Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is a disruptor, trailblazer, change agent, and leader who believes in living an authentic life even if it makes people uncomfortable. She grew up an only child in a rural southeast Alabama community, where she was raised by her educator parents to persist in the face of personal and professional adversity. As a child, she dreamed of traveling to the places she read about, using science to make life better, and entering politics to change the world. Her inquisitive nature contributes to her passion for educating others and sharing what she has learned via her experiences.
She earned degrees in mathematics (Spelman College), industrial engineering (University of Alabama), and leadership and policy studies (Vanderbilt University) debt-free and interned at NASA as she pursued her mathematics and engineering degrees. Dr. Cox is a 2020 Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
Dr. Cox is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. She was the Inaugural Chair of the Department of Engineering Education. There she navigated an often turbulent environment, which led to the creation of her Stop Playing Diversity brand, which offers resources for people and organizations that want to move beyond performative allyship. No stranger to conflict, Dr. Cox transformed the fabric of the department and the larger organization as an advocate for people and women of color.
In 2011, she became the first African-American female to earn tenure in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. She was an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, and the Inaugural Director of the Purdue College of Engineering's Leadership Minor. She is the Director of the International Institute of Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a) and CEO of STEMinent LLC, a brand that houses a variety of STEM education offerings.
Dr. Cox's research is focused upon the use of mixed methodologies to explore significant research questions in undergraduate, graduate, and professional engineering education, to integrate concepts from higher education and learning science into engineering education, and to develop and disseminate reliable and valid assessment tools for use across the engineering education continuum. She has led and collaborated on multidisciplinary projects totaling approximately $15 million, and she has authored over 130 publications.