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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Overview

The mission of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment that recognizes, respects, and values differences based on ethnicity, race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, national origin, and sexual orientation. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee is comprised of faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Message from the Chair

Marvin Doyley

As chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering one of my goals is to address our department’s diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Having been one of the only—if not the only—person in the room that looks like me as an undergraduate, graduate student, and university professor, I understand the barriers students from diverse backgrounds face. I’d like to share some initiatives we’ve undertaken to achieve our DEI goals:

  • Empower a departmental DEI committee. We’ve created a DEI committee at the department level to understand where our issues lie and will work together to address those issues. I’m proud to say that the committee is diverse and eager! We are actively updating our website to provide substantial resources around DEI, have hosted both a Black History Month and Women’s History Month panel discussion, are looking into a community-based engineering outreach program, and are working with University facilities to address bathroom access issues.
  • Diversify our department faculty. We will continue our efforts to recruit faculty from under-represented groups as faculty hiring opens up. We have invited speakers from diverse groups to our seminar series. We are also considering applying for funding from the National Institutes of Health for a training grant to help support graduate students from underrepresented groups in the hopes that they will succeed and continue as ECE faculty members.
  • Grow a pipeline to help diversify our student population at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I’ve applied for and received National Science Foundation funding for a Research Experience for Undergraduates program. This funding will enable us to bring underrepresented minority students to the department for mentored summer research projects. The hope is that these students will return to our department to do graduate work. Now that I’ve secured this funding, I am working to address the undergraduate population, perhaps via the community-based engineering outreach program that our DEI committee is considering, which would bring STEM-focused instruction to local schools.
  • Diversify our ECE Advisory Board. We have refreshed our external Advisory Board to include members from underrepresented minorities.

Message from the Dean

Wendi Heinzelman.

The mission of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences is to advance the highest quality education and research in engineering and applied science through engaging experiences and environments that promote critical thinking, creativity, ethics, and leadership. This is a lofty goal and one that we must be sure to achieve. Indeed, our future capacity to transform our world through technological innovations depends on new research discoveries. It also depends on educating a diverse population of students who will be the next researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, educators, and leaders in engineering, and who have the passion to change the world.

The world needs more engineers with a diversity of backgrounds and ways of looking at the world. The world needs more engineers who care about the impact of our decisions on our environment, on our place as a global citizen, and on our future. These are the engineers who will serve as catalysts for change. In the Hajim School, we recognize that engineering training provides the tools to tackle some of the most difficult problems facing society today. Yet it is the unique skills and backgrounds of each engineer, and the ability to work together as a team with integrity, perseverance, and a commitment to the highest standards, that will lead to the next big breakthrough.

Awards

2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award:The University of Rochester has received this award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.This National award honors the University’s efforts to weave diversity and inclusion “into the work being done every day” across campus. See the Newscenter’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion article for more information.

America’s Best Employers for Diversity: The Medical Center is included in Forbes’ annual list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity.” The list highlights 500 employers most identified by employees as being dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Those on the list have the most diverse boards, as well as the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives.