Overview

Program overview

Project Management Leader

Dr. Magaly Spector joined UT Dallas in 2008 as the first VP for Diversity and Community Engagement. She launched the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, and founded the Diversity Lecture Series, the Diversity Scholarship Program, the Faculty Mentoring Program, the Diversity Awards Gala and numerous other initiatives. Last fall she received the 2013 Materials Research Society “Woody” Award for the development of a mentoring program for both national and international graduate and undergraduate students within the society.

The Young Women in Science and Engineering Investigator Program was created by Dr. Spector in 2012 with funds she raised from the Dreyfus Foundation through the American Chemical Society, an individual donor and matching funds from Texas Instruments Foundation. The program has been successfully enhanced every year. It grew from 9 high school girls from two schools to 51 junior high school students from 5 schools in the DISD system. In Dr. Spector’s new role as the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives and Professor in Practice, she champions several programs to increase the number of women in the STEM fields where they have been underrepresented. She is the creator, the leader, and the project manager for three main initiatives: the Young WISEI Program, a National NSF funded initiative with 14 Minority Serving Institutions to increase Underrepresented Minorities in Graduate School, and the “Faculty Women in STEM” Council.

“A major goal of my life has been to increase and enhance the educational opportunities of college students pursuing careers in science and engineering, and in particular underrepresented minorities and Women,” Spector said. “I strongly believe that the diversity of our people is a source of innovation and competitive advantage.”

Spector, a physicist and engineer by training, was also a national Cuban chess champion. She helped facilitate a 2009 international chess match between UT Dallas students and college students in Havana. Spector, who immigrated to the US from Cuba in 1980, described the match as a way to facilitate understanding between the two countries.