“My experience as an alumna informs my work as an advisor because I was once in my students’ shoes and can relate to some of the things that they go through.” – Candiece White
Candiece White earned her BS in industrial and systems engineering from the School of Engineering in 2006 and her MBA from Rutgers Business School in 2015 with a concentration in management and business strategy & supply chain. Prior to her current role as assistant dean of undergraduate education/student services at SoE, she was a program development specialist and director of women in engineering at the school. She has recently received national recognition as an advisor and mentor to Rutgers students as the recipient of a 2020 National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Golden Torch Award and the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) 2021 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.
Why did you choose Rutgers?
It’s a great school and I knew I would get a great education there. I also felt that there was a sense of community where people actually cared about you, especially at SoE, where we’re a family with 4,000 students.
What attracted you to engineering?
My love for math and science in high school is what attracted me to engineering. In high school, for example, I took part in the ACS Project Seed program where I had the opportunity to conduct research at what was then Lucent Technologies during my junior year. I also did programs with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Future Business Leaders of America. Ultimately, those experiences led to both my undergraduate major choice and planted the seed for my graduate degree.
What do you most value about your Rutgers engineering education?
It equips you with the tools and knowledge to be a great problem solver. ISE started group projects as early as my sophomore year and I value the collaborations I had with the many projects we had in ISE. My education pushed me and challenged me – I’m not going to lie – yet shaped me as an individual. A big part of my education took place outside of the classroom – and I certainly valued my involvement and the leadership opportunities I gained by my participation in student organizations.
What organizations were you involved in?
I was an active member and a senator for the Minority Engineering Education Taskforce (MEET) – the Rutgers University chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and on the executive boards for both Phi Sigma Rho (PSR) – the national social sorority for women in engineering and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
It’s crazy that I am now the advisor to these three organizations that meant the world to me when I was a student.
What do you most enjoy about being an advisor to these student organizations?
I love my students and love going to their meetings. I try to go to every meeting that I can so they feel fully supported.
I enjoy the opportunity I have to see my students take ownership of their organizations and flourish as leaders. I also enjoy seeing them outside of the academic realm taking advantage of the amazing programming that the organizations offer to their members.
How do you think your experience as an alumna informs your work as an advisor and dean?
My experience informs my work as an advisor because I was once in my students’ shoes and can relate to some of the things that they go through. It also allows me to always think of how what we do impacts their experience as students – and how we can improve the services we provide to meet their growing and changing needs.
How do you describe your approach to advising students?
My approach is holistic. I get to know the students for who they are personally and academically. I listen to their needs and work with them along the way to solve any problems when they arise and also to celebrate any wins they might have. I have a vested interest in their success.
What advice would you have for current engineering students?
I would tell new students to build a community of support – that they don’t have to go through the journey alone and they don’t have to overburden themselves. I’d also tell them to use the resources available to them and to get involved in Rutgers’ amazing student organizations.
What does the national recognition you’ve received with your SWE and NSBE awards mean to you?
I am honestly surprised and humbled by these recognitions. I had no idea that the students in both organizations were nominating me. Our students are my top priority and I support them whole heartedly – and look for nothing in return.
What did you do for fun as a student?
Being part of MEET, SWE, and PSR was what I did for fun. And I enjoyed simple things like going to the then game room – where the Cove is now – with my dear friend to destress. And because I have a love for music, I really enjoyed going to the free Rutgers Fest concert that doesn’t exist anymore. There was so much to explore at Rutgers.
What do you do for fun these days?
I enjoy listening to music. I listen to everything and especially like R&B, rap, reggae, neo-soul, and pop. I’ll throw on Spotify or Pandora and listen to music all day long and be content. I love going to concerts, but haven’t been to one in so long because of the pandemic.
I also love hanging out with friends and family, running, and hiking.
If you could go anywhere on a vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
This is a tough question. I enjoy traveling and want to visit so many places. I guess I would want to visit either Australia, Greece, or South Africa if I had to pick my next trips.