Fourth-year Caroline Singer from the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) is passionate about helping other students, and she has been involved since its development with the newly launched Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE), an interdisciplinary center that encompasses many programs designed to support the entire ISyE community.
Singer first met Damon P. Williams, senior lecturer and director of CASE, as a student in one of his classes. She started working as his student assistant in Summer 2020, primarily focusing on ISYE 2027, but also helping with tutoring, converting courses into online formats, and other projects.
As Williams began implementing new programs to promote academic growth and professional development for ISyE students, he invited Singer to assist with these initiatives. Now, she serves as the head student lead for CASE, working with the center’s large team of student assistants to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“The mission of CASE – to promote success for all students – is something that rings home to me,” said Singer. “It means a lot that Damon is looking out for students in all of these different ways, and it was definitely something that I wanted to be a part of.”
Each of CASE’s three pillars, which (as the name suggests) includes academics, success, and equity, has a student assistant responsible for that sector’s programs. In addition to student lead, Singer has taken on the role of academics lead, which involves running the ISyE tutoring center. She also helped to create a presentation for the undergraduate and graduate teaching assistant (TA) orientations.
Another major program run by CASE is MentIEs, an initiative Singer helped to develop that connects ISyE students with successful alumni mentors who share their industry experience. Students participating in the program meet once a month in a group with their mentor and two other student mentees.
“The goal of MentIEs is to make sure that not only are the students prepared academically, but they are prepared professionally for when they get out into the real world,” said Singer.
Organizing MentIEs virtually because of Covid-19 was a challenge, but the pilot program received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the mentees. The students enjoyed furthering their professional development as well as building relationships within their mentoring groups, and almost all of them said they would recommend the program to other ISyE students.
In addition, Singer also works on the equity side of CASE and is excited about what the center is doing to provide additional resources to students.
“One of the equity initiatives being developed, Secure Space Allies, is intended to create safe spaces for underrepresented and marginalized persons within ISyE. It’s a spinoff of Safe Space, the LGBTQIA Resource Center’s ally training program,” Singer explained. “Faculty members can get trained to be a secure space ally, so students have a place to go to talk to someone when they feel discouraged or have an issue.”
In the future, she hopes other departments at Georgia Tech will develop similar resources for their students, especially something like Secure Space Allies that will help students feel more included. Being involved with CASE has been a meaningful experience for Singer, and she enjoys partnering with Williams to support ISyE students with these new programs.
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering