WiE Administration

Dr. Beth M. Holloway | Senior Assistant Dean for Student Access and Success
Beth Holloway
Dr. Beth M. Holloway | Senior Assistant Dean for Student Access and Success
Leah H. Jamieson Director of Women in Engineering
Professor of Engineering Practice, Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering

Contact Information
Email: holloway@purdue.edu

Dr. Holloway has been the Director of the Women in Engineering Program since 2001. As Assistant Dean, she is responsible for the College's recruitment and scholarship strategy, broadening participation in our undergraduate programs, and all aspects of undergraduate student success. Her research areas include: admissions practices, sophomores in engineering, and gender issues in engineering and leadership. She received the 2012 IBM Faculty Advisor Award, the 2012 national Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, the 2013 Purdue University Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion Award, the 2014 Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Distinguished Service Award, and the 2015 ASEE William E. Wickenden Award for the best paper published in the Journal of Engineering Education during 2014. She was elected fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2017, and fellow of the Society of Women Engineers in 2022. Under her leadership, the Purdue Women in Engineering Program received the 2013 WEPAN Women in Engineering Program Award and the 2014 ABET Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity. 

Dr. Holloway was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) from 2019-2022, serving as Vice President of Professional Interest Councils in 2020-2021. Dr. Holloway has also been President of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) in 2006-2007, and served on WEPAN's Board of Directors from 2005-2008. She currently serves as the advisor to the Purdue Section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Phi Sigma Rho Sorority.

Prior to joining Purdue, Dr. Holloway was a research and development engineering group leader at Cummins, Inc., where she was a recognized corporate engine lubrication system expert, with specialties in piston cooling nozzle and lubrication pump performance. Dr. Holloway earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University. 

She is an advocate for research-informed approaches to engineering education equity, policy, as well as student recruitment and retention efforts. She is a strong supporter of underrepresented populations in engineering, including women, minorities, and first-generation college students. A few of her podcasts of these topics can be found at:
Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director
Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2507
Email: zurnbirk@purdue.edu

Dr. Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer has spent her career diligently working towards broadening the participation of women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields. She is the Associate Director of the Purdue University Women in Engineering Program where she leads retention efforts and conducts research around female student success. She manages the undergraduate and graduate mentoring programs that reach over 1,000 students annually, teaches two Women in Engineering seminar courses, and oversees the WiE/WISP tutoring center and WiE residential community. She also holds a courtesy Associate Professor appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences where she teaches introductory Atmospheric Science courses.

Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer's research focuses around understanding the barriers and pathways to success for typically marginalized groups in STEM. She is developing an online training program for students with underdeveloped spatial skills. She is also working to understand the intricacies of female undergraduate student's successful navigation to their degrees. Finally, Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer studies the career pathways of indigenous women to better inform practices and policies in the workforce. In 2019, she was appointed to the Advisory Board of the international organization Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations Research Network. She is also serving as the Director-At-Large for the Women in Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (2023-2025).

She has held several positions across academia including Deputy Director of Purdue's NSF-ADVANCE initiative to increase the number of female faculty in the STEM fields and Associate Professor and co-Chair of Mathematics at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, IN where she implemented a curriculum revision and developed a Mathematics-Engineering dual degree program.

Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer earned her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University. She was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Purdue University Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Purdue University College of Science. 

Brianne Wrede, M.S. | Assistant Director
Brianne Wrede, M.S. | Assistant Director

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2508
Phone: (765) 496-7442
Email: wredeb@purdue.edu

Brianne Wrede, Assistant Director of the Women in Engineering (WiE) Program, joined WiE in 2021. She is responsible for developing and implementing WiE's K-10 outreach programming, serving over 5,000 students annually. She manages the partnerships of engineering faculty and staff, community partners, and local schools to encourage and support girls and young women as they explore their interests in engineering and STEM. She recruits, supervises, and instructs engineering outreach leadership team members. Her leadership team assists with outreach programming including, Imagination, Innovation, Discovery, Design (I2D2), Innovation to Reality (I2R), ACCESS Engineering, For Your Imagination (FYI), Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED), along with several other community events. Brianne serves as an advisor for EPICS, a service-learning design program in the College of Engineering, and is a member of the Purdue Engineering Staff Leadership Academy 4.0. She brings her passion for educational and social equity, diverse programming, and STEM education to WiE to encourage and inspire future engineers.

Brianne's background includes a B.S. in Education and an M.S. in Higher Education. She brings experience as a K12 teacher, instructional coach, and certified educational advocate. She provided professional development and training to fellow educators in student engagement, technology integration, and data analysis. She serves as the Director of Academic Curriculum Development in Indiana for the Heritage STEAM Coalition.
Heather Marie Coar, M.S.  |  Assistant Director of Communications
Heather Coar
Heather Marie Coar, M.S. | Assistant Director of Communications

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2518
Phone: (765) 494-6611
Email: hcoar@purdue.edu

Heather Marie Coar, M.S., splits her full-time assignment across two units in the College of Engineering at Purdue: the Women in Engineering Program and the Minority Engineering Program. In this shared position, Heather leads all of our communications efforts to future students including web and graphic design, print materials, strategic communication, social media, and more.

Prior to that she was the Communications Specialist for the School of Mechanical Engineering. A proud Boilermaker since January 2012, Heather's other passion is teaching with the Brian Lamb School of Communication. She has taught COM 495, Special Topics in Public Relations, and currently teaches (when available), COM 353, Problems in Public Relations - a course that allows students to plan public relations campaigns for non-profit organizations in the Lafayette community under her direction. 

Heather received her B.A. in Advertising, Public Relations, and Graphic Design, from Grand Valley State University in 2006, and her M.S. in Communications from Grand Valley in 2009. She recently finished her Women in Leadership Certificate from Cornell University (June 2020) and intends to pursue her Ph.D. in Global Public Relations at Purdue University.
Cathy Deno | Administrative Assistant
Cathy Deno
Cathy Deno | Administrative Assistant

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2512
Phone: (765) 494-6608
Email: denoc@purdue.edu

Cathy has served as a member of the Women in Engineering (WiE) Program staff since 1984. She works with WiE's WE Link recruitment program, the Mentees & Mentors Program for undergraduate students, and the Graduate Women in Engineering (GWEN) program. She assists in the hiring and supervision of student leadership teams for these programs and coordinates the employment and payroll processes for over 100 students who serve on a variety of WiE's leadership teams. In addition, Cathy handles the tracking and reporting of expenses for WiE. 
Dawn Mikels | Administrative Assistant
Dawn Mikels
Dawn Mikels | Administrative Assistant

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2516
Phone: (765) 494-3889
Email: djmikels@purdue.edu

Ms. Mikels joined the Women in Engineering (WiE) Program staff in 2005. She supports the WiE directors and serves as the liaison to other university program offices, engineering faculty and staff, alumni and corporate partners. She manages contact for internal and external office communications and public relations. She supervises the Operations Assistant student leadership team and assists the WE Link student recruitment program. She administers WiE's stewardship processes and initiatives and provides assistance for WiE's annual scholarship awards for current students. She is responsible for internal and external aspects of recruitment initiatives and event planning of Exploring Engineering at Purdue visits for high school juniors and seniors. She also assists with outreach programming for Introduce a Girl to Engineering, Engineering FYI: For Your Imagination and K-5 Programs
Juliana Pereira  |  Graduate Assistant
Juliana Pereira | Graduate Assistant

Contact Information
Office: Dudley Hall, Room 2515
Phone: (765) 494-3889
Email: jpereira@purdue.edu

Juliana officially joined the Women in Engineering (WiE) Program team as Graduate Assistant for outreach activities in May 2021. However, she has been involved with WiE since 2018. She participated in many different programs. Outreach activities, I2R - Innovation to Reality, IGED - Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, and LT for GWEN - Graduate Women in Engineering Network. In 2020, she received the Emily M. Wadsworth Graduate Mentoring Award from WiE. For the 2020/21 academic year, she received the Women's Association Teri Dres Scholarship from ADSC - The International Association of Foundation Drilling. Juliana also received the 2021 Ada I. Pressman Memorial Scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers.

Juliana earned her B.S. in Journalism and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brazilian Universities and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, where she continues towards her Ph.D.

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