- BS Electrical Engineering 1974
She was recently named dean of Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering. Prior to this, Rajala headed the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU. She earned both master's and doctoral degrees from Rice University, taught at North Carolina State University and Purdue University, and served as an adjunct research faculty member at the Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Rajala joined the faculty at NC State in 1979, where she was the first female professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers; a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; and president and fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. A native of Skandia, Michigan, she was only the third woman - and the only one in her class - to graduate from Michigan Tech with an electrical engineering degree. She was a member of three honor societies: Mu Beta Psi (music), Tau Beta Pi (engineering), and Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering).
At Tech, Rajala is a member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae and the Electrical Engineering Academy and was the first alumna to receive Tech's Outstanding Young Alumni Award (1986). She was recognized again in 2008 with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Excerpted from Michigan Tech Magazine, Fall 2008