S. Shailja "Redefining the Path to Faculty"
Shailja earns a unique opportunity to participate in a federally funded program designed to diversify ECE faculties nationwide
From the COE/CLS Convergence magazine (S23) article – NEWS BRIEFS: "Redefining the Path to Faculty"
S. Shailja, a fifth-year PhD student in UCSB’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, attended the two-day workshop, ImpRoving thE DivErsity of Faculty IN Electrical and Computer Engineering (iREDEFINE), during the ECE Department Heads Association Annual Conference in New Mexico. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the workshop brings department heads together with women and underrepresented minorities to provide a glimpse of the career of an ECE faculty, tips on how to prepare for a successful faculty interview, and networking opportunities.
“The iREDEFINE workshop was a great source of motivation and confidence, [showing me] that my research was being recognized and appreciated,” Shailja said of the experience. “I met fellow PhD candidates, and we formed a supportive community of like-minded individuals. It has inspired me to continue pursuing a career in academia.”
Advised by B. S. Manjunath, chair of UCSB’s ECE Department, Shailja builds mathematical tools for modeling neuronal fibers in human brains as geometrical objects in three-dimensional space. Modeling connectivity of the human brain is critical to understanding and treating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and strokes.
During the workshop, Shailja received valuable advice from department heads during mock faculty interviews and was even invited to apply for open faculty positions at their institutions.