By Monica I. Feliú-Mójer, Ph.D.
"My biggest satisfaction has been to graduate the program’s inaugural class of students."
This is how Dr. Lorna Cintrón- González describes the first great milestone of an adventure that began four years ago. In August of 2013, she joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Francis Marion University (FMU), as assistant professor and coordinator of the first baccalaureate program in industrial engineering in the history of this academic institution in South Carolina.
Cintrón-González has embraced her role as a pioneer. She was the first professor in industrial engineering at Francis Marion University. During her first two years there, she was not only the first, but the only one. She came to the institution shortly after graduating with a doctorate in this discipline and a specialty in ergonomics from Penn State University, to start and lead the first program in industrial engineering at FMU.
"My work as a coordinator consists predominantly of teaching, but I also spend a lot of time establishing relationships with industry for the benefit of students and the program. In addition, I am leading the preparation for the program to be accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which will help give it prestige and recognition," she says.
The FMU industrial engineering program is special because the school is predominantly liberal arts. In addition, it is the only program of its kind in the Pee Dee region in northeastern South Carolina, and one of two in the state.