Beverley J. McKeon, Professor of Aeronautics and the Associate Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, is the 2016 recipient of the Fred Shair Program Diversity Award. Each year the Caltech Center for Diversity asks students, staff, and faculty, to nominate Caltech community members who have contributed to initiatives and efforts that advance diversity. One of the nominations for Professor McKeon read, “she is a tireless advocate for diversity in all of its forms. She is very conscientious in her role as the GALCIT Option Representative – and really works to shine a light on unconscious bias in the selection process and stick to processes that highlight the best candidates according to a pre-specified set of criteria. Professor McKeon effectively works both behind the scenes and in front of the camera carrying her message that diverse teams enable excellent results.”
The award is named in honor of Fred Shair who worked tirelessly to make Caltech a more inclusive and accessible place through programming and direct student support. Fred Shair received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana and then received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of Illinois. During his time at Caltech he developed the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in 1979. He also served as the Manager of Caltech JPL Educational Affairs Office, managing 18 programs involving undergraduates, graduates, post docs, and faculty from universities throughout the United States.