Faculty of the Month for May - Dr. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua

Please join the Faculty Senate Awards Committee in honoring Dr. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua as May’s Faculty of the Month! Rose-Margaret earned her PhD in Cybernetics from University of Reading in the UK, her Certificate in Disruptive Strategies at Harvard University, her MSc in Mobile and Satellite Communications Engineering from University of Surrey in the UK, and her BEng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. Rose-Margaret joined Ohlone College in 2013 as a full-time faculty member in the engineering department and has been a tremendous asset to the college. She has helped to grow the engineering program as well as create new programming opportunities in the STEM fields.

A picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-ItuaA picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret in academic regalia and Jefferey O'Connell

Rose Margaret was instrumental in creating the Ohlone Math Gateway (OMG) Program. OMG is a learning community and accelerated math program for Engineering and Computer Science students at Ohlone College. Rose-Margaret and the other OMG faculty provide hands on support and guidance for OMG students, including helping students secure paid summer internships at partner employers. She was also instrumental in creating the Smart Manufacturing Technology Program and is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that supports students’ internships in Smart Manufacturing in the Silicon Valley. One of her colleagues notes that, “she is kind, humble and down to earth person, one who encourages inclusion and is a good role model for the women of color.”  

A group picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret with her studentsA group picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret and Jeff O'Connell with their studentsA picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret with her students indoor

Rose-Margaret is committed to making STEM accessible to ALL, especially underrepresented groups. She is active in supporting women in STEM through her never-ending work with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  This work is seen all over Ohlone!  Most recently with her work to support the International Women’s Day campaign #ChoosetoChallenge which has included two webinars, the most recent was a post-screening discussion of the movie Picture a Scientist which highlights issues women in STEM must deal with on a daily basis.  Her TED-Ed Youtube video that creates visibility for African Americans in STEM has had over half a million views. 

In the classroom, Rose-Margaret is an inspiring teacher and her students have high praise for her. Tinise Lee recalls that “Dr. Itua taught that engineering shouldn’t just be about design but also about the social implications of how that design serves humanity. That’s when I recognized the need to bridge my passion for social change and engineering.”  One of Rose-Margaret’s colleagues nots that “Her passion for teaching and empowering our students to dream big (and realize those dreams) makes her exceptional.”

In addition to the incredible teaching, mentoring, and programing building that Rose-Margaret provides for the Ohlone College community, Rose-Margaret continues to be engaged in the scientific community. Rose-Margaret has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California Berkeley in the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory in summer 2016 and  in the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability in summer 2014. Rose-Margaret brings what she learns in these settings back to Ohlone College to enrich her teaching and share her knowledge with our students. 

Rose-Margaret is also committed to volunteer service in the larger community, and much of her service focuses on serving underrepresented groups in the sciences. She currently serves as the Special Director on the Board of Directors for the Society of Women Engineers, and previously served at the president of the Society of Women Engineers, Mt. Diablo Section and as the National Lead for the African American Affinity Group. Rose-Margaret also volunteers as the Chairperson for IEEE SIGHT, which is a global network of volunteers dedicated to leveraging technology to support underserved communities. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Silicon Valley Engineering Council, volunteered with Girl Up, United Nations Association, and founded African Technology and Innovation Institute.  

Rose-Margaret recently received a commendation from the Alameda Board of Supervisors for her work on the ELF Program (Earn & Learn Fremont)  that provides participants affected by COVID-19 layoffs the opportunity to jumpstart a new career in advanced manufacturing.  Take a look at the interview with Rose-Margaret about the program that aired on KRON 4!!

When not serving the community or inspiring Ohlone College students, Rose-Margaret enjoys travelling, amateur painting, reading, moon watching, spending time with her husband, children, family and friends. She also enjoys watching musicals and singing the sound track from the Greatest Showman Musical- “A Million Dreams” (though she says no one will pay to listen to her sing).

A picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret and her son and daughterA picture of Dr. Rose-Margaret with face mask holding her painting of sunflowers.

Please join us in congratulating Rose-Margaret for being May’s Faculty of the Month!

The Faculty of the Month program seeks to honor faculty who have a history of making significant and continuing contributions to the College.

The selection is made by a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate. The award is given monthly (of course!) during the academic year.

Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.