Engineering industry engagement director elected to international board


By Ashley J. WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Priya Baboo, senior director of corporate and industry engagement in the Penn State College of Engineering, was recently elected to the board of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO). She began her first year as chair-elect for the conference programming committee on July 15 and will roll into the yearlong position of chair in July 2022.

“Priya’s work greatly aids the faculty, students and staff of the college,” said Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering. “I have full confidence that her expertise will benefit her peers in NACRO, and she will continue to expand her knowledge and skills to better engage with industry on behalf of the college.”

Baboo leads the College of Engineering’s efforts to streamline and enhance industry engagement in areas related to advisory boards, research, philanthropy and student recruitment.

According to Baboo, her experience with the college, including organizing the annual industryXchange event for faculty and industry partners to learn about possible collaboration opportunities, positioned her well for the chair-elect role. She was anonymously nominated and elected by members of NACRO.

“NACRO initially started to support corporate relations but has increasingly broadened its scope to include research collaborations, student recruitment and more,” Baboo said. “It’s a great organization that facilitates connections with counterparts at peer institutions, helps us stay on top of trends in corporate engagement and so much more.”

NACRO members include those who work with industry partners in every field from academia to government to industry across the globe, with the overarching goal of providing a setting for peers to discuss and improve best practices to better support corporate philanthropy and research and development.

The organization holds an annual conference, as well as several webinars and workshops throughout the year, for members to network and learn more about how those in various fields engage with industry to support mutual goals. Baboo, in partnership with the current chair, Michelle Dingwall from Stout University in Wisconsin, now leads the committee that coordinates programming for the annual conference. In 2021, the virtual conference had 480 attendees.

“I will draw from my experience organizing events as industryXchange and interactions with industry to improve the conference and make it relevant to the audience, while also learning latest practices from NACRO and bringing those back to the college,” Baboo said.


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