Cheryl L. Knobloch

Pennsylvania State University | University Park, PA | 2021

Cheryl L. Knobloch Portrait Photo

The Presidential Award is a profoundly meaningful opportunity to celebrate the leagues of change agents and inclusion advocates I have been privileged to mentor in my career. As an engineer for nearly four decades and a higher education practitioner for two, this honor shines a spotlight on effective practices that champion equity and inclusion in STEM. I am indebted to passionate collaborators, allies, and mentees as we invest in the success of diverse talent and reconfigure the STEM landscape.

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.

Cheryl Knobloch is the Director of the Women in Engineering Program at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). She teaches two first-year mechanical engineering courses and advises the award-winning student chapter of Society of Women Engineers. Cheryl provides leadership to all aspects of the Women in Engineering Program since 2002 and actively champions engineering equity and inclusion for precollege, undergraduate, graduate students, and alumnae. Successful underrepresented STEM mentees are found in every conceivable professional workplace including government, industry, tech start-up, higher education, research, medicine, and more. Scholarly framework guides the design of her mentoring initiatives that fill the engineering pathway with persons from historically underrepresented groups in STEM. The Engineering Mentoring for Internship Excellence (EMIX) initiative is a premier example of Cheryl’s innovative mentoring for industry and academia. EMIX prepares women and racially underrepresented engineering interns for seamless transition to the workplace. Over 210 underrepresented engineering undergraduates and 15 pioneering corporate partners engaged in EMIX to date, and participants have a 99% graduation rate in engineering. Cheryl presented EMIX workshops at national conferences and, as a result, universities replicated the EMIX model and scaled outcomes. Cheryl earned a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Alfred University and an M.Ed. in higher education from Penn State. Selected honors include Penn State Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award (2013), Zonta Status of Women Award (2017), and Penn State Achieving Woman Award (2018). Through her leadership, Penn State received the Women Engineering ProActive Network “Women in Engineering Initiative Award” (2019).