Bevlee A. Watford holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering (1981), a master’s degree in industrial engineering (1983), and Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research (1985). After earning all her degrees from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, Dr. Watford returned to work at her alma mater in 1992. Throughout her career, she has helped many students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) achieve their goals.
“Dr. Watford is passionate, motivated, dedicated, and holds fast to the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim, That I May Serve. In summary, Dr. Watford is a very impressive individual and mentor to many. She has had a substantial and positive impact on STEM Education,” said Dr. Tremayne Waller of Virginia Tech.
Currently, as the associate dean for equity and engagement, Dr. Watford leads the Equity and Engagement Office, which is responsible for the recruitment and retention of diverse students. This includes programs for pre-college students as well as programs supporting the academic, professional, and personal development of current students.
Dr. Watford also serves as executive director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech and a professor of engineering education.
Watford began her academic career as an assistant professor at Clemson University, before joining Virginia Tech as CEED director and associate professor of industrial and systems engineering. A few years later, she was appointed associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering. She earned her current rank of Professor of Engineering Education in 2005 and served as interim department head from 2010-11. Dr. Watford will receive the Educational Leadership – College-Level Promotion Of Education Award at the 2022 BEYA STEM Conference.