CoEng Dean Kenrick Mock is excited to create new opportunities for students

by Catalina Myers  |   

Kenrick Mock was named dean of the College of Engineering. He served as the college's interim dean starting in fall 2018 and as a computer science faculty member since 2000. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

 It’s been a busy two years for Kenrick Mock, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering (CoEng), who stepped into the role of dean in fall 2018. Mock joined UAA in 2000 as a professor of computer science and recently accepted the position of dean with the college and is excited to continue the college's work, goals and mission.

“We’re looking toward the future and growing some of our programs,” said Mock. Due to budget issues, Mock said that CoEng experienced reductions in programs but is starting to move forward. “We're starting to see a rebound in some of our programs, and we're actually starting to see increasing enrollment in our programs.”

Mock said programs like project management and geomatics are gaining momentum again as enrollment increases and that there are plans of adding new programs to CoEng course offerings. 

“We have a couple of new programs that are really geared toward working professionals and people in the industry — which I’m pretty excited about,” Mock said. In addition to developing new programs, he said the pandemic taught him and the rest of the university that it was possible to engage students in a virtual learning environment. With that in mind, he said that the college is reexamining its courses and offering new hybrid classes that cater to students in the classroom and online. “I think from our COVID experience; we’ll be able to deliver a hybrid course delivery and start to reach more students.”

Mock said there are plans to increase CoEng’s footprint within the community campuses to reach more students and provide them with more robust course offerings than just the current basic engineering math and science classes.

“Right now, these students can start taking engineering courses at their community campus but then have to transfer here,” said Mock. “But I think we’re going to be able to start offering classes remotely, allowing students to complete their engineering degree programs where they’re at.”

In addition to expanding course offerings through online learning, Mock said he has plans to increase the college’s presence in the community through new programs and partnerships ranging from K-12 education to mentorship opportunities with industry partners. Mock said recruitment and retention is a focus and hopes that the college can continue educating the state’s next generation of engineers by cultivating these programs.

Mock also noted that he and the CoEng administration will be preparing for the college's accreditation next year. 

“We do have a lot going on,” said Mock. “But it’s really fun to have all these different activities going on. It’s going to be challenging, but I am looking forward to the fall semester.”

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