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Science Education Leader Dr. Maria Vaz Named Trustee

January 16, 2012

One of America's most versatile and innovative engineering-education leaders, Dr. Maria Vaz has brought her expertise and insights to a position on the board of trustees of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the nation's top-ranked institution for undergraduate engineering.

     Maria Vaz
  Dr. Maria Vaz

Over the past 28 years at Michigan's Lawrence Technological University, Dr. Vaz has shepherded the development of new programs and the use of technology in teaching as a physics professor, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, interim dean of the College of Engineering, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, dean of graduate programs, associate provost, and since 2006 as provost and chief academic office.

"Dr. Vaz's insight and experience will be invaluable as she joins our trustees in leading Rose-Hulman to becoming a great institution and worldwide leader in engineering, science and math education," said Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam.  "She is a strong advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education as a key component to America's new economy."

 Vaz has been a leader in Lawrence Tech's efforts to enhance science education in primary, middle and high schools, and was the lead administrator overseeing a partnership with Ferndale Public Schools (Mich.) to launch and develop programs for the innovative University High School. Under Vaz's leadership, Lawrence Tech introduced many new academic initiatives including the university's first doctorate program, a chemical biology program as part of bachelor's degree program in biomedical engineering, a bachelor's program in robotics engineering, a media communications program, and a master's degree program in educational technology. She also has established international partnerships and agreements in Europe, India, Middle East, Korea, China and Canada

Vaz was co-presenter on a session examining the topic "A Model of Engineering Education to Prepare Engineers for the 21st Century" at the International Conference on Advanced Research and Applications in Mechanical Engineering at Beirut, Lebanon in June 2011.

Vaz and her husband, Nuno, who also holds a doctorate in physics, have three children.