Monday, February 15, 2016

DeLean Tolbert PhD Student: Engineering Education

DeLean Tolbert is a 4th year PhD student studying Engineering Education. Her main reason for choosing Purdue was the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering Education Research. The INSPIRE institute at Purdue focuses on “pre-college engineering education research and integration with science, technology, mathematics, and literacy.” The School of Engineering Education at Purdue is the first program in the world of its kind. DeLean comments “I really liked what Purdue had to offer. I am happy with my decision.” Her favorite part of Purdue includes “the relationships that I have formed during my time here. I really love people and love learning about people.”

While an undergrad, DeLean had several internship opportunities through NSBE, Inroads, and her personal mentors that include interning at GE-Transportation, DTE Energy, Verizon Wireless, and the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP). She adds “I have also done tons of research. I just love it!!”

After graduation, DeLean is looking into finding a faculty position. She says “we need more faculty members of color in our colleges of engineering. I really hope to show other students like me that we can be in positions like that.” DeLean would also like to open a family business with her siblings and travel the world. Her dream job includes serving as a liaison between various communities and becoming an advocate for reconciliation and collaboration. “Regardless of my job, I want to be a bridge builder.”

On campus, DeLean is involved with National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Collegians for Jesus, Chi Alpha, and Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA). During her free moments, she enjoys spending time with her family and learning to play the keyboard, which she plays for her Bible Study. DeLean’s passion for her work and her love of life are contagious. She says it best herself: “I have learned to give credit where it is due. So I thank God for the opportunity to come to Purdue, to learn and to meet so many people from different walks of life. Keep moving forward! You will make mistakes along the way. Of course, work to make things right but don’t let that keep you down. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments. We’ve got work to do.”


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