Lasich receives WEPAN University Change Agent Award
GOLDEN, Colo., June 16, 2009 – Debra Lasich, executive director of Mines' Women in Science Engineering and Mathematics program, has been awarded the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) University Change Agent Award. Lasich is being honored for her positive impact at Mines in regard to the climate for women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with an emphasis on engineering.
The award will be presented June 19 at the WEPAN National Conference in Austin, Texas.
For nearly a decade, Mines has benefited from Lasich’s leadership. In addition to her work with WISEM, Lasich was instrumental in the formation of the President’s Committee on Diversity, which serves all under-represented groups on campus including the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Minority Engineering Program, International Student and Scholar Services, Sigma Lambda GLBT and other Student Life programs for women.
Lasich’s work specifically enhances the opportunities for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) — her partnership with faculty and staff has resulted in outcomes that increased the enrollment, hiring and retention of female students, faculty and staff. She organizes programming that raises awareness of issues affecting all women and is an effective advisor and mentor.
Lasich also offers support to the undergraduate and graduate schools through combined programming that targets female enrollment and retention. Examples include programs such as: Go to Grad School luncheon, Making the Connection: Women and Engineering at Mines, Graduate Women’s Forum, Chevron Lecture Series, Women’s History Month luncheon and The Continuum. Lasich is a champion for professional development and sponsors two women to participate in the Academic Management Institute each year, and she promotes awareness for work-life balance issues imperative to professional women. Lasich supports the Graduate Student Association Family Assistance Fund and pioneered faculty and staff maternity leave policies. She continues to build awareness of the diverse needs of all individuals regarding stress management, gender relations, financial planning and generational differences.
Under Debra Lasich’s leadership, the Mines SWE collegiate section is the largest professional organization on campus, with over 430 members, and the second largest section in the U.S. This, along with other SWE recruiting efforts, helped Mines increase its new female undergraduate enrollment from 19.6% in 2005 to 30% in 2008.