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December 5, 2013

Ex-NASA executive to increase Engineering enrollment, retention

By Travis Raymond

Cleveland State University’s College of Engineering has tapped Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. as its new Executive in Residence.

Whitlow brings with him clearly defined goals for the College of Engineering, including increasing the involvement of minorities, utilizing high school recruiting, and increasing retention and graduation rates.

“Strengthening the department,” Whitlow said.  “That was something I’ve worked on even during my NASA career, so to come and do it at a university is even better.”

Before coming to Cleveland State, Whitlow served in various directorial positions at NASA.
Whitlow’s appointments included positions at Cleveland’s John H. Glenn Research Center, the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., and Mission Support Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C, in a career that spanned over three decades.

“To me it is refreshing to come down every day and interact and work with students,” Dr. Whitlow said.  “You have new ideas, fresh ideas, so it kind of rejuvenates me to work at the university.”

While working with NASA, Whitlow earned multiple awards, including the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, and the NASA Exceptional Service Honor Medal.

Dr. Anette Karlsson, the dean of the College of Engineering, says she looks forward to working with the new Executive in Residence.

“We are very fortunate to have such a prominent person as Dr. Whitlow joining the Washkewicz College of Engineering,” Karlsson said.  “He is a nationally known and brings significant insight, knowledge and excitement to the College.”

Whitlow has high expectations for his work at the College of Engineering.

“I expect to increase the visibility, the reputation, help the dean increase enrollment, graduation and retention of engineering students,” Whitlow said.  “A very, very good by-product being more visibility and awareness in the community of the benefits of CSU engineering education.”