New Dean Named for HBU College of Science and Engineering

Dr. Katie Evans

Dr. Robert Sloan, President of Houston Baptist University, and Dr. Stan Napper, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, are pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Katie Evans as Dean of the College of Science and Engineering and Professor of Mathematics. For the past 16 years, Dr. Evans has been on the faculty of Louisiana Tech University where she was a professor and administrator. Dr. Evans’ appointment is effective beginning July 1, 2021.

“Dr. Katie Evans adds to the historic strengths of HBU’s College of Science and Engineering. Her academic experience, commitments to teaching and research, personal faith, and history of administrative excellence make her a great fit for this important role at HBU,” Dr. Sloan said. “The search process and her conversations with colleagues across the University have indicated to all that she will be an outstanding colleague and make vital contributions to our overall mission.”

Provost Napper said, “As the former dean of this college, I am grateful for God’s providence in bringing Dr. Katie Evans to HBU to accept the role as the new dean. She brings administrative and leadership experience that will leverage HBU’s quality programs and faculty, and accelerate the synergism of the faculty, students, and industry and professional partners. Dr. Evans will advance the College Strategic Plan and continue the collaborative leadership structure that was put in place after the merger.”

As a first-generation college student, Evans graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Morehead State University, then earned MS and PhD degrees in mathematics from Virginia Tech. After a postdoctoral research experience in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, she began her academic career at Louisiana Tech.

As a teacher, she has taught both math majors and engineering majors in a wide variety of fundamental, advanced, and applied mathematics and engineering courses. As a scholar, she has been the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on over $5 million in competitive grants and awards, including scholarships for cyber engineers and scientists, summer bridge programs to improve student retention, and web-based homework solutions for engineering courses. She was also a senior contributor to a $6 million neuroscience research award.

Her administrative experience has been at the department-chair level (for both math and engineering academic programs) and the college level (as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives). At Louisiana Tech, she directed the Office for Women in Science and Engineering (OWISE), and the Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC). Internationally, she chairs the Grand Challenges Scholar Program (GCSP) New Programs Committee, founded by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). She has received the single highest faculty award at Louisiana Tech, which considers all areas of academic performance, the Foundation Professorship Award, for 2017. She also received the single highest faculty award for junior faculty, the Virgil Orr Junior Faculty Award, in 2011. In addition to numerous publications and presentations, she chaired the advisory committees for eight master’s students and seven doctoral students. She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

The College of Science and Engineering at HBU was established in 2019 from the merger of the long-standing College of Science and Mathematics and the recently created College of Engineering. The new college provides an environment in which there are strong interdisciplinary interactions between faculty in engineering, mathematics and the sciences. The college offers BS degrees in Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics, as well as BS degrees in Cyber Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Information Systems.