Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
We are passionate about providing our students with
opportunities to develop hard and soft skills during the course of
their degree programs, reminding them often of the importance of
each in the workplace.
Our faculty spend vast hours pondering the analytical skills and
technical knowledge students need to succeed in the modern world,
and developing meaningful coursework that connects rigorous
fundamental concepts with real-world needs. As a result, our
graduates stand among the best in the world for their hard skills,
making us proud of all they achieve.
In parallel, the faculty and staff have created a large array of
programs to advance students’ understanding of the soft
skills that make collective human efforts successful, particularly
in a global economy.
Our taxonomy of these essential skills is just as complex as the
degree programs that brought students to SEAS in the first place,
ranging from communication to self-assessment to ethical reasoning
to conflict management to cultural competency, with much in
As we have expanded our experiential learning opportunities for
students, we also have found new and exciting ways to engage them
in learning across the soft skills spectrum. There are now well
over 200 different offerings that our students can choose from,
thus enabling them to round out their professional skillset.
We are thrilled, too, that increasing numbers of alumni have
remained involved with our school in a myriad of ways, exemplifying
the value of networking and providing real-world advice, mentoring
and connections leading to job opportunities. You will read in
these pages about just one example of how our active and engaged
alumni help students develop their soft skills through their
involvement with the American Society of Civil Engineers.
As we celebrate our first 70 years as New York State’s
premier public school of engineering, we look forward to graduating
students who are equipped with all the skills they will need to
tackle the biggest problems we face, regionally, nationally and
across the world.