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Engineering program boasts 50 percent female representation
November 4, 2014Tweet
Bucking national and historic trends of disproportionately low female enrollment in STEM disciplines, Binghamton University’s new Executive Master of Science in Health Systems program based in Manhattan has so far enjoyed a consistent 50 percent female enrollment as it builds toward its third year of operation. Compared to national averages, the program’s female enrollment is more than double available figures for STEM overall and specifically higher than the roughly 24 percent of female engineering students reported nationwide.
The first-ever cohort of the program finished with a 54.8 percent female representation. In the current academic year, female students comprise 48.3 percent of the class. Successfully admitted applicants for next year’s program now measure 50 percent, creating a 50 percent average overall.
Students in the program gain sufficient knowledge and skills for modeling, analyzing and/or designing healthcare delivery systems and processes.
“There is no reason women cannot excel in this field, nor rationale for why they should currently be so underrepresented – except that not many individuals yet have this specialized training, despite the need at the national level to transform our healthcare system,” said Mohammad Khasawneh, professor of systems science and industrial engineering, and graduate director for the program. “Studies have already proven that gender equity will add greater benefits to our engineering profession by providing a more comprehensive approach to complex problem-solving strategies. We are proud that our classes are so diverse and can also improve that aspect of health systems in addition to healthcare process reengineering and systems design.”
The University continues to be dedicated to making STEM education accessible to diverse student populations.
“The Executive Master of Science in Health Systems program is geared toward exceptional students, no matter their gender,” said Hari Srihari, dean of the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. “I’m thrilled to know that this program is not only groundbreaking, but inclusive.”
Amrita Oberoi, who completed her undergraduate studies in engineering at the University, works as a systems engineer for IBM and is participating in the Manhattan program this fall. As a result of her studies in industrial and systems engineering, Oberoi was given the opportunity to participate in a project to aid efficiency and inventory control of a pharmacy department in Utica, N.Y., and intern at IBM; both opportunities helped to solidify her passion for healthcare systems.
“The Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department turned into more of an engineering family, always readily available to offer advice and résumé feedback,” Oberoi said. “At any stage within the program, I never felt undervalued and was always treated equally as an aspiring engineer among my peers.”