"In this new role for our college, Dr. Parker brings a wealth of experience, national recognition and a network of colleagues across the country," said Rudy Buchheit, the Rebecca Burchett Liebert Dean of the College of Engineering. "She will help us build and sustain a college where everyone finds the community, support and encouragement needed to navigate to and through the engineering profession."
Parker is currently a leader of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMPP), an NSF-funded program at UK. LSAMPP aims to diversify the nation's STEM workforce by increasing the number of degrees awarded to historically underrepresented populations.
Parker's research focuses on systems and control, wireless systems, and intelligent manufacturing. She has received research funding from the Department of Education, NASA, industry and the National Science Foundation, which included an NSF CAREER Award in 2000. She has also received over $7 million in NSF broadening participation funding. Currently, she is the co-principal investigator for KY-WV LSAMP and UK LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate, which funds a cohort of 12 Ph.D. STEM students and provides them with mentoring and professional development.
Outside of UK, Parker serves as vice chair on the Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training (VOLT) Executive Committee and the General Awards Committee for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She has previously served on the AMSE Committee on Government Relations, the Nominating Committee and several awards committees. In addition, she was selected as an ASME Congressional Fellow serving in the Office of Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND, retired).
Parker received her BSME, MSME and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.