The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Dean’s Message

Welcome to the 2023-24 Academic Year

Dr. Stephanie Adams

Dr. Stephanie G. Adams

Warmest greetings to each of you as we begin a new academic year in the Erik Jonson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas.

For our first time and transfer students and our new faculty and staff members, this week marks the start of new as in “not existing before; made, introduced or discovered recently or now for the first time.” You will likely never have another opportunity to meet so many new people as when you first step onto college. My best friends I met in college, and if you are lucky, you might make a lifelong friend through work so take advantage of all the people you can meet in classes, organizations, support roles or neighboring labs as they may start as colleagues or classmates, and become best friends as you pursue new knowledge and experiences afforded through your time at the University in classroom, labs and offices.

For our returning students and faculty and staff members, this week marks new as in “different from one of the same category that has existed previously.” While you may have already established friendships and working relationships and know the buildings you attend class or teach in, this new academic year you can deepen those relationships and include a new student or colleague into your circle, creating a different experience from what has existed previously. Since UT Dallas is a “Doctoral University – Highest Research Activity” from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, you are already a part of research community that is consistently generating new innovations – keep up the great work!

As part of continuous improvement, this year starts with two new leaders responsible for the overall student experience. I have worked with both of these professors in different capacities, and believe they will continue to build on strong foundations to help enrich our student experience at all levels.

  1. For those earning their bachelor’s degree or supporting students in pursuit of those, Dr. Joshua Summers, professor of mechanical engineering, is heading our office of undergraduate education for the next year as our interim associate dean for undergraduate education.
  2. For those pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate and supporting those students, Dr. Benjamin Carrion Schaefer, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is now our assistant dean for graduate student success.

Lastly, I would like to share my theme for this Academic Year: Balance. For many of us, we go- go- go- go- go- and sometimes we need to pause and say no. We need to check in with ourselves, our loved ones, etc. to ensure that we are not burning the candle at both ends. This is something I have been working on for the past year. I even secured the services of a productivity coach and working with her has been eye opening and life changing. Though I probably have more questions than answers, I thought I would invite each of you to join my quest to live a life of Balance. It is well documented that maintaining balance in your life improves overall health, increases productivity, reduces stress, enriches relationships and creates more time for yourself.  Over the next year, I will share tips for improving balance and invite you to do the same.

It’s tradition to launch or kick off new things with a celebration! Please join in the fun of Jonsson School Welcome Week activities including a student organization fair, trivia night and paletas with Jonsson School leaders.

I wish you a wonderful, new 2023 – 2024 academic year!


Stephanie G. Adams, PhD, F.ASEE
Dean and Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Texas at Dallas
Former President, American Society for Engineering Education