California State University, Long Beach
Shadnaz Asgari, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at Cal State Long Beach, is recognized for her significant contributions to increasing female representation in the fields of engineering and computer science.
As chair of the newly-created Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at CSULB, Asgari was instrumental in planning and developing the BME curriculum. Under her leadership, the program increased student enrollment from 80 to 200, with women making up 50 percent of BME majors—a remarkable number in engineering, which typically averages 20 to 25 percent female students.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, Asgari has dedicated her profession to making the field of BME more accessible for women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. Her extensive research publications, with more than 1,285 citations, includes 55 percent women mentees. In 2019, she hosted a Google-sponsored three-day workshop to raise female undergraduates' awareness in STEM research pathways and careers. As co-director of the NIH BUILD program, Asgari also develops courses aimed at preparing underrepresented students for doctoral programs and biomedical research careers. In addition, she works with a team of CSULB faculty to recruit and retain female students in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
“Dr. Asgari is an outstanding faculty member who has demonstrated her leadership in areas that directly contribute to the success of our female and underrepresented students," says Tracy Bradley Maples, Ph.D., administrator-in-charge of the College of Engineering at CSULB.