College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Jennifer Ogle blazes a trail for women at Clemson University and beyond


Jennifer Ogle this year accepted a position as acting chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, making her the first woman to lead the department, but it wasn’t the first time she has blazed a trail at Clemson University for others to follow.

Jennifer Ogle (second from left) works with a group of students outside Sikes Hall.

Since arriving at Clemson as an assistant professor in 2004, Ogle has been a strong advocate for women, groups underrepresented in engineering, first-generation college students and the people with physical impairments. She was the first woman faculty member in the department to achieve tenure.

Some of Ogle’s contributions were honored recently with the Gender Equity Champion Award from the Clemson University Commission on Women.

Jesus M. de la Garza, director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, called Ogle “an exemplary model of leadership and service in the advancement of women at the university, in her profession and in society.”

“She truly walks the talk,” he said. “She goes above and beyond in her role. She is an active teacher, a successful researcher with significant grant funding and publications. Yet she still finds time to serve her department, her university, her profession and our global society.”

Ogle’s accomplishments are numerous and include:

* Helped develop a national mentor program for females interested in transportation, working with the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary’s Office and Women’s Transportation Seminar International

* Recognized by former President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for Women in STEM

* Served as a member, deputy chair, chair and past chair of the Clemson University Commission on Women

* Worked to garner support from Clemson University President Jim Clements to establish a new childcare facility on campus

* Initiated a workshop series to help female and marginalized students negotiate starting salaries

* Held events to raise awareness of pay equity issues and provide professional development for women

* Gained support from the University’s administration to conduct its first faculty salary equity study

* Supported TIGERS Advance, a program that was funded by the National Science Foundation and aims to reduce gender inequity and social injustice

Ogle accepted her Women’s Commission award in an April 8 ceremony on campus. Of the five women who received awards that day, three were from the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

Serena N. Gilmore, a bioengineering major, won the undergraduate award, and Missoury Lytle, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering, won in the graduate student category.

“We are standing on the shoulders of the women who came before us,” Ogle said. “At the same time, we have an obligation to blaze new trails for those who come after us. We are making progress, and I am honored to play a part.”

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