USF Professor Connects Careers In Healthcare, STEM For Women

Grisselle Centeno, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida’s Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, is applying case studies and other active learning tools to encourage more women to enter into STEM careers.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, women are more likely to enter into a career in healthcare than engineering. This could be because, due to the predominantly male field, women may not see a clear career path in engineering. Traditional careers also may not give women the impact on society they often seek.

Centeno is putting these theories to the test with a series of in and out of the classroom experiences to help all students, but especially women, understand how they can apply their engineering knowledge to healthcare-related problems. As a result of the case studies she has implemented in the classroom, several female students have decided to pursue careers as engineers in healthcare/social services as well as become researchers to address opportunities in the healthcare environment.

"If women could understand that they could have an impact on healthcare from an engineering perspective, they would be more engaged and motivated to follow a degree in engineering and join the workforce," says Centeno.

Centeno recently received a $5,000 Faculty Research Award from Women in Leadership and Philanthropy at USF to support her efforts. The award will be used to invite female engineers who work in healthcare environments to campus to interact with faculty, students and the administration.  

Centeno is also developing more case studies with local partners, such as Moffitt Cancer Center and the Veterans Administration to provide real world application.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Grisselle Centeno, University of South Florida

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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