Berry named to endowed faculty chair at Rose-Hulman

Tribune-Star file/Joseph C. GarzaEndowed chair: Carlotta A. Berry’s achievements as an educator and scholar are being recognized in her appointment as the Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

Carlotta A. Berry’s achievements as an educator and scholar are being recognized in her appointment as the Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

Berry’s three-year term begins Sept. 1, 2021.

The Giacoletto endowed chair promotes professional activity for electrical and computer engineering faculty members.

Endowed faculty chairs honor members of the Rose-Hulman faculty for their exemplary accomplishments outside of Rose-Hulman and supports their professional activity in both national and international circles of scholarship, according to Ella Ingram, associate dean for professional development and professor of biology.

Professors receive annual stipends to continue to excel in their specialized areas, lead conversations with other educators in their fields and support research opportunities with undergraduate students.

Berry, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has brought her expertise in mobile robotics and enhanced human-robot interfaces into the classroom and has been committed to excellence and innovation in multidisciplinary robotics education, research and outreach. She currently co-directs Rose-Hulman’s multidisciplinary robotics program, which provides students the opportunity to earn a minor in robotics to recognize their experience and knowledge of robotics-related materials.

The position will allow Berry to create an advanced mobile robotics course that will explore a different topic each academic quarter throughout a three-year curriculum to get students prepared for research. A robot will be constructed and programmed using the Robotics Operating System to integrate human-robot interaction and then industrial robotics applications.

Berry also is planning to offer independent study and research opportunities for students interested in robotics and involve them in organizing and offering virtual workshops, including using SparkFun Inventor’s kits to introduce adults in elements of computer coding and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She will expand her professional connections within Amazon and MathWorks and such organizations as Black In Robotics, Black Women in AI, Hadabot, and OpenRobotics to provide more workshops, outreach activities, and possibly form affiliate student chapters at Rose-Hulman.

“What’s exciting about Dr. Berry’s project is the variety of robotics experiences that students will have – from upper-level technical electives, to hands-on learning through independent study, to deep research experiences with robots concepts often first encountered in graduate programs,” Ingram said in a news release. “In addition, the chair position allows Dr. Berry to enhance her already prodigious kindergarten-through-12th grade outreach to make robotics accessible to STEM-interested children with no robotics experience.”

A member of the Rose-Hulman’s faculty since 2006, Berry co-founded Rose-Hulman’s Building Undergraduate Diversity (RoseBUD) program, which encourages students from underrepresented groups toward STEM careers; helped student scholars organize an annual SPARK! campus event that brings together high school students to work on hands-on projects; has been an organizer and judge for FIRST Robotics competitions; been featured in several webinars and online presentations about women in robotics and engineering; and written opinion pieces that highlight national issues of professors within underrepresented groups.

This article was supplied to the Tribune-Star by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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