Goddard recognized for Leadership in Diversity (VIDEO)

11/23/2016 Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS

Associate Professor Lynford Goddard was honored with the Larine Y. Cowan "Make a Difference Award" at Illinois' 31st Annual Celebration of Diversity.

Written by Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS

Lynford L Goddard
Lynford L Goddard
Associate Professor Lynford L Goddard was honored with the 2016 Leadership in Diversity Larine Y. Cowan “Make a Difference Award” at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) 31st Annual Celebration of Diversity on November 11, 2016.

The Leadership in Diversity is one of four annual awards presented in honor of ODEA’s past director. The recognition honors “exceptional dedication to and success in promoting diversity and inclusion via research, hiring practices, courses, programs, and events.”

ECE Department Head William H Sanders praised Goddard for his dedication to continued outreach for underrepresented minorities, curriculum development and one-on-one mentorship.

“For ECE Associate Professor Lynford Goddard, diversity isn’t a special initiative, a once-a-year program, or an afterthought,” Sanders wrote in his nomination letter. “He is a consistent, tireless, enthusiastic advocate for diversity in engineering.”

Goddard has created opportunities in undergraduate research in his Photonic Systems Laboratory alongside graduate researchers. Undergraduate research serves as a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their particular field of interest before even receiving a bachelor’s degree.

He has used innovative approaches to cultivating engineers from more diverse backgrounds, beginning by exposing students to activities and diverse role models before they even consider pursuing an undergraduate degree. In 2010, he created the Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE) camp, a week-long experience designed for high school girls from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic background. The annual camp includes hands-on lab activities, including FM transmitters, LED calculators, and solar cells.

In addition to GLEE, Goddard has collaborated with the UI Extension and the national 4-H Club’s leadership program to develop an ECE track in 2012 for the Illinois Summer Academics summer camp. This camp reaches rural high school students, another under-represented group in engineering.

He is currently one of three co-PIs for the new NSF-funded “Academic Redshirt” program at Illinois. The program targets students who have promising futures in engineering, but need an opportunity to take additional math and science courses before they begin their engineering coursework.

Goddard is also the co-PI of the nano@Illinois Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program that exposes a cohort of in-service and pre-service STEM teachers and community college faculty to cutting-edge research in nanotechnology. The program targets teachers from high-need areas, including inner city, rural, low-income, and those with significant URM students.

Goddard received the inaugural AAAS Early Career Public Engagement Award in 2011 for his high school outreach efforts and mentorship of students from underrepresented groups. He is also a popular and frequent speaker beyond his primary research focus. He presented “A Guide to Good Experimental Design” as part of the Saturday Engineering for Everyone series at ECE ILLINOIS. He has participated in the Black Graduate Student Association Faculty Panel discussing “Being Successful in Your Field.” He has traveled to high schools and colleges across the country to talk about Illinois’ inclusiveness efforts, his own best practices, and his advice for students.

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This story was published November 23, 2016.