Dartmouth Engineering Professor Receives Award for Promoting Women in STEM

April 2, 2018

In recognition of her efforts to advance the role of women and girls in technology, Dartmouth engineering professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor has been named 2018 TechTeacher of the Year by the NH High Tech Council’s TechWomen | TechGirls Committee.

For more than two decades, Bonfert-Taylor has developed programs and tools to make engineering and math accessible, particularly for students who want to pursue a STEM degree but whose early years didn’t give them the academic foundation, encouragement or role models to help them succeed. Bonfert-Taylor’s work is keeping underrepresented students in the game.

Professor Bonfert-Taylor
Prof Bonfert-Taylor has been named 2018 TechTeacher of the Year.

Nationally, 20% of engineering undergraduates are women, according to the National Science Foundation. On campus, however, Bonfert-Taylor’s work has contributed to a boost in interest and commitment among women, helping to make Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth the first national research university to graduate a class of more than 50% women.

To encourage student retention in engineering, Bonfert-Taylor spearheaded Dartmouth Emerging Engineers, a program to help prospective engineering students tackle prerequisites. She teaches via blended learning, flipped classrooms, MOOCS, and online lectures, and helps colleagues and students develop active learning techniques.

While she is an impressive role model for Dartmouth’s engineering students, Bonfert-Taylor’s impact goes well beyond the Ivy League school. She co-designed a coding tool to ease learning of the C-programming language and is creating edX courses for students to obtain a professional certificate. She is the web editor of the International Mathematical Union’s Committee on Women in Mathematics, and her publications include a Washington Post op-ed, “Stop Telling Kids You’re Bad at Math.”

“Petra’s work represents a lifelong commitment to find, build and introduce innovative ways to keep the most diverse group of students involved and enjoying the beauty of math and engineering,” said Joseph Helble, dean of Thayer School. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Bonfert-Taylor will be recognized at the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s TechWomen | TechGirls Awards luncheon on April 4.

About TechWomen |TechGirls

TechWomen|TechGirls is a program of the New Hampshire High Tech Council, and the annual awards luncheon serves as an opportunity to honor three women who work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as the Tech Student of the Year, Tech Teacher of the Year and Tech Professional of the Year.

About Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth prepares leaders for a technology-driven world while solving pressing, real-world problems through research and entrepreneurship. Consistently ranked among the top colleges and universities for its commitment to teaching, Dartmouth is the first national research university to graduate a majority-female class of undergraduate engineers.

Media Contact: Callaway Zuccarello; 314.862.4300

Dartmouth Engineering Professor Receives Award for Promoting Women in STEM