Then: In 2006, Linda Jones was a prominent researcher of high-temperature materials and had just been named director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first women’s college to launch an engineering curriculum. Under her leadership, the college began an exchange program with Princeton University to expose students to different learning environments.

Now: Jones is vice president for Statutory Affairs at Alfred University, where she heads the New York State College of Ceramics and teaches engineering. During her six-year tenure at Smith, the fledgling engineering program earned accreditation and is now ranked among the nation’s top 20 engineering programs. Graduates have obtained advanced degrees at Harvard, MIT, and Cornell, (among others), and the Princeton-Smith Engineering Exchange Program remains as active as ever.