Tojan Rahhal wears many hats at Mizzou Engineering. She serves as the Director of Diversity and Outreach Initiatives, holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Biomedical, Biological & Chemical Engineering Department and much more.
And, on top of all of that, she’s the new Strategic Direction Chair for the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA).
Rahhal recently was appointed to oversee the achievement of strategic goals for NAMEPA, which is an organization with a mission “to provide quality services, information, and tools for our stakeholders, develop and matriculate a diverse pool of engineers and scientists from K-16, and achieve equity and parity in the nation’s workforce.” The organization named Rahhal one of its 2018 Women of Color History Makers in Diversity earlier this year.
“I will be guiding the committees to achieve our[NAMEPA] strategic goals and coming up with more innovative ways to achieve them,” she explained. “Exploring that aspect as the strategic directions chair, communicating and providing other avenues of how to achieve those goals so the whole NAMEPA community can use them.”
Rahhal was nominated for the position by MU Engineering Dean Elizabeth Loboa and said she was thrilled to be selected not only to have the chance to serve with a leading organization in the effort to improve diversity and inclusion efforts in engineering, but also because the position will give her the chance to work alongside additional engineers with career paths as unique as hers.
Rahhal has a world-class engineering background, to which a doctorate from the University of North Carolina will attest. She’s looking forward to joining a community of fellow engineers working extensively to grow the field by working in positions that champion increased diversity and inclusion in engineering and engineering education.
“It’s a bunch of engineers just like me that are doing diversity and inclusion work, so it kind of helps me find my community,” Rahhal said. “Typically, you hear of engineering academics going into academia and not necessarily my typical role. So it was really cool to find that support network within NAMEPA, and now to have a more impactful role as a member and being part of the strategic direction committee is going to be very rewarding for me. And it’s also an avenue for me to contribute and give back.”