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Conversations on COVID-19 and Equity

CECAS Leadership Collage

College Leadership Listens, Prepares, and Strives for a Level Playing Field

Members of the college’s leadership team sat down for interviews with IDEAS magazine to describe how they are responding to some of the pressing issues framing the 2020-21 academic year, including the COVID-19 situation and matters of equity and inclusion in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Their answers varied based on their responsibilities, but some overarching themes became clear. The leadership team said the college and University have adapted well to the challenges of COVID-19 and that both embrace a flexible, comprehensive, data-driven plan prioritizing the health and safety of those at Clemson. Further, the leadership team said it is ready to listen to the concerns of the members of the college community and that it is committed to driving change and working to ensure a level playing field for all. Here is a look at the leadership team and what each member had to say:

Kelly CollinsKelly Collins
Chief of Staff and Operations

Kelly Collins graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science in financial management in 2003. She immediately went to work for her alma mater as the business manager in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. She joined what was then the College of Engineering and Science in January 2007 as an accountant/fiscal analyst II. While rising through the ranks, Collins has gained a reputation for supporting employees, especially ambitious young women. The Clemson University President’s Commission on Women honored Collins in 2018 with an Outstanding Women Award in the staff category.

Find out how Kelly is Keeping the Enterprise Running Smoothly.

Oliver MyersOliver Myers, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence

Oliver Myers, who joined Clemson in 2014 as an associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the associate dean for inclusive excellence. He wants students to receive the support they require to become engineers or scientists. Myers will work with the undergraduate students on making sure they have the requisite backgrounds to be successful in their curriculum so that there is a natural bridge from the undergraduate to the graduate programs.

See how Oliver is Creating a Level Playing Field for undergraduates.

Dan NoneakerDaniel L. Noneaker, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research

Daniel L. Noneaker began serving as the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences in mid-March, just as COVID-19 was changing how researchers conduct their work. He is entrusted with supporting the college’s research enterprise, which topped $50 million in expenditures for fiscal year 2019 and accounts for 48% of Clemson University’s total. The college plays a crucial role in the University’s R1 status for “very high research activity” it has received from The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Noneaker himself is a seasoned researcher and administrator. He joined Clemson in 1993 as an assistant professor and rose through the ranks to become chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, serving in that position from 2014 until he took the associate dean job.

Read how Daniel is Supporting World-Class Research.

Brad PutmanBrad Putman, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Brad Putman serves as associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. Putman and his team help undergraduates discover the best path and make the most of their Clemson experience. He brings to his career a perspective few others have. Brad Putman has been a Clemson undergraduate, master’s student, Ph.D. scholar, and a professor in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering. In addition to his work with undergraduates, Putman plays a leading role in introducing STEM topics to K-12 students across South Carolina.

Learn how Brad is Shaping the Undergraduate Experience.

Melissa SmithMelissa Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Graduate Studies

Melissa Smith joined Clemson in 2006 as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. As associate dean for inclusive excellence and graduate studies, she leads a team focused at the graduate level on inclusion, equity, and diversity issues, as well as supporting current students in their progress toward their degrees. One of Smith's goals is to show undergraduates the opportunities afforded to them when they choose to continue their education into graduate school. She wants to see those students be successful and take on mentoring roles as faculty or industry leaders that young people can look up to and aspire to be. Smith won the Award for Diversity and Inclusion in 2017.

View how Melissa is Creating a Level Playing Field for graduates.