New dean excited about College of Engineering’s potential
Elizabeth G. Loboa became the MU College of Engineering’s 11th dean and the first woman to serve as the college’s chief executive officer on Oct. 15, 2015.
“It has been insanely busy but completely fantastic,” she said of her first week on campus.
Loboa, who came to MU from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University (NCSU), said what most appealed to her about her new position were the opportunities for collaboration present on the MU campus that don’t exist at other universities.
“The ability to take on real world problems with engineering faculty and students on a campus with engineering, medicine, vet medicine and multiple other colleges is exciting,” Loboa said. “By taking advantage of these interdisciplinary opportunities, this college can be a leader with global impact.”
Loboa is getting to know engineering’s faculty through one-on-one meetings. She is being introduced to alumni beginning with members of engineering’s advisory boards and is meeting with student organization leaders.
“I plan to spend a half-day in each department to have them show off all of the innovative, groundbreaking work they’ve been doing as we develop our strategic plan,” she said of one of her immediate goals for the college.
“Higher education across the country is in a period of decreased funding. We want to maintain our excellent status as an AAU University and work in innovative ways to advance teaching and research,” Loboa said. “I’d like us to eventually be a global leader in three to five areas — those that build on the great strengths of the college and interdisciplinary areas.”
Long-term priorities include facilitating entrepreneurial endeavors, technology translation and engagement with industry.
“I look forward to meeting as many alumni as possible and would encourage them to remember what Mizzou has provided them and encourage them to stay engaged and reach out to us,” Loboa said. “I would ask them to please consider giving back not only financially, but with their time and by providing students with opportunities for networking.”
Loboa said the MU students she has met are outstanding and through conversations with them and the stories about student success on the website, she knows they are engaged and doing well. She said she is excited that MU Engineering soon will have newly renovated teaching and learning spaces for its students.
On a more personal note, Loboa said she and husband Todd, a realtor, bought a home in Columbia on their second visit and are still unpacking.
“We love Columbia. It’s intellectually and culturally rich and diverse,” Loboa said. “It has a vibrant downtown, and there are lots of things to do. So far, we’ve visited Shakespeare’s Pizza and Rock Bridge Park and have enjoyed the changing leaves.”
Two of their five children are living at home with them in Columbia. Daughter Auria, in middle school, has joined a swim team, and son Lochlan, in elementary school, has already made a karate connection.
Loboa said she loves horses and considers herself a hobby equestrian, but right now she is spending all of her spare time with her husband and children.
“We do things as a family — hiking, bike rides and walks,” she said. “The kids love the MKT trail, and we found an amazing dog park for our two dogs just off the trail.
“I am excited about this new chapter in my life and career,” Loboa said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues — faculty and staff — and our alumni to help the MU College of Engineering realize its full potential.”