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Engineering Impact Report

Telling the School of Engineering Story


When faculty, staff and other stakeholders gathered in 2015 to provide input on the strategic planning process, one theme arose repeatedly: the need for improved communication.

With nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 150 full-time faculty and staff, and thousands of alumni, the School of Engineering has thousands of stories to tell. Plus, in a time of rapid change both within the School and across the University, communication became even more important. 

Kelly Mofield joined the School as director of communications in June of 2016. The timing was ideal. After several years of impressive growth in undergraduate enrollment, the School found itself more than 100 students short of its 500 student recruiting goal. While the reasons for this outcome were complex and varied, it was time to take a hard look at how academic units could better operate in support of enrollment management. 

With the next recruiting season just weeks away, Mofield worked with the dean, associate deans, and staff from the Diversity in Engineering Center to develop a communications plan. The plan highlighted the program's strengths, created key messages for potential students and their families, and produced deliverable such as basic marketing materials, a new multi-media PowerPoint for presentations and a beefed-up social media presence. 

Diversity in Engineering Center staff revamped all of the School's admissions programming to emphasize key messages and appeal to students' interest in experiential learning and making a difference in the world through the lens of engineering. 

Not only did enrollment rebound the next year to 520, the School of Engineering was viewed as a campus leader in terms of recruiting best practices.

Having a full-time communications professional on staff has allowed the School to expand its social media presence, quickly implement the University's rebranding initiative and website relaunch, and work to promote awareness of new programs and centers. 

Internally, Mofield has implemented an email newsletter and works with the dean to develop messaging and materials for each semester's faculty/staff and Engineering Advisory Council meetings. She also serves as a liaison with the University's marketing, communications and media relations staff to bring stories to their attention that broaden the School of Engineering narrative. 

Mofield has partnered with University Marketing and Communication over the past three years to raise the School of Engineering's profile on the national stage. That effort is producing results. 

With excellent research gains and significant improvements in the peer and employer surveys, the School became a top 50 engineering graduate program for the first time in the 2020 US News and World Report survey. This year's ranking at number 47 marks a rise of 16 positions over the past five years.

"Our faculty and students are doing incredible research for the common good," Mofield said. "It has been my absolute privilege to tell the wonderful stories of faculty, staff and student accomplishment and how we are training the next generation of engineering innovators."



School of Engineering

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254