“Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, the seventh president of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology and the only woman in the College’s history, has been with Vaughn since 1996. In that time, she has been responsible for different areas of the institution including academic affairs, development, admissions, financial aid, student affairs, and public affairs.
DeVivo recently served as senior vice president for Vaughn where her strategic objective was to transform teaching and learning and create a unique academic experience both inside and outside the classroom that engages faculty and students. During her tenure with Vaughn, DeVivo has led two strategic planning efforts that have assisted the college in transforming from primarily a training institution to one that offers a bachelor of science degree in engineering, management, and aviation and a master of science degree.
In the last seven years, Vaughn has raised more than $20 million in federal and state grants to support the transformation as well as qualified for a $32 million renovation of the main campus building. She currently serves on the boards of The Wings Club, and the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts as well as the International Aviation Women’s Association Advisory Board.”
Sharon is an Affinity Groups: WiE Liaison on the 2021 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee.
Get to Know More About Sharon Devivo
“How did you first get involved in IEEE Women in Engineering?
Vaughn College has several faculty who are members of IEEE, we have a student chapter and two of our board members are connected to IEEE. In fact, our current chair of the board of trustees is the chair of the IEEE entrepreneurship committee. He is a long-time member of IEEE and has fostered a stronger understanding and connection.
Why did you decide to become a WIE member?
Vaughn College offers degrees in engineering, aviation, management, and technology. The student population is about 13 percent female and we need the best ideas about how to find and retain women in this world-changing field. I joined WIE to learn, as well as contribute to the development of methods that engage girls, particularly minority girls, and offer them the opportunity to pursue the field.
What do you wish other people knew about IEEE WIE?
There is a dedicated group of women who want to truly support women in all phases of their professional careers and are constantly exploring new ways to support greater involvement by women in IEEE.
What is it like to be an IEEE WIE Volunteer, and what do you enjoy about it?
I am fortunate to be a liaison between the Educational Activities Board and WIE and, I am working to foster a stronger connection between these two groups to impact women and girls, especially at the pre-university level. I am so incredibly impressed by the level of work that the WIE board is engaged in to create pathways for girls and women in engineering. Their passion, dedication, and committee to making a difference is inspiring.
Why do you feel it is important for women to enter into the field of engineering?
The challenges that we need to solve as a society require a diversity of thought to develop the best solutions. We will only arrive at the best solutions with women on the team, leading the team, in the C-suite, and at the table as a member of the board.”