Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oliver McGee ― My Former Student's Letter on Mentoring: Professor Celeste Chavis

A black conservative professor reflects on mentoring one of his success stories.

I have the privilege of introducing you to one life I've had the honor of influencing among many. Dr. Celeste Chavis, like me, has joined the university professoriate, as a transportation engineering professor at Morgan State University, since 2013.

Back in 2004, while I was department chair of civil and environmental engineering and geodetic science at Ohio State University (OSU), an enterprising young sophomore, Celeste Chavis, took it upon herself to walk into my office, and gently remind me about the value of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

I was so impressed at how she had underscored her extraordinary mathematics and engineering scholarship skills, that little did she know I already knew Celeste ranked in the top 10 out of our department's 650 students at that time. A Cincinnati native, like me, Celeste was a former graduate of Ohio State's minority engineering stellar pre-freshmen PREFACE engineering curriculum preparation program.

Celeste humbly said to me, "Dr. McGee, I like your stellar undergraduate engineering research group you have here, but you need some gender diversity added here."

I said, "Good for you Celeste for reminding the department chair about the value of increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics."

I was so impressed by her confidence and courage and extraordinary strengths she displayed to me at that very moment that I said immediately, 

"Your hired, Celeste!"

Read the full article HERE.