Somers embraces the opportunity to serve

ECE News

Julia Sullivan, ECE ILLINOIS
7/24/2018 1:56:26 PM

Story Highlights

Catherine  Somers
Catherine Somers
Assistant Head Catherine Somers firmly believes that ECE ILLINOIS students will save the world, not just change it. She chooses her words carefully, explaining that "change" is a neutral word and that the department's students are poised to make positive impacts.

"'Technology and 'talent' are morally neutral," she said. "Our students are prepared to improve the world, help others, and make a positive difference. We hope they leave here with knowledge, wisdom, and compassion."

Somers joined the department earlier this summer, stepping into the role occupied by Jeannette Beck for 14 years. Beck retired from the university on May 31. Although Somers is new to ECE ILLINOIS, she has been on campus for roughly 20 years, including seven most recently in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

A native of Champaign, she knew the university was home to exceptional engineering. She remembers watching the north part of campus develop as new buildings sprouted up, each a "physical representation of that excellence." Now at ECE ILLINOIS, she embraces the challenge of providing preeminence at scale.

"Anyone can be born with talent or intelligence," she said. "Our mission is to provide access [to a world-class education] to the sons and daughters of Illinois as well as to families from across the country and around the globe."

Somers is inspired by the many innovators who have researched, studied, and taught at ECE ILLINOIS. "It is a privilege to be here."

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Ryann Monahan

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(217) 300-6658

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