Charlena Holl Grimes
Class of 1960
In 1982, she was hired as the Assistant to the Dean in the College of Engineering at Washington State University and advanced into a student-recruitment position. Ms. Grimes was assigned the directorship for both the Women and the Minority Engineering Programs and was directly responsible for the recruitment of nontraditional students in the college of engineering. She served on numerous university committees including recruitment and retention, faculty searches, Women in Math, Science and Engineering and was also the college representative for the WSU American Disabilities Act.
Ms. Grimes was responsible for the development of chapters for the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. She also created and implemented a program called Bridge Workshop where underrepresented students and women came to the campus for one week prior to the start of classes for sessions in study skills, time management, career options, stress management, sample math and chemistry classes, and most importantly, student networking. In 1999, similar summer engineering camps were created for both Native American and Hispanic students.
Ms. Grimes honors include being the recipient of the Council of Minority Students President's Award, WSU President's Employee Excellence Award, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Finer Womanhood Award, Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award and was one of nine recipients selected nationwide to receive the 2004 National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring presented by President George W. Bush.
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