Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Mechanical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University has initiated a Taskforce to enhance diversity, inclusion, and equity.
I am a member of the Mechanical Engineering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) TaskForce. We have 4 subcommittees: Outreach, Mentorship, Representation, and Education and Training. The following describe the initiatives that I am currently involved with.
I am the Chair of the Outreach subcommittee. Our goal is to support and participate in outreach activities on CMU campus as well as throughout Pittsburgh. As a first course of action, we surveyed the students and faculty about existing outreach opportunities on campus and in Pittsburgh to identify potential partners. We compiled that list and keep our community updated through a mailing list. We also recently kicked off the MEOS (Mechanical Engineering Outreach Stars) program. The MEOS program is a tiered system to reward and incentivize student groups and research labs to participate in outreach activities. The top tiers prioritize long-standing outreach activities to under-represented minorities. We awarded 48 MEOS Awards for our inaugural launch of the program. We also have a MEOS grant to fund the purchase of supplies for outreach activities.
The goal of the Mentorship subcommittee is to encourage and increase retention of minorities in STEM across the ranks of academia. Much of the problems surrounding a lack of retention revolve around people not having a sense of community and not having resources available for their specific needs. We are identifying current resources available at CMU for minorities across undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. We recently started a professional development seminar series, which has included topics such as Networking and Negotiation! We also initiated a peer mentoring program, where each level (undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs) can find and be mentors.