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Professor Armineh Khalili

Saint Louis University

Professor Armineh Khalili

Esther Chinwuko

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If you are an electrical, computer, biomedical, or mechanical engineering major at Saint Louis University, you have had or will be having Professor Armineh Khalili at some point in your time at SLU. For those who do not know her, she has been working at SLU for 26 years, teaching and guiding her students. As part of continued budget cuts and layoffs, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology has decided to eliminate Khalili, the only female professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, from the college’s faculty starting next year..

I am studying electrical engineering here at Saint Louis University and am one of many students who Professor Khalili has impacted and guided toward a successful future. I am here to voice that we wholly disagree with SLU’s decision to cut Khalili as a faculty member.

Those who know Khalili understand that she is not only a professor but a role model–someone we aspire to emulate not only in academia, but in the face of adversity as part of the gender minority in STEM fields where women are a small voice in the crowd, in attitude, in character, and in attention to those seeking help and advice. As the only female professor in electrical engineering, she has made a huge impact on the students she teaches across multiple disciplines. She has impacted so many young female engineers and has been a source of motivation by showing us that women can be equally as great in engineering fields as men.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, females accounted for only 9.6% of full-time workers in electrical and electronic engineering careers in 2016. With that number already being so small, laying off Khalili would only make it harder for female SLU students to imagine and believe that they will be successful in this male-dominated career path.

I have created a change.org petition titled “Promote Employment of Female Parks College Professor” to show the administrators behind the decision just how important Khalili is to the students of Park’s College. Since it launched on Sept. 14, more than 675 supporters have signed in solidarity, expressing their views about the kindness, character and deep academic abilities of Khalili.

Professors cannot teach without schools to impact, schools do not exist without a student voice, and students are successful because of the amazing professors who taught them–and more than that, who inspired them. Hear this student’s voice: Do not remove Professor Khalili from the faculty of Parks College.

 

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