USC Viterbi was one of the academic hosts for the 27th annual HENAAC Conference.
At the event, USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos spoke about the importance of diversity in the engineering field. Additionally, he emphasized engineering as a vehicle of innovation and its convergences with other disciplines.
“We would like to change the conversation about about what engineering is, who engineers are and what engineers look like it, so that engineering can further empower society and conversely for society to further empower engineering, for the benefit of this nation,” Yortsos said.
John Slaughter, a USC professor of education and engineering, received the Chairman’s Award from Great Minds in STEM at the conference. The award recognizes his lifelong quest of changing the conversation about engineering and helping further diversify the discipline.
USC Viterbi professor John Slaughter.
Professor Slaughter has had a very distinguished career. He is the former president of Occidental College and the first African-American to head the National Science Foundation. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the founding editor of the international journal, “Computers & Electrical Engineering.”
The HENAAC conference was organized by Great Minds in STEM, a non-profit organization that has recognized the achievements of Hispanics in engineering and science for over 25 years. The GMiS initiative aims to enable and leverage underrepresented STEM talent to play a leadership role.
“HENAAC reminds us once again that excellence and diversity, particularly in STEM fields, go hand-in-hand. It’s difficult to achieve one without the other,” said Timothy Pinkston, USC Viterbi’s vice dean of faculty affairs, who served as a judge for the Technical Posters Competition. “This annual conference is a tangible celebration of this reality.”