Susan Manning Blanchard

Profile Updated: September 30, 2017
Residing In Durham, NC USA
Spouse/Partner Donald G. Blanchard
Occupation Retired
Children Paul Henderson, born 1970
Sara Henderson, born 1971
Whitney O'Brian, born 1974

I married Jim Henderson ('68) in January of our senior year. We moved to Chapel Hill, NC and started graduate school at UNC in June and were unable to attend Oberlin's graduation ceremony. We separated in 1978 (divorced in 1980) when I started a PhD program in biomedical engineering at Duke University. I married Don Blanchard in January 1980 and finished my PhD in 1982. I worked in research at Duke until 1993 when I got a tenure-track position at NC State in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE). I was hired to build the undergraduate biomedical engineering concentration, which eventually became a stand alone degree in the BAE Department and eventually led to the creation of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering between NC State and UNC. I was the Associate Chair of the department before leaving in early 2005 to become the Founding Dean of the UA Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL - a fantastic way to end my career! With the help of outstanding faculty, we created three programs in bioengineering, civil engineering, and environmental engineering, all of which were accredited by ABET in 2009. We also changed the computer science degree to one in software engineering, which was accredited after I retired (2012). In 2012, Don and I moved to Catawba, VA so that we would be back in the land of 4 seasons. In 2015, we returned to Durham, NC to be near family. After a life-time of being left-brain dominant, I am trying some right-brain things like knitting and music (piano, then accordion, now back to piano). Don and I volunteer as meal packers at Meals on Wheels and are active volunteers in our church, Community Church of Chapel Hill - Unitarian Universalist. We also help take care of our two smaller granddaughters (6 and 4) when assistance is needed. Life is good!

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