The TECAID Project Leadership Team

Over time, the TECAID Project Leadership Team has been comprised of three sub-groups working together in concert: the TECAID Principal Investigator (PI) Team; the Subject Matter Experts Team; and the External Evaluator. Below we provide details about the TECAID PI Team.

TECAID Leadership Team and External Evaluator (2014-2016)

Diane Matt (Original PI), Tom Perry (Original co-PI), Robbie Marks (Original Project Manager), Aisha Lawrey (co-PI), Liz Litzler (Evaluator), Klod Kokini (co-PI)
Not pictured: Gretal Leibnitz (Current PI)

Original TECAID PI Interview (40:00)

To learn about TECAID from our original PI’s, please listen to this engaging interview by Liz Litzler (TECAID Evaluator), with Diane Matt (original TECAID PI from WEPAN), Tom Perry (original ASME Co-PI), and Klod Kokini (original Purdue University College of Engineering Co-PI)

TECAID PI & co-PIs Interview Transcript PDF >

The TECAID Principal Investigator Team

The TECAID Principal Investigator (PI) Team envisioned, proposed, and secured National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for TECAID – a project that helps change leaders build inclusive Mechanical Engineering department cultures. Since 2014, the PI Team has been responsible for the successful leadership and management of TECAID.

In 2016-2017, the PI Team’s composition evolved. New members were on-boarded and the roles of several original members changed.

Gretal Leibnitz, Ph.D.

TECAID Co-PI (As of 2017)

Gretal LeibnitzGretal Leibnitz serves as TECAID Co-PI and Project Director, and is Research & Grants Consultant for the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN). Leibnitz has been involved in social justice, broadening participation, and institutional and organizational change efforts for the past 20+ years. She has worked in numerous organizational contexts ranging from non-profit, to private liberal arts and large public research-intensive academic institutions. Recently, Leibnitz helped initiate and lead a 5 year NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation project, a NSF GSE Engineering Inclusive Teaching (EIT): Faculty Professional Development project, and an NSF i-Corps-L project, and serves as the founding director of a national community of practice—the ADVANCE Implementation Mentors (AIM) Network. Leibnitz holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.

Diane Matt, M.Sc.

TECAID PI (2014-17); Co-PI (2017)

Diane Matt originally served as PI for the TECAID project and executive director for is Research and Grants Advisor with the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN). As the inaugural executive director of WEPAN, Matt has been an agent of change, spearheading numerous transformational grant-funded projects to help realize WEPAN's vision of sustainable, systemic inclusion in engineering. With 30 years of experience in membership association leadership, Matt holds B.A. and M.Sc. degrees in geology.

Thomas Perry, P.E.

TECAID Co-PI (2014-2016)

During TECAID’s initial years, Thomas Perry, P.E. served as Director of Engineering Education for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is now retired from that position and serves TECAID in an advisory role as an ASME volunteer.

Aisha Kenya Lawrey, M.P.A.


Aisha Kenya Lawrey, as of 2017, is Director of Engineering Education for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She guides and supports the work of ASME in helping the shape the future of mechanical engineering and engineering technology education through ABET accreditation; the ME/MET department head and faculty communities; efforts toward increasing undergraduate simulation-design-build-innovation; greater exposure to industry standards/practice; more robust industry/university relations; and fostering more inclusive collaboration environments as framed by the ASME Engineering Education Vison2030 Advocacy Strategy. With 15 years of experience in engineering education, she holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering, a M.P.A. in Higher Education/Education Policy, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Engineering Education.

Klod Kokini, Ph.D.


Klod Kokini is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. He is responsible for faculty recruiting, hiring, retention, development, climate, success, and recognition--as well as faculty and staff diversity and inclusion education. He holds B.S.M.E., M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. degrees. A Fellow of the ASME and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, he is also a member of the ASME Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Committee.

Robbie Marks, M.L.S.

TECAID Project Manager (2014-2017)

Robbie Marks, of Marks Information, specializes in gathering, evaluating, organizing, managing and sharing information. She holds a Master’s degree in Library Science and certification in Information Management.

Glen Kauffman

TECAID Project Manager (as of 2017)

Gretal LeibnitzGlen Kauffman provided administrative support for TECAID. She has over 15 years of experience as a Program Coordinator for international students in a university setting, with degrees in Education and Biology.

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TECAID Project Leadership Team

The growth I experienced over the year and a half is beyond measure.”

– A. Morse, Michigan Technological University, formerly Texas Tech University

... TECAID's real benefit is not just in facilitating the achievement of a goal such as improving enrollment or retention in a given time frame, but in helping us become catalysts for change, one person at a time.”

– N. Barr, Michigan Technological University

The biggest gain was perspective. Seemingly small victories can effect more change than we realize and all accomplishments should be appreciated. What appears to be a barrier might not be as insurmountable as it first appears and might even end up being a resource before all is said and done. Conflict doesn’t have to be a negative; on the contrary, it can help stimulate discussion and bring in viewpoints that hadn’t yet been considered.”

– R. Norris, University of Oklahoma.

This was a fantastic experience. [TECAID] has not only played a critical role in shaping our culture change efforts, but it has also had a major personal impact on me. I now have tools that will help with every aspect of my professional and personal life.”

– G. Odegard, Michigan Technological University