Crafting Your Career

Developing a pipeline to tomorrow’s engineers and scientists


In 2008, Taneisha Deans graduated from Cleveland’s Glenville High School with honors. While still in high school, Deans completed the Envoys program, earned an associate degree from Cuyahoga Community College, and published a scientific paper under the direction of Professor David Schiraldi, chairman of the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve.

Determined to become an engineer, Deans entered Case with a scholarship and financial aid package and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in macromolecular science and engineering. She is currently a 2017 Ph.D. candidate in that department. After graduation, Deans plans to work in the polymer industry, focusing on the development of flame-retardant materials.

Deans first heard about the Envoys program from her high school guidance counselor and was immediately interested. “I did not know anything about engineering, but through this program, I found my passion. I knew about Case and its groundbreaking research,” she explained.

Much of the success of the program relies on the close relationship between Envoys and the graduate student mentors, and Deans is fulfilling her part. Just as she was mentored when she was an Envoy, she currently mentors an 11th grade student from John Hay High School and a Case undergraduate student.

“During my undergraduate years, I struggled greatly, but overcame many of those challenges,” she said. “Now that I am a graduate student, I find my greatest motivation comes from my research – and from my work with my students.” Without Envoys training and development, Deans would not be poised to become one of our nation’s next great engineers.

Envoys can be found working in STEM departments across the campus, and the number of Envoy alumni at Case is growing. These students continue to contribute to the successful legacy of the program exemplified by Deans’ pioneering spirit.

Taneisha Deans ’12 in the Kent Hale Smith building, which houses the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering. Taneisha is an active alumni volunteer at Case Alumni Association, often attending student events as well as interviewing scholarship candidates.