‘Every student has potential’ to this engineering educator


Selena Favela

Cindi Mason teaches a class in Jabara Hall on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.

Cindi Mason started as an engineering educator for the industrial, systems, and manufacturing engineering (ISME) department in the fall of 2017. Mason is on a non-tenure track faculty position that primarily focuses on teaching and service.

Mason received her bachelor’s degree from WSU in 2002, and her master’s from Kansas Wesleyan University in 2005. Mason returned to WSU to get her PhD when Samantha Corcoran, an engineering educator at WSU, told her about an available grant.

“It just seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue to learn and sharpen my industrial engineering knowledge and skills part-time on a more flexible schedule, [while] still allowing me to focus on my family,” Mason said.

Mason worked as an industrial engineer for nearly 10 years before returning to her alma mater. Mason acknowledges that there are extra challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field, but said she doesn’t feel a need to prove herself.

“I have been given equal opportunity throughout my industry career as well as my career in academia,” Mason said.  “I think if I focused on trying to prove myself as a female in a male-dominated field, it would take the joy out of my profession.”

Mason said that she’s blessed because she’s able to use her education and experience in order to serve and help others. As an assistant teaching professor she is able to directly impact those around her. She is happy to be challenged on a daily basis and able to continually learn while not having to sacrifice her role as a wife and mother.

Mason notes that her former position has facilitated her career at WSU through networking and maintaining relationships with people in the industry. Those connections have provided partnership opportunities for WSU’s engineering department. She has been able to provide both experience and knowledge for her students while giving companies effective solutions.

“I genuinely care about my students, realizing every student has potential, and they have a purpose,” Mason said.

Mason has been fortunate enough to have had people mentor and invest time in her life,  she said, just as she is doing for her pupils. She credits Dr. Don Malzahn, Dr. Janet Twomey, and Dr. Krishna Krishnan for guiding her both as an undergraduate student and now as a colleague.