Aggie, Ingeniero August 2011

02/20/06: Sonya Cooper (photo by Ben La Marca)

Sonya Cooper named College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academics

Sonya Cooper, professor of engineering technology, has been appointed as associate dean of academics by College of Engineering Dean Ricardo Jacquez.

“Dr. Cooper has a long history and extensive experience in the college. She has served as professor of ETSE as well as head of her department. During this time she has developed a reputation as a strong advocate for student engagement, effective teaching and assessment, and fair-minded administration. I look forward to working with her for the benefit of our students, the faculty, and our college,” said Jacquez.

Cooper has been a faculty member with the College of Engineering since 1994. She formerly served as department head for engineering technology and surveying engineering from 2005-2010. Under her leadership, Cooper developed a department offering six majors, six minors, and four concentrations with more than 500 undergraduate students. She has been involved extensively in curriculum and program development and assessment activities and has developed partnerships with numerous industry representatives and development of internship and coop opportunities.

Cooper is actively involved in the historic preservation of important landmarks around New Mexico and Texas, such as the Fountain Theatre in Mesilla, the Branigan Cultural Center in Las Cruces and the San Miguel Church in Santa Fe and involves her students in these projects.

Additionally, Cooper advocates and participates in extracurricular activities with the students. She is co-advisor for student chapters in Engineers without Borders, the Associated General Contractors, the Society for Women Engineers, and the Women’s Rugby Club. This past May, she joined students in Engineers without Borders in the construction of a 56-meter pedestrian bridge in the small Nicaraguan community of Hondura Azul.

Cooper is the current vice president of the New Mexico section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Cooper also served for five years on ASCE’s national committee on technology curriculum and accreditation. She is currently leading a group of volunteer civil engineers to assess the status of important systems such as bridges, water and airports, to develop the 2012 report card for New Mexico’s infrastructure. Cooper is a registered professional engineer in the state of New Mexico.

At NMSU, Cooper is the current chair of the extension development committee, a member of the college promotion and tenure committee and is the lead adviser for all departments in the College of Engineering in preparing for an approaching ABET accreditation visit.

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