Dear IEC community, 
I hope that you all had an enjoyable and productive summer and are as relieved as I am that we have finally disentangled ourselves from the constraints of operating under a pandemic. Fingers crossed. 
In some sense, operating under COVID had advantages: It did teach us new and innovative ways for leveraging technologies to teach and engage with students remotely. I hope however that most of us will still posit that face-to-face interactions remain the best approach for teaching engineering concepts and enabling effective student engagement. As such, it is now up to us to get the best of both worlds by striking the right balance between these two modalities. Finding the right solution is not as simple as it may look at first glance; it depends on institutional IT infrastructure, student population and other variables. Now that we are back to the so-called new normal, I invite all of us to give this topic serious thought so that, as a community, we may collectively benefit from our lessons learned. As I had stated ad infinitum, the strength and value of IEC hinge, among other things, on our willingness to fully engage, collaborate and exchange ideas on engineering education, especially as it relates to underrepresented populations. Now that we are getting back to normal, I hope that we will enthusiastically seize opportunities for cross-institutional collaborations on both research and education initiatives. To continue making sure that we move in a direction of collective interest, we will reach out to each of you to share suggestions on topics for future issues. You are also encouraged to contact board members to propose ideas on initiatives that you feel would benefit the IEC community as a whole.

Mandoye Ndoye
Associate Professor 
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Tuskegee University