Day in the life of
Professor of Engineering Education – Monica Cox, Ph.D.
Every day is different. This semester I teach a three-hour graduate course, so I have to prepare for the class and engage with students in person. The rest of my work is done remotely since I have an unvaccinated child at home. I serve on a couple of departmental committees. One involves the admission and creation of graduate admission policies and the other is for the promotion and tenure of faculty in our department. I also oversee an entrepreneurial engineering project that explores ways to teach entrepreneurial-minded learning to undergraduate engineering students in my department. I am serving in a new role as the director of a college-wide postdoctoral programs that will bring scholars to my university in preparation for their becoming engineering faculty.
Before this, I was the first woman of color department chair in the college of engineering at my university (yes, like The Chair on Netflix). Those tasks were even more dramatic than the Netflix series, but that’s a conversation for another day. Please check out my Medium articles for the brutal details (https://drmonicacox.medium.com/).
Every day is different. I enjoy solving workplace problems so it’s great to be solutions-oriented in an environment that needs what I have to offer. I work with students and scholars who want to navigate higher education. My experiences as a faculty member and administrator help me guide people so they avoid unnecessary roadblocks.
I don’t like being one of the few women of color in my field. Working in a male-dominated industry means that I sometimes have to explain to others nuances of diversity, equity, and inclusion.. I often want to do my job and go home. The barriers that women of color face in technical environments are brutal so getting your mind right to work with that requires resilience that no person should need for a work environment.
Advice to aspiring Engineers
My advice for students who want to be engineers is to be comfortable working in teams. This career is not a solo one. Everything you do connects to others, so you must learn how to communicate effectively with people even if they are different from you.
teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.