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All members of the McKelvey School of Engineering community are valuable contributors to the culture and community at Washington University in St. Louis.
There has been increased dialogue around equity, diversity and inclusion; however, depending on lived experiences, words hold different meanings for different people. It’s not our intention to define these terms for others, but rather to create a shared understanding and common language.
What is equity, diversity and inclusion?
- Equity promotes “justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedure, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.” In McKelvey Engineering, our goal is to provide everyone the opportunity to achieve the same level of success regardless of background and privilege.
- Diversity aims to create a community composed of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, ages and socioeconomic classes. McKelvey Engineering is making efforts to ensure our community includes members of diverse backgrounds.
- Inclusion will ensure that all are invited to contribute to the development and direction of McKelvey Engineering. A key element of inclusion is the perception of belonging, safety and membership for all.
We are developing new programs, policies and resources, but most importantly, we are listening. By working together, we can enact change.
Engineering Diversity News
Why it's critical to act now
First, it’s the right thing to do.
Second, research has shown innovation, complex problem solving and creativity require a diversity of thought and ideas, which can best be cultivated by the presence of students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds.
If everyone on a team has the same lived experiences and way of thinking, then the approaches and solutions they’d develop would be similar. There is no shortage of talented individuals from different races, ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, ages and socioeconomic classes. It’s unacceptable to waste this vast and diverse array of talent, and it’s our job as engineering leaders and educators to establish pipelines of access to leverage it.
Moreover, populations who are underrepresented in the engineering field currently make up the majority of kindergarten students in our nation. Without actively establishing pipelines of access and success for diverse cohorts of students through post-graduate education, we have little hope maintaining an innovative, economically competitive and secure future.
Education, Engineering & Race Seminar Series
Carlotta Berry, Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, will present at the latest event in the Education, Engineering & Race Seminar Series.
Berry will discuss "My STEM is for the streets: Strategies to normalize and diversify STEM by bringing it to the masses" at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Supporting LGBTQ students
WashU has earned five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, a tool that measures LGBTQ programs, policies and practices at more than 400 institutions of higher learning throughout the United States.
The typical college-aged questions of “Who will I hang out with?” and “Will I fit in?” are magnified for LGBTQIA students. McKelvey Engineering is proud to provide our students with a safe, supportive space to be their true selves.
SHPE 2022 National Convention
“I am extremely grateful for the support we received from the McKelvey School of Engineering in getting 17 students to the convention — six more than last year. This allowed more students to reap the opportunities of such an invaluable convention.”
Gustavo De Paiva, co-president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at WashU.
Our school seeks to produce new knowledge that changes the world by promoting independent inquiry in engineering research and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration. We affirm our responsibility to promote equity and diversity as well as to cultivate an inclusive environment. We acknowledge that our school’s mission may only be achieved by leveraging the diversity of our lived experiences and cultures.
To cultivate an environment where Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is indispensable to the pursuit of excellence and distinction and that enables our faculty, staff, and students to achieve their full potential with intentional practices that respect the humanity of all.
- For students
- The Center for Diversity and Inclusion supports and advocates for undergraduate, graduate and professional students from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community partners, and promotes dialogue and social change among all students.
- The Ann W. and Spencer T. Olin Chancellor’s Fellowship (OCF) is an elite cohort of outstanding graduate students with diverse backgrounds and from varied disciplines. The OCF is committed to promoting diversity in all dimensions including cultural, socioeconomic, gender, racial, ethnic, geographical, philosophical/religious, and other distinctive backgrounds and perspectives.
- Disabilities Resources is where students with disabilities or suspected disabilities can request accommodations and services (such as additional time on an exam or note-taking ) to ensure equal access to the programs and services of the university.
- The Office for Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life is an initiative at Washington University to encourage interfaith understanding, support the diverse religious, spiritual and ethical communities on campus, and facilitate interfaith student leadership development.
- The Office of International Students and Scholars assists international students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Resources and support include English-language courses, as well as information on immigration and visa aid.
- The Office of Military and Veteran Services is Washington University’s focal point for military and veteran matters, including transitioning military-connected students into higher education, providing and connecting students with programs and services, and partnering across campus and in the community.
- The TRiO Program Support Services supports the increase of university students who are first in their families to go to college, low-income by federal guidelines, or have a learning or physical disability. The TRiO program provides individual support to TRiO Scholars through collaborative approaches to ensure enriching, engaging, full and fulfilling transition, retention, graduation and post-graduation experiences and success.
- Physical accessibility resources on campus include accessible parking and classroom access, as well as medical escorts.
- For faculty and staff
- The Academy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was created for staff and faculty members, to become the university’s ‘primary forum for changing climate and culture’ by housing diversity and inclusion resources, including training resources, support for campus affinity groups, and annual events and recognition ceremonies.
- Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Bias Policies support and protect diversity and inclusion at the university. Find a list of faculty, student and staff policies, as well as general anti-discrimination policies.
- The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity focuses primarily on faculty diversity and development, consulting and collaborating with Washington University’s schools on their diversity and inclusion goals.
- SafeZones Training for Faculty and Staff offers faculty, graduate teaching assistants and staff inclusivity training to promote safer and more secure living, learning and research environments for WashU’s LGBTQIA* students.
- The Campus Diversity Collaborative (CDC) encourages campus conversation on issues of diversity and inclusion, and fosters a support network for WashU professionals who are passionate about these issues.
- The Preferred Name Policy offers suggestions to faculty on supporting students' use of preferred-name, as well as links to pronunciation guides that may be helpful when learning the names of international students. Faculty, staff, and students are permitted to use a preferred name on most university-related records without a legal name change.
- Anti-discrimination and anti-bias policies developed by the university aim to help guide faculty and staff in providing an inclusive environment for all members of the community.
- Faculty Information from Disability Resources has prepared information and a model syllabus statement for faculty to assist in supporting disabled students in the classroom.
Share your feedback
The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee is eager to hear from members of the McKelvey Engineering community. Students, faculty and staff are invited to share potential programming ideas, suggestions for future EDI initiatives or feedback about current programs.
This form is NOT to be used to report bias incidents. To report incidents of bias, prejudice or discrimination involving students, complete the Student Conduct Incident Report form. For incidents involving faculty or staff, contact WashU HR, the university's Title IX coordinator and/or the Office of the Ombuds.