For only the second time in its nearly 25 year history, Olin College of Engineering in Needham has a new president.
Gilda Barabino, a biomedical engineering scholar and an administrator at City College in New York, will become the first woman and person of color to lead the private engineering school, an Olin spokeswoman said.
Barabino is currently the dean of The Grove School of Engineering and the Daniel and Frances Berg Professor at The City College of New York. She is a former professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University, where she also served as vice provost for undergraduate education, Olin said in a press release last week.
She also taught and held academic appointments at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. On July 1, Barabino will replace Rick Miller as president of Olin, a private college located adajcent to Babson College.
Olin’s Board of Trustees unanimously chose Barabino because of her work at City College, where is credited with doubling the retention rate in engineering, developed new masters’ programs and increased diversity among faculty and administration, the statement said.
Trustees’ chairman Ken Stokes called Barabino “an extraordinary academic leader” and a “strategic thinker in engineering education.”
“We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Dr. Barabino to Olin. The community looks forward to working with her to develop new learning approaches and to inspire lasting change in the design and delivery of engineering education beyond our campus," Stokes said in the statement.
Barabino is most well known for her research into sickle cell disease which has provided the foundation for current treatments, the statement said. She served on the National Institutes of Health’s congressionally appointed Sickle Cell Advisory Committee from 2000 to 2004.
In the statement, Barabino said her connection to Olin was immediate.
“At a time when the global challenges we face are increasing in complexity and enormity, we must rethink how we educate engineers to meet new challenges, and I am looking forward to working with this deeply collaborative community as Olin’s next president to help shape the future and the face of engineering education,” she said.