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Mentoring with a Difference - Panelists

Mentoring with a Difference

About the Panelists


Andrew Alleyne received his B.S. in Engineering Degree from Princeton University in 1989 in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1992 and 1994, respectively, from The University of California at Berkeley.  He joined the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1994 and is also appointed in the Coordinated Science Laboratory of UIUC.  He currently holds the Ralph M. and Catherine V. Fisher Professorship in the College of Engineering. He was awarded the ASME Dynamics Systems and Control Division’s Outstanding Young Investigator Award and was a Fulbright Fellow to the Netherlands where he held a Visiting Professorship in Vehicle Mechatronics at TU Delft.  He is the recipient of the 2008 ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award and is also a Fellow of ASME.  His research interests are a mix of theory and implementation with a broad application focus. In addition to research he has a keen interest in education and has earned the College of Engineering’s Teaching Excellence Award and the UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. He has been active in the ASME, the IEEE, and several other societies. Additionally, has been active on several boards including the Scientific Advisory Board for the U.S. Air Force.  Further information may be found at:


Ramona Faith Oswald is Professor of Family Studies in the Department of Human and Community Development. She has served as Director of Graduate Programs for her department since 2004 and teaches courses on gender, sexuality, and research methods. Her research focuses on how sexual minorities navigate social, legal, and residential contexts and the effects that those contexts have upon their health and well-being. Dr. Oswald has mentored more than 30 graduate students at UIUC, and many more through her professional networks. She has received the College of ACES Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture’s Teacher Fellow Award, and the National Council on Family Relations’ Ernest Osborne Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Richard T. Rodríguez is Associate Professor of English and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is also affiliated with the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. His research, teaching, and writing are grounded in Latina/o cultural studies, literary and film studies, critical theory, and queer studies. The author of numerous articles and reviews, his book, Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics, was published by Duke University Press and won the 2011 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award.  Recently named a Conrad Humanities Scholar, a designation supporting the work of exceptionally promising associate professors in the humanities within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, he is currently writing a book on Latino male sexualities in film and literature and the politics of social space.


Andrew V. Suarez is Associate Professor in Animal Biology and Entomology and is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute and the Institute for Genomic Biology. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he completed his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of California at San Diego. Following appointments as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Davis and a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined the University of Illinois in 2003. His research interests include ant ecology and behavior and invasive species. He was a recipient of the I.C. Gunsalus Scholar Award at the University of Illinois and was a University Scholar in 2010-2011.