Bevlee Watford

Portrait of Bevlee WatfordI am serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council because our institutions are very similar and we (Virginia Tech) consider the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering to be a peer institution.  I believe there is much I can learn from UMich and also feel that there is much I can share regarding inclusion and diversity activities and perspectives.”

Background and Experience

Bevlee Watford is a professor of engineering education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She received her BS in Mining Engineering, and her MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech. Since 1992 she has been the founding director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). She has secured more than $12 million dollars in funding and support for CEED and other undergraduate initiatives. Her research activities have focused on the recruitment and retention of students in engineering, with a particular emphasis on under-represented students. In 2008, Bevlee received the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Founders Award in recognition of her service to WEPAN and her efforts to increase the participation of women in the engineering profession. CEED received the 2010 Claire Felbinger Diversity Award from ABET and the 2011 NSBE-ExxonMobil Impact award for implementing successful research-based efforts to improve retention.  

She has served as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering since 1997.

Bevlee was the 2004-2005 president of WEPAN, and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators (NAMEPA). An active member of ASEE since 1986, she chaired the Diversity Task Force that resulted in the creation of the ASEE Diversity Strategic Plan as well as the formation of the ASEE Diversity Committee. In June 2017, she began serving her term as ASEE president.