Santa Clara University

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Shoba Krishnan Named Woman of the Year

Krishnan (center) with SCU students at Walden West Science School
Krishnan, center, with SCU students at Walden West Science Camp
Photo: Charles Barry, University Photographer

Shoba Krishnan, associate professor of electrical engineering, was named "Woman of the Year" by California's 25th Assembly District, represented by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski. At the awards ceremony, held December 11, 2013 at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, Dr. Krishnan was recognized for her dedication to students both inside and outside the classroom as well as her work on community projects and STEM education. She was also commended for her role in motivating young women and other marginalized communities to pursue science as a profession.

Earlier this year, Krishnan also received SCU's President's Special Recognition Award for her exemplary work as teacher and scholar.

An expert in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit (IC) design, Krishnan collaborates with local Silicon Valley companies to enrich both her teaching and her research in chip design. Combining her keen interest in engineering education with a passion for teaching, she enjoys working with students at all levels and within all disciplines of engineering, sharing her excitement for her field’s great potential to make a difference in the world.

Dr. Krishnan is involved in several community-based activities to increase the participation of underrepresented groups, especially women, in engineering. She helped establish the IDEAS (Interdisciplinary Design Engineering And Service) program in the School of Engineering which brings experiential learning into the engineering curriculum through partnerships with non-profit organizations in both the local and global communities. By pairing engineering students with actual customers in need of technical expertise, groups such as the Santa Clara Adult Education Independence Network, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, and Walden West—a local outdoor school and science camp—have received help with a wide range of projects.

An avid proponent of making science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education fun and rewarding for students at an early age, Dr. Krishnan developed the course, “STEM Outreach in the community,” through which SCU students develop outreach activities to share their engineering disciplines in clear and compelling ways appropriate for elementary and middle school students. She has partnered with the Third Street Community Center and other organizations in San Jose to provide this afterschool program for the marginalized communities in San Jose—introducing countless youngsters to engineering as a possible career.

Providing leadership opportunities for young women is a particular focus of Dr. Krishnan’s. She offers program knowledge and support for the “One Step Ahead” and “ GAINS: Girls Advancing In Non-traditional Subjects” programs offered by the Society for Women Engineers and Santa Clara Unified School District. Additionally, she is an active Girl Scout troop leader of two troops in Santa Clara, a board member of Girl Scouts of Northern California, and she has mentored and led several Girl Scout robotics teams including The Space Cookies, an all-girls high school team that competes in FIRST robotics.

Shoba Krishnan works tirelessly to give undergraduates the opportunities to grow to their full potential whether it is through research, professional development, or community service. She has been awarded the Packard Mentor/Scholar Endowed Term Professorship for the past five years in the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University for her efforts in extending opportunities to young women and other marginalized communities that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering. As she strives to empower students with not only knowledge and skills but also with respect and empathy to make the world a better place, her influence reaches well beyond the confines of the university classroom.

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