Dr. Divya Choudhary, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Christian Brothers University (CBU), is also the director of graduate engineering. She is the only woman faculty at CBU’s Gadomski School of Engineering and the first woman faculty to receive tenure in Gadomski School of Engineering.
The graduate engineering program was in decline prior to Choudhary’s appointment as director. Under her visionary leadership, effective cost reduction, strategic planning, innovative recruiting and marketing methods, and new curriculum development were implemented. Her efforts lead to a substantial growth in the program. She also developed a new master’s degree, Master of Science in computer information systems and Graduate Certificate in data analytics.
Choudhary also founded and is the director of the STEM Center for Women and Diversity at CBU. Through industry collaborations with the STEM Center, she developed several free engineering hands-on workshop programs for middle and high school girls; and Future Women Engineers Program, a week-long engineering camp for high school girls. She has worked with Girls Incorporated and Reach Memphis, conducting free workshops.
“Being a woman in male-dominated fields can be intimidating. Having mentors and winning people’s trust and respect through competence and hard work, can break barriers and build bridges,” Choudhary points out. “Because of my experience, I participate in mentoring programs, organizing and giving talks at women’s leadership events, outreach activities and workshops for young women, encouraging them to pursue STEM majors and careers,” she adds.
Her message to others moving up in their careers? “Focus and Perseverance. Reminding yourself that you are capable and tuning out the naysayers. Remember, the important qualities of leadership are to be well prepared, be a good listener, be confident, be assertive and work towards consensus-driven solutions.”