Oliver Myers and Melissa Smith will soon begin jointly serving as associate deans focused on inclusive excellence in Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.
Their appointments follow a search led by Cindy Lee, chair of the Inclusive Excellence Search Committee.
Myers, who joined Clemson in 2014, is an associate professor of mechanical engineering. Smith, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, joined Clemson in 2006.
They will work with the entire college leadership team to address inclusion issues for the broader college enterprise, including students, faculty and staff.
In addition to their inclusion work, Myers and Smith will be tasked with specific duties that harness their unique skill sets. Myers’ duties will primarily involve undergraduates, while Smith’s duties will mostly involve the graduate enterprise.
Lee Gill, Clemson’s chief diversity officer, congratulated Myers and Smith on their new jobs.
“Creating a more inclusive environment is an essential part of our mission,” Gill said. “Their appointments will help ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to receive a high-quality STEM education.”
Robert Jones, Clemson’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said that Myers and Smith will enhance the University’s efforts to ensure that it offers experiences that are welcoming and open to all.
“Their appointments to leadership positions show a true commitment to inclusive excellence in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences,” Jones said. “Dr. Myers and Dr. Smith have both the experience and the passion to create an environment where students and faculty can engage with the changing demographics of society in the workplace.”
Anand Gramopadhye, the college’s dean, said Myers and Smith will work with the college’s leadership team to address inclusion issues, including those relating to students, faculty and staff.
“I look forward to working with Drs. Myers and Smith in their new roles, as we create a vibrant and inclusive community for all,” Gramopadhye said. “They both bring a wealth of experiences to the college’s leadership team.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Lee and the members of the search committee for their service to the college.”
Myers and Smith expect to work closely with several college leaders, including Serita Acker, the director of PEER & WISE, a program that helps educate, recruit and retain students who are from groups underrepresented in STEM fields.
“Their appointments affirm the college’s commitment to providing a safe, welcoming place for all students,” Acker said. “I welcome them to their new roles. Working together, we can deepen our impact and ensure that everyone is equally included as members of the Clemson family.”
Myers received bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
As a student at Maryland, Myers was part of the first cohort of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. The program has been replicated around the country and includes several notable alumni, including the 20th U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
Myers has remained in touch with the program as a faculty member, mentoring students and recruiting some to his lab. Myers also is a presenter each year at Clemson University’s Men of Color National Summit.
Smith received her Ph.D. in 2003 in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Tennessee.
She has led hands-on science and engineering activities as part of semesterly six-week programs at Clemson Elementary School since 2008 and Six Mile Elementary School since 2013. Students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities have pursued master’s degrees under her guidance.
Smith received the YMCA Stratford Award for Diversity and Inclusion in 2017.