We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Ogle will serve as the new chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering. Her appointment, effective June 15, follows an internal search, and we thank the members of the committee and its chair, Nigel Kaye, for their hard work and diligence during this process.
Jennifer, who has been serving as the department’s acting chair since February, replaces Jesus M. de la Garza, who vacated the position to become director of the new School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences. A first-generation college graduate, she has become an accomplished researcher and one of Clemson University’s most passionate advocates for the underrepresented and marginalized. Her leadership has helped provide clean water to Haiti’s Central Plateau, make the campus more accessible to people with physical constraints and increase opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue advanced degrees.
Further, more recently, Jennifer has been key in implementing an innovative curriculum that gives civil engineering students the opportunity to begin hands-on projects as sophomores instead of waiting until their senior year. This approach, funded by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, is aimed at helping students develop an identity with the civil engineering profession early in their degree program.
Jennifer brings a strong educational and research background to her new position. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in civil and environmental engineering, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She held a research position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory during graduate school and later worked as a research associate at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Jennifer then attended Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where she worked as a research engineer and was a principal investigator on multi-million-dollar research projects, all while earning her Ph.D.
Jennifer subsequently joined Clemson in 2005 as an assistant professor, became the first woman to achieve tenure in the department, and has recently been promoted to the rank of professor. In recognition of her work, she has received numerous local and national awards. Jennifer was named Champion of Change for Women in STEM by Former President Obama in 2011, and she was the faculty advisor for Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries in 2014 when it won a Heiskell Award from the Institute of International Education. She also recently received the Gender Equity Champion Award from the Clemson University Commission on Women. As these awards highlight, she has used her position to help those who need it most while creating pathways for others to follow in her footsteps.
As department chair, Jennifer is committed to ensuring transparency and an open line of communication, listening to concerns, supporting her colleagues through transitions, encouraging a growth and gain mindset, and recognizing and rewarding continuous improvement. Two of her top priorities include growing the department’s research enterprise and ensuring a successful launch of the new school.
The Glenn Department of Civil Engineering will be in good hands under Jennifer’s leadership. Please join us in welcoming her to her new role.
Dr. Jesus M. de la Garza, Director
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences