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Alum Advocates for All in Engineering

Last updated on March 20, 2024

Dr. Meagan Pollock knows what it feels like to be the only woman in the classroom, or the conference room. She lived it as one of a handful of women who pursued a career in computer science and engineering. In 2018, women accounted for just 13% of the engineering workforce, according to the Society of Women Engineers.

So, did Pollock ever think she didn’t belong in the industry?

“All the dang time,” said Pollock, who started her career as an engineer at Texas Instruments. “These systems and organizations weren’t built for women and people of color. Research shows us that it takes a tremendous amount of grit and resilience and persistence for the people who make it through and that’s unfair. It’s inequitable.”

That’s why Pollock has pivoted from her engineering career to become an educator and advocate for all, including women and people of color, to pursue STEM careers. She founded Engineer Inclusion, a firm that is focused on corporate training, management consulting, leadership coaching and educator professional development services.

Pollock has an impressive educational background, too, earning her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Texas Woman’s University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas Tech and a doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University. But, even after earning her doctorate, Pollock found herself knocking on Dallas College’s doors to further her career.

Dallas College provided an opportunity for Pollock to become more well-rounded in terms of growing businesses and organizations as she earned a supervisor certificate, a management certificate and a business administration/human resources certificate.

“I wanted some of the benefits of a business program, but I didn’t need a business degree, nor did I really have the time to commit to an MBA program,” Pollock said. “I found out about the really unique business programs offered by Dallas College, so it was really perfect for a busy professional like myself.

“And, I am a lifelong learner and I do like to earn things, so it was great to have a path toward those certificates.”

Praising Dallas College

As someone who had earned a doctorate degree, Pollock wasn’t sure what to expect from Dallas College. But as is the case for most who attend community college, the experience was memorable and enjoyable.

Pollock was impressed by the learning theories used, and the information gained over her time in the classrooms. Also, the professors were flexible and adaptable in creating assignments that catered to her specific needs.

“My advice to anyone who is going to school is to make it your own,” Pollock said. “Work with your teachers. I wasn’t getting out of work; I was just aligning the assignments better with my needs. Had I just done what I was told to do? It probably wouldn’t have been such a rich experience for me.”

It was such a rich experience that Pollock is now hoping her future daughters attend community college before a four-year university. She has seen the value of the community college experience and would encourage everyone to take a similar path. As Dallas College’s mission says, community college is the place where you can transform lives and communities through higher education.

“The truth and beauty of community college is that it helps students step into their lives and have access to incredible learning opportunities that are nearby,” Pollock said.

Women’s History Month

As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, Pollock is a strong voice as she continues to work and spread the message of why women should pursue engineering careers. She is passionate about the industry, but also wants to see it evolve into an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

“I loved engineering, loved problem solving, but I didn’t love the culture and climate,” she said. “So, that’s what I’m doing now — working with organizations to change the culture of engineering so the next generation of women don’t have to face those same kinds of battles. I want my future daughters to choose engineering and choose it as a pathway where they get to show up as their full authentic self.”

Pollock’s message ties in nicely to Dallas College’s overall theme during Women’s History Month — Women Who Trailblaze Paths of Advocacy for a Better Society.

The college is hosting a series of events during the month where employees, students and the community at large can hear empowering messages from speakers who are championing change.

To view a full list of events, visit Dallas College’s Women’s History Month webpage.

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