The Bristol, Rhode Island-based Roger Williams University’s Board of Trustees announced that Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis will assume the responsibilities of President of the university, effective August.
Miaoulis transformed the Museum of Science in Boston into an institution of national and international prominence. He also served as the the youngest-ever dean of the College of Engineering at Tufts University.
During his career, Ioannis Miaoulis has led large-scale efforts to spark passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) among young learners around the world.
At the Museum of Science, Miaoulis spearheaded the creation of the National Center for Technological Literacy, which developed K-12 engineering materials that have reached an estimated 200,000 teachers and 18 million students in 50 states and many countries.
During his tenure, the museum’s budget doubled and he helped it raise more than $470 million, including a record $50 million gift from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
At age 32, Miaoulis became the youngest-ever dean of what was then the College of Engineering at Tufts University. Working with the faculty, he led the effort to make it a separate School of Engineering. During his tenure as dean, the number of engineering student applications doubled and the number of female undergraduates increased by 30 percent.
Additionally, he significantly increased faculty and student diversity, boosting the proportion of female faculty members from 1 percent to 25 percent. He initiated the first internship program and an entrepreneurial leadership minor at Tufts, reflecting his passion for experiential learning, which is central to RWU’s mission.
In a video he shared on the RWU website, Miaoulis spoke about growing up in Greece and being the first of his family to attend college.
An avid cook and foodie, he has often incorporated this passion into his work.
At Tufts, for example, Miaoulis drew on his love of fishing and cooking– teaching a fluid mechanics class at Tufts from the fish’s point of view and a Gourmet Engineering class in which students cooked in a test kitchen, explored heat transfer and ate their experiments.
Born in Athens, Greece, Miaoulis graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1980. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984 and a master’s degree in economics from Tufts in 1986, and he received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Tufts in 1987.
Miaoulis began working as a lecturer at Tufts in 1984 and worked his way up, serving as a tenured professor of mechanical engineering from 1997 to 2002. He was dean of Tufts’ School of Engineering from 1994 to 2002, interim dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2001, and Associate Provost from 2001-2002.
Since 2003, he has been President and Director of the Museum of Science in Boston and director of the National Center for Technological Literacy. He left the museum at the end of January.
Miaoulis now serves on the National STEM Education Advisory Panel. He served on the NASA Advisory Committee, and he chaired the Education Committee for the International Space Station National Laboratory Board. He served as a trustee for Tufts University, Wellesley College and WGBH.
In 2016, he won the Philip Hauge Abelson Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2014, he won the American Society for Engineering Education’s President’s Award, recognizing entities that encourage K-12 students to pursue engineering careers. In 2012, he won the Catalyst Award from the Science Club for Girls, and in 2009, he won NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal.
A frequent speaker on science and technology literacy, Miaoulis has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees and served as keynote speaker at education reform conferences worldwide. He has published more than 100 research papers and holds two patents.
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