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Tanya Davis Ennis is a Louisiana native, born 11th in a family of 15 children to Ernest and Ethel Davis, Sr. during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South. She loved school and graduated from Plaquemine High School as valedictorian in 1984. While in high school, she learned to play 3 musical instruments, was a leader in many clubs and the marching band, where she served as section leader for 2 years and drum major for two years.
Tanya attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and studied Electrical Engineering where she was a charter member of the SUCCESS chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, a member of IEEE (the Electrical Engineering Professional Society), a member of Eta Kappa Nu (the Electrical Engineering Honor Society), among other honor societies on campus. Tanya pledged the Alpha Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as Corresponding Secretary and Vice-President. During her time at Southern University, she worked as a summer intern at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey; General Motors in Milford, Michigan; and Exxon Chemicals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tanya graduated Magna Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, Tanya moved to Denver, Colorado, worked as a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and was awarded a graduate school fellowship to attend the University of Southern California to study Computer Engineering. Tanya graduated from USC in 1990 with a master’s degree in Computer Engineering. She later worked as a systems engineering, project manager, and staff director for U S WEST Communications.
Tanya transitioned to the field of education when she saw a great need for improvement in educating high school students in science and mathematics. She taught high school for 8 years at Challenges, Choices, and Images Charter School and the Denver School of Science and Technology where she served at chair of the Mathematics Department. In 2009, Tanya transitioned to the University of Colorado Boulder in the College of Engineering and Applied Science in the BOLD Center where she served for 10 years as the Director of the Engineering GoldShirt Program, a program designed to propel students from diverse background students who may need additional support to succeed in the engineering field. In 2019, she was appointed at the BOLD Center Director. The BOLD Center fosters a socially just and equitable educational experience in engineering and applied sciences and aims to support students from diverse backgrounds to earn their engineering degree. Programming in the BOLD Center includes supporting the diverse engineering student societies, student engagement activities and events, free tutoring, and a host of other community building initiatives.
Professor Ennis is also a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education studying Learning Science and Human Development at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Tanya is married to her husband, Cedric, for 31 years; she has 2 college educated sons (Cedric Jr., and Christopher), and three grandchildren, Isaiah, Amia and Marshall. She is an active member of the Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and of Cure’ d’Ars Catholic Church.