough to meet the demand, for example. So we are going to have to get much more cunning on how we deliver education to make sure that quality isn’t compromised, but we can deal with these variables.”
Folks’ experience at Hitachi and IBM – in the data storage industry, in which she focused on finding ways to make hard-disk drives more efficient at low costs – has taught her how to apply her experience in the private sector to academia.
“The most important thing working in industry [is it] trains you for is the importance of setting goals and milestones toward those goals and trying to keep people moving in the same direction,” Folks said. “Some of that is a leadership issue, some of it is a question of how to keep people motivated and some of it is operational in making sure you are setting the right goals.”
Folks is excited to lead SEAS forward in the engineering world; she hopes more women will join her in the workforce along the way.