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Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Appoints Blanchard to Founding Director of School of Engineering

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University announces the appointment of Susan M. Blanchard to the position of professor and founding director of the FGCU School of Engineering. Blanchard begins at FGCU Feb. 1.

"I am excited to be a part of this new venture as the founding director of the School of Engineering," Blanchard said. "It is a wonderful chance to create three new engineering programs - biomedical engineering, environmental engineering, and engineering management - that will meet the needs of the growing Southwest Florida economy."

Blanchard is director of Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Programs at North Carolina State University and holds a joint professorship in the departments of biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State.

Blanchard is past president of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a bioengineering program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

In 2000, the IEEE honored Blanchard with the Third Millennium Award, which the organization gives to the most outstanding one percent of the international membership of more than 300,000 members. This year, the Biomedical Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education awarded her the Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award.

Blanchard has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, The Whitaker Foundation and the National Institutes for Health. She is a fellow of both the IEEE and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

"There could not be a better opportunity for someone who is passionate about educating undergraduate engineers than the one here at Florida Gulf Coast University - an institution that believes in student-centered, collaborative, active learning, and values diversity, service and assessment," Blanchard said. "I feel honored to have been given the responsibility for building engineering at FGCU and look forward to welcoming the first students, our pioneers, next fall."

Blanchard earned both a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1982 and a Master of Science in biomedical engineering in 1980 from Duke University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude with high honors in biology from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in 1968.

"We are delighted with the choice of Dr. Blanchard. She has the vision, creative energy and background to make the FGCU program a national benchmark for quality in undergraduate engineering education," dean of the College of Business Richard Pegnetter said.

The School of Engineering opens for freshman enrollment fall 2005 offering degrees in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering from the civil engineering perspective and engineering management. The engineering programs are co-located in the College of Business. After an incubation period, FGCU plans to develop the School into a full College of Engineering.

For more information, contact Blanchard at (919) 515-6726 or (919) 303-1199 before 9 p.m.

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