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Bonfert-Taylor Named Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Aug 13, 2020

Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor has been named Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, a new role focused on advancing the school’s ongoing and emerging diversity and inclusion efforts.

A longtime advocate for students of color and women in engineering, Bonfert-Taylor will collaborate closely with faculty, staff, and students and cross-campus partners to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As part of her new role, she will chair Thayer’s Inclusive Excellence Working Group, which aims to improve recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students and support initiatives aimed at building a more welcoming and inclusive community.

“I am honored and humbled to embark on this extremely important work,” Bonfert-Taylor said. “I join forces with an amazingly dedicated team, and I look forward to advancing Thayer towards a future where every member of our community feels welcome and valued, and where we each have opportunities to learn, teach, tackle research, innovate, collaborate, and rise to our fullest potential.”

As a professor of engineering and instructional designer, Bonfert-Taylor has led and implemented initiatives to increase access and expand the pipeline of young engineers to include more women and under-represented students of color.

She spearheads the Dartmouth Emerging Engineers (DEE) program which is aimed at broadening the engineering pipeline. The program supports students, who may not have taken the traditional path to STEM fields, tackle engineering prerequisites. Bonfert-Taylor also serves as an ambassador to Dartmouth’s Campus Climate and Culture Initiative (C3I), a set of College-wide actions aimed at creating learning and research environments free from sexual harassment and abuse of power.

“Petra brings her proven leadership, as well as her passion and dedication to our students and our community, to this important work,” said Alexis Abramson, Dean of Dartmouth Engineering. “While I am proud of the steps we have taken, we have a long road ahead of us. I look forward to working with Petra to help make Thayer a truly welcoming and inclusive place.”

In addition to her scholarship and teaching, Bonfert-Taylor has published extensively and lectured widely to national and international audiences and won numerous accolades. Most recently, Bonfert-Taylor was named a 2020 Women in Mathematics Fellow by the Association for Women in Mathematics and in 2019, she earned the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Learning and Teaching. She was named New Hampshire High Tech Council’s Tech Teacher of the Year in 2018, and received the Excellence in Teaching prize from Thayer School of Engineering in 2016.

Bonfert-Taylor earned her PhD in mathematics from Technical University of Berlin (Germany), and spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, before serving as a Professor of Mathematics at Wesleyan University. She joined Dartmouth in 2015.

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