Cheryl Knobloch, developing tomorrow's women engineers
More than just a top engineering instructor at University Park, Cheryl Knobloch is working to ensure that women have the tools, support and access they need to excel in her traditionally male-dominated field and that children from all backgrounds are inspired to consider engineering and science as future careers. Cheryl has worked as an engineer in industry, and initially entered Penn State in a research position. For more than 10 years, she has directed, coordinated, and developed curriculum for the Penn State Women in Engineering Program pre-college recruitment and undergraduate retention initiatives; facilitated mentoring and career development initiatives for undergraduate women, and networking luncheons for graduate women engineering students; served as advisor to Phi Sigma Rho engineering sorority; and coordinated the award-winning Penn State Women in Engineering Program Orientation (WEPO), Penn State Making the Machine (MTM) Engineering Camp for girls, and WEP Girl Scout Saturdays. She also somehow finds time to teach the EMIX (Engineering Mentoring for Internship eXcellence) class and two mechanical engineering first-year seminars.
Cheryl says diversity in engineering is critical: “Penn State engineers are World-Class Engineers, and we need women problem-solvers at the table. Engineers positively impact the health, happiness and safety of our world community. Cultivating diverse engineering teams will optimize solutions and empower us to change lives for the better.”
During her tenure as associate director of WEP, the Penn State Women in Engineering Program was honored by President George W. Bush and the National Science Foundation as recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in 2004. But the Penn Staters she’s inspired say her talents extend far beyond engineering. As one student noted, “Cheryl bleeds Blue and White. Whether she is organizing a career networking dinner for incoming students, consoling a student after a tough exam, encouraging students to go to the Career Fair, reviewing resumes to be spotless, or giving out foot-rubs to students dancing at THON; she is always looking out for the students and helping us through college―and whatever life hands us along the way.”