Skip to Main Content

COEIT appoints four faculty members to leadership roles

August 13, 2018 10:48 AM
August 13, 2018 by Megan Hanks

The College of Engineering and Information Technology is pleased to announce the appointment of four faculty to leadership roles in the College.

Helena Mentis, associate professor of information systems, is the new associate dean for academic programs and learning in the COEIT Dean’s Office. In this role, Mentis will focus on expanding faculty development and support initiatives for junior, mid-career, and teaching faculty. She will oversee mentoring programs, including the Eminent Scholar Mentoring Program within the College, and the Teaching Circles initiative, which is a university-wide program that provides faculty with the opportunity to reflect on their teaching styles and continue to experiment with their approaches.

Mentis will work closely on faculty searches, the promotion and tenure process, annual reviews, and other tasks related to policies, initiatives, and programs. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and biomedical informatics, including how technology can be used in healthcare settings. In 2016, Mentis received a prestigious NSF CAREER Award for her research on surgical telemedicine.

Ruey-Hung (Ray) Chen has been named the new chair of the mechanical engineering department. Chen joins UMBC after serving as department head and Robert Myers Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at New Mexico State University. His research focuses on combustion, propulsion, pollutant emissions of combustion systems, heat and mass transfer, and fire retardation for composite materials.

As chair of mechanical engineering, Chen will work to strengthen relationships with national laboratories and funding agencies, and increase opportunities for faculty to receive research funding. He will also work with colleagues to enhance the mechanical engineering graduate program to create a pipeline of talent for national agencies and laboratories. Chen plans to review the current curriculum and work with mechanical engineering faculty to develop expertise in the area of autonomy and autonomous systems.

Maria Sanchez, director of education and outreach, and professor of practice, has joined the COEIT Dean’s Office to support the development of strategic and operational planning and implementation of COEIT activities related to engineering and computing education, K-12 outreach, and innovative instructional programs.

Sanchez will serve as the director for the Project Lead the Way, which is offered and hosted by UMBC, and prepares K-12 teachers to teach STEM subjects in their classrooms. Additionally, she will oversee several introductory engineering and computing courses, and she will work with fellow leaders in the College to continue to develop these courses.

The Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which launched in fall 2016, will continue to expand under Sanchez’s leadership. Students across all colleges and majors at UMBC are encouraged to apply to participate in the interdisciplinary program that focuses on addressing major challenges facing society. She will also work closely with the Center for Women in Technology to develop trainings and other programs.

Carolyn Seaman, associate professor of information systems, will serve as interim director for the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT). Her research focuses on qualitative and quantitative empirical studies of software engineering teams with an emphasis on maintenance, organizational structure, communication and measurement.

In her role in CWIT, Seaman will help the Center celebrate its 20th anniversary through a range of events that will be held during the 2018-2019 academic year. She will continue to work with the CWIT staff to support current and new scholars in the three programs offered for undergraduate students, including CWIT Scholars, Cyber Scholars, and T-SITE Scholars. Seaman will also work closely with the COEIT Dean’s Office to strengthen CWIT’s impact in the College and to expand the work being done, as well as to conduct research to demonstrate how CWIT is impacting students in the College. She received an NSF CAREER award in 2000 to study software maintenance.