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Dayton Engineer

Congratulations! Gerica Brown and Kelly Bohrer designated as 2021 Women of UD honorees

By Karen Updyke, School of Engineering

As we close Women’s History Month, the University of Dayton School of Engineering would like to celebrate two special people: Gerica Brown and Kelly Bohrer who have made positive contributions to our University community and to our society. They were recently designated by the UD Women's Center as two of the fifteen 2021 Women of UD honorees.

Brown and Bohrer exemplify the Center’s theme, Leading with Character and Resilience, which honors women who have demonstrated tremendous tenacity and courage.

For almost five years, Brown, director of the Multi-Ethnic Engineers Program in the School of Engineering, has been working with the Diversity in Engineering Center in pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion within the University and the School.

Additionally, Brown advises the University chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, works on her dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Leadership doctoral program, and says that she is an “auntie, sister, daughter, partner, dog-mom, and friend, all of which are as important to me as my work and school titles.”

As a first-generation college student, she is the first in her family to receive an engineering degree and to pursue a Ph.D. Brown says:

My proudest accomplishment has been making my family proud and being another positive role model for the women in my family. I follow in big footsteps and have had an amazing support system along the way. I am proud to be a part of an amazing community of women who support and encourage one another to live authentically and share the unique gifts we each have for the purpose of making a difference in this world.

This award means a lot to me because it means a lot to my family. I am humbled by being selected during a year that so many women have had no choice but to be resilient for their families, their culture, workplaces, students, and themselves, and I wish that we could honor each and every one of them.

For almost three years, Bohrer, has been director of Community Relations for the School of Engineering, a new position in the School, and last year stepped into a new role as acting director of The ETHOS Center, as well as continuing in her role as adjunct faculty for the University’s Sustainability program. Before moving to the School, she was the director of Community Engaged Learning and Scholarship for the University’s Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and also worked with the Center for Social Concern and the Department of Biology. On July 1, Bohrer will celebrate 20 years with the University of Dayton.

In addition, Bohrer has presented for the Inclusive Excellence Academy, and is currently active on the advisory boards for the University’s Sustainability program and the Aullwood Audubon Center and has been a committee member for two city of Dayton projects: Roots of Racism, presented last fall, and their upcoming Redlining Exhibit.

Building a network of campus and community collaborations, Bohrer says:

I’m most proud of the collaborations with really amazing UD colleagues and Dayton and domestic community partners as we create opportunities for folks to learn more about social justice issues and to mobilize for the common good.

In the School of Engineering, we’ve grown our domestic and Dayton community partnerships and have created new ETHOS immersions. We’re also developing and leading the ‘Engineering and Human Rights’ initiative, which will include a new engineering minor next year.

With the city of Dayton, I collaborated and presented on Part I: the Roots of Racism last October, which is a video that appears on the Dayton Daily News Facebook page.

I am also super proud to be among the incredible women also being recognized this year as 2021 Women of UD.

Last fall, Bohrer was nominated for the Montgomery County Food Champion Award. And previously, she collaborated on two projects: Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives and REAL Dayton with the Center for Social Concern.

Please enjoy, in their own words, our very own School of Engineering 2021 Women of UD honorees: Gerica Brown and Kelly Bohrer.

Gerica Brown:

Kelly Bohrer:

Congratulations, Gerica and Kelly!

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