University of Mississippi appoints Viola Acoff as Dean, School of Engineering
Congratulations to award-winning researcher and educator Viola Acoff on being named Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering. This announcement follows a comprehensive national search led by Martin Baker and Chelsie Whitelock of the Buffkin/Baker Higher Education Practice.
As the first female and first African American to serve in this position, Acoff comes to Ole Miss from the University of Alabama, where she has served as Associate Dean for undergraduate and graduate programs since 2014.
“I am most excited about the new opportunities in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and energy in Mississippi and surrounding areas, which I believe all departments in the School of Engineering can play a role in advancing these emerging technologies,” Acoff said.
She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in materials engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and secured more than $13 million in externally funded grants. She has served as a consultant to industry-leading corporations, in addition to serving on multiple boards and in more than two dozen professional service roles.
A recipient of numerous national and international awards, Acoff was recognized as one of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors by Savoy magazine, and as one of the Most Influential Corporate Directors by Women Inc. The Engineering Council of Birmingham named her its educator of the year in 2016.
Learn more at https://engineering.olemiss.edu/.