Program Faculty and Staff

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson

Professor of Practice

Nancy and Bob Selander Executive Director

192 Rhodes Hall / 607-255-9074

Erica (’03 PhD) founded the Cornell Engineering Leadership Program in 2012 with the goal of developing Cornell engineers whose collaboration and leadership skills match their technical brilliance. Her purpose is to develop courageous leaders; in the words of one of her own mentors, Erica believes that “comfort is overrated” and that people learn best when they’re having fun and being challenged.  She combines her expertise as a research social psychologist and executive coach to design science-based programs with rigor and heart.

Robin Parker

Robin Parker

Coaching Program Manager

192 Rhodes Hall / 607-255-0547

Rob Parker is a certified professional coach specializing in leaders with a technical background. As the Coaching Program Manager, Rob is responsible for extending the reach of the Engineering Leadership Program by teaching future engineers how to coach themselves and their teams.  He also consults with engineering project teams and student organization leaders seeking to improve their leadership and teamwork capabilities.

Rob brings twenty years of experience leading technical professionals in a variety of industries, including higher education, telecom start-ups, and manufacturing.

Dan Toronto

Daniel Toronto

COMPASS Program Manager


Dan oversees the Simpkins Family COMPASS Program, which connects engineering undergraduates with alumni in course-structured mentorships aimed at helping students make strategic decisions about their undergraduate education. A native of Ann Arbor, Dan holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. He worked extensively in academic publishing before embarking upon a teaching career spanning all ages from early elementary to university students.

Dan believes leadership can occur at all levels of an organization and that deep awareness of personal values strengthens a person’s ability to lead.

Jessica Shropshire

Jessica Shropshire

Research Specialist

191 Rhodes Hall

Jessica leads the charge to measure outcomes and effectiveness of leader development in meaningful and inclusive ways. She is also an instructor and consultant for WE LEAD. Jessica received her PhD in Social Psychology from UCLA in June 2021. Her graduate research focused on measuring the visual underpinnings of bias against individuals who vary in gender and race in workplace and educational settings.

Myrian Alarcon

Myrian Alarcon

Program Support

191 Rhodes Hall / 607-254-5708

Myrian provides administrative support to all Engineering Leadership Programs with enthusiasm and an unmatchable work ethic. A graphics communications major from CUNY Baruch, Myrian has career experience in the fashion industry and at the Binghamton NewsChannel 34 station. She is passionate about art and anything creative. Myrian loves exploring new places, nature, animals, and cooking in her spare time.