Fatima Alleyne, Ph.D., is the director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Practices in the College of Engineering (COE) at UC Berkeley. She brings her passion and love for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and education into her work to develop programs that promote equity; foster a positive, inclusive culture; and increase access and opportunities to those who have historically been underrepresented in STEM. She also leads a strategic planning process to guide programs and priorities to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the College. Prior to this role, Fatima served as the director of COE faculty engagement, consultant for the Center for Restorative Solutions, research general engineer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and education and outreach coordinator at an NSF-funded research center and research specialist, both at UC Berkeley. Her commitment and passion for STEM education has led to her service on a range of committees on campus and in her community, including the development of STEM programs in K-12 schools. Fatima earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in materials science and engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in chemistry from City University of New York, Hunter College.
Besides your work, what’s something that you’re passionate about?
I’m passionate about reading, spending time with my family, traveling, and eating exotic foods.
What inspires you?
There are days when the work imposes such challenges that I’m discouraged and disheartened but then I find encouragement in my grandfather’s words, “They can take anything away from you but they could never take away your education,” and I’m inspired and rejuvenated to continue this work.
What’s something that students and colleagues should know about you?
In 2013 I became the first African American female (in at least thirty years) to graduate with a doctorate in materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. Then in December 2017, I was elected to become the first African American to serve as president of the Contra Costa County Board of Education for the 2018 calendar year.
What advice do you have for students?
Never let the words of naysayers determine your fate or your trajectory; instead let the naysayers be one of your motivators for success!