The College of Engineering has been recognized by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as a leader in inclusive excellence as a part of ASEE’s Diversity Recognition Program.
“We aren’t just advocating for underrepresented groups for social justice, but to improve the College through diversity,” says Wynter Duncanson, assistant dean for Outreach and Diversity.
Duncanson recently succeeded Stacey Freeman, who spearheaded the ASEE application, and is now the director of national outreach initiatives in the College.
In order to gain the ASEE distinction, the College had to demonstrate a commitment to four outcomes: establishing baseline support for groups underrepresented in engineering; quantifiably analyzing and assessing unit composition, policies, culture and climate related to groups underrepresented in engineering; implementing programs and initiatives that strengthen the K-12 or community college pipeline thereby reducing significant barriers related to long-term growth; and developing an action plan focused on continuous improvement.
Duncanson says the College outlined in its application how it is and plans to continue to progress in those four areas that the ASEE has highlighted. Some of those initiatives include the Technology Innovation Scholars Program, the U-Design summer program for middle-school students, the chapter for the National Society of Black Engineers and the National GEM Consortium.
Beyond specific programs, Duncanson is looking forward to improving the action plan through faculty workshops and conferences, and listening to the students about their needs in terms of academic and non-academic support.
“I think a good place to start is to develop an understanding and language for diversity,” says Duncanson. “Then we can build programs, workshops and services to improve our inclusivity and diversity.”