Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation

Russ College associate dean for academics honored for success as woman in STEM

Elisabeth Weems | Apr 2, 2018
McAvoy
Associate Dean for Deb McAvoy (L) with Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs (R) Photo by: Meagan Hall

Russ College associate dean for academics honored for success as woman in STEM

Elisabeth Weems | Apr 2, 2018
Associate Dean for Deb McAvoy (L) with Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs (R) Photo by: Meagan Hall
Associate Dean for Deb McAvoy (L) with Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs (R) Photo by: Meagan Hall

A Russ College of Engineering and Technology associate dean recently received an award from the Ohio University Women’s Center for her success as a woman working in a male-dominated field. 

The Women’s Center and national Latina -based sorority Sigma Lambda Gamma bestowed the Breaking Barriers Award on Associate Dean for Academics Deb McAvoy at the annual Women’s Achievement Dinner on March 21 at Baker University Center. 

Also serving as Russ College interim chair of the Department of Aviation, McAvoy, who joined OHIO in 2007, served as chair of the Department of Civil Engineering from 2013-2017. She has been nationally recognized for her work in transportation engineering since receiving a National Science Foundation grant to create one of what was only two driving simulators in Ohio — and only 40 such university and industry labs around the world.

"It was an honor to even be considered for such an award," said McAvoy, who rejuvenated the Russ College's concrete canoe student team in 2009 and has advised the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, leading the group on such service projects as upcycling cribs at OHIO's child development center into chalkboards and sensory tunnels.

“Dr. McAvoy serves as a positive role model for female and minority students who are entering the still male-dominated world of engineering. She goes above and beyond to help students acclimate to college and navigate engineering,” stated the nomination. “Dr. McAvoy is highly respected by her colleagues, students and professionals in her field."

McAvoy’s research interests are highway safety, traffic engineering, traffic signal system optimization and progression, roadway design and human factors engineering. She has worked on projects for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the United States Department of Justice, 3M, and other industry clients. A registered professional engineer in the states of Michigan and Ohio and certified professional traffic operations engineer through the Institute of Transportation Engineers, she holds a Ph.D. in transportation engineering and M.S. in civil engineering from Wayne State University.

Other awards bestowed at the dinner included Above and Beyond, Caregiver, Hidden Gem, Lasting Action, Making a Second Home, Outstanding Community Service, Outstanding Female Mentor, and Social Justice in the Classroom.

Colleen Carow contributed to this story.