April 06, 2018, BY Matt Hughes

Terri Norton will support students and promote diversity and inclusion. Photo courtesy of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Following an extensive national search, Bucknell University's College of Engineering has selected Terri Norton as its associate dean for students & strategic initiatives.

In this newly configured role, designed to meet the evolving needs of the college, Norton will provide support for students, assist in maintaining the college's accreditation, and promote diversity and inclusion, among other leadership duties.

"Terri Norton will bring to Bucknell a deep passion for student engagement and success," said Patrick Mather, dean of the College of Engineering. "Seeing her interact with our community brought her significant accomplishments — evident on paper — to life for me. She will bring the ear of an empathetic listener, the confidence of an accomplished teacher-scholar and her joyful style of coaching students along their paths."

Norton is currently an associate professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she began her academic career in 2007. Before joining Nebraska she worked for the Aerospace Corporation. She holds master's and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from Florida A&M University and a bachelor's in civil engineering from Florida State University. Following a tenure review, she will join Bucknell's Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an associate professor.

As an educator and administrator, Norton said she is most excited "to continue Bucknell's commitment of cultivating leaders who are contributing members of society."

"I have a passion for engineering education," she said. "I was particularly drawn to Bucknell's nationally ranked College of Engineering because it values active learning. The students engage in labs and outside-the-classroom learning that enhances their comprehension of technical material."

A Student-focused Educator
Norton's scholarship blends teaching focused on structural engineering, research focused on natural hazard assessment and disaster mitigation, and service dedicated to academic administration and broadening participation in engineering by underrepresented groups. At Nebraska, she founded Pink Hard Hat Days, a summer program that connects young women with industry professionals through hands-on activities focused on engineering and design. She also won a prestigious Fulbright grant to conduct research studies at Tohoku University in Japan and has long involved students in opportunities for international scholarship. At Bucknell, she will oversee a number of initiatives to increase and celebrate diversity in engineering and provide engineering students with an international outlook, including the Engineering Success Alliance and the Engineering 290 study-abroad experience.  

"I applied for this position because I found that Bucknell's core values are closely aligned with my own," Norton said. "It is my personal mission to ensure that all people, especially underrepresented students, are represented and respected in the engineering community."

Joelle Andres-Beck '20, a student member of the search committee, said she has confidence that Norton will be "a positive force in the dean's office and a wonderful resource for engineering students."

"In every interaction I had with Dr. Norton, she impressed me with her strong belief in the value of an engineering education," Andres-Beck said. "She has experience in guiding student organizations, as well as providing industrial and research connections to class material."

Norton was chosen from a deep and diverse applicant pool by a nine-member search committee that included engineering faculty, administrators and students. She will begin her new role on July 1.