The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Shannon Roberts Chosen as UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts

Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has received a UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellow position for the 2021-2022 academic year. Advance Fellows partner with the UMass ADVANCE leadership team to promote gender equity for faculty at UMass. The UMass ADVANCE program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in order to generate gender and racial equality for faculty in science and engineering.

Through a combination of research, programming, and interventions, UMass ADVANCE seeks to understand and address systemic and intersectional inequalities to lay the groundwork for a fairer, more equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus.

As Professor of Sociology and ADVANCE Principal Investigator Laurel Smith-Doerr wrote to Roberts, “ADVANCE Faculty Fellows have a critical role to play in ADVANCE's program of institutional transformation and our goal to catalyze equity for UMass faculty. Faculty Fellows provide feedback on our programs, liaise with their units, and communicate the importance of faculty equity work across campus. We deeply appreciate your engagement and support for ADVANCE's mission and goals.”

Among other activities, ADVANCE will be inviting Roberts to take part in meetings for ADVANCE Faculty Fellows in the Fall of 2021 and Spring of 2022 and to provide input about research projects.

Smith-Doerr concluded that “The ADVANCE Faculty Fellows play a critical role in the work we are doing. Together we will learn from each other at a time when departments and colleges are striving to create and sustain not only gender equity for their faculty, but new priorities for addressing systemic racism in the sciences.”

Roberts heads the Roberts Research Group, which is focused on studying human factors in transportation safety by concentrating on the research areas of novice drivers, feedback systems, and automated vehicles. Among her honors and awards, she has received the 2019 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Stephanie Binder Young Professional Award from the Surface Transportation Technical Group and the 2017-2018 UMass Amherst Industrial Engineering Professor of the Year designation as determined by a student vote.

Roberts earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Roberts was also one of eight campus faculty members chosen by the UMass Center for Teaching and Learning as recipients of 2021-22 Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Through her Lilly Fellowship, Roberts proposes to redesign her course – MIE 273/CEE 260, Probability and Statistics for Engineers – to include a semester-long project that allows students to apply theoretical mathematical principles to actual engineering design problems. (June 2021)