[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

Gateways to the Future

20 February 1998


a.gif (1076 bytes) program that encourages girls to consider careers in engineering will be expanded, thanks to an $85,000 grant to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from the Engineering Information Foundation.

The Hoboken, N.J., foundation supports programs conducted by engineering educators that encourage women to undertake careers in engineering and those that emphasize ways to eliminate negative effects of gender-related behavior patterns in classrooms.

"Our professors have been doing a great job introducing engineering to junior high school girls," said William E. Kelly, dean of Catholic University's School of Engineering. "This grant will allow us to expand this program to include high school girls. This new effort fits well with our Internet Connections program for Washington-area high schools and our summer program for rising high school seniors."

The Engineering Information Foundation grant will help establish "Gateways to Engineering," a program for high school girls that will offer workshops in information technology, medical applications, environment and space exploration in Catholic University's School of Engineering. Gateways will become part of the Keys to Empowering Youth project already in place. KEYs provides workshops for junior high school girls from private and public schools in the Washington area.

The program starts in the fall, said Corinna Lathan, director of KEYs and an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. "Girls have not entered the engineering field in part due to stereotypes about what girls should and should not do," she said. "Gateways aims to change young girls' attitudes and behaviors toward engineering by promoting self-confidence, increasing their self-esteem, and unveiling opportunities for potential career paths."

Program co-directors are Deborah Barreau, assistant professor in Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science, and Sandra Hanson, associate professor of sociology. For more information call Lathan at 202-319-5095.

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Revised: 20 February 1998

All contents copyright 1997.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.