Christine Dearmont has been appointed the inaugural director of the Women & Engineering Center in the McKelvey School of Engineering, effective Aug. 29.
The newly launched Women & Engineering Center (WEC) is designed to create a community that supports women Engineering students and engages efforts to recruit and retain women in the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs. As director, Dearmont will collaborate with alumnae and faculty to develop and oversee programming that promotes academic and professional development and retention of women in engineering. In addition, she will advise the Women & Engineering Leadership Society, assist with various student organizations that support women in STEM and work to develop industry partnerships to support the center.
“The appointment of Christine Dearmont as the first formal director of the Women & Engineering Center represents the culmination of an effort to institutionalize the support for our women students,” said Aaron Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor. “The passion and dedication Christine shows for advancing the agenda of our women students is nothing short of inspiring and will drive the Center as it establishes its role within the school.”
The WEC evolved from the success of various women-focused initiatives over the past decade, including the Women & Engineering Initiative for alumnae, students, faculty and staff. The effort was previously headed by Emily Boyd, teaching professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, to attract more women into engineering programs and strengthen connections to promote the success and advancement of women engineers. In addition, the Women & Engineering Challenge, spearheaded by Engineering alumnae Jan Holloway and Michele Liebman, established a fund to enhance the experience of women students and broaden their opportunities
“I appreciate Christine’s strategic approach, her broad experiences and her passion for positive student outcomes,” said Holloway, who chaired the search committee. “Her existing relationships across the WashU community and in industry also will enhance the Women & Engineering Center.”
Dearmont joins McKelvey Engineering from Olin Business School, where she has been corporate relations and business development manager and industry relations lead for entrepreneurship in the Weston Career Center since 2019. She develops relationships, creates engagement plans to build industry-student relationships and improve hiring outcomes, and identifies new strategic partners and projects. Previously, she was industry and employer relations lead in the Weston Career Center, where she managed employer relationships and was the founding adviser for the Washington University Marketing Association.
“The opportunity to support women in an underrepresented industry is both meaningful and serendipitous,” Dearmont said. “I hope that by developing the WEC community, more women feel they have the support they need to follow their desired career paths. I think this is something we can all get behind. This is all about the students — helping them, supporting them and creating a space for them to find their way.”
She serves on the advisory board of directors for the Skandalaris Student Entrepreneurial Program and the Chancellor’s Career Fellows Steering Committee. She also is a former speaker and mentor for the Balsa Foundation.
She also has entrepreneurial experience as a co-founder of an eyewear company and experience working for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup. She has managed business development and marketing for other organizations, including Shell Oil Co.
Dearmont earned a bachelor’s in management and Spanish from Missouri State University and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia.