The many faces of excellence

Many pathways lead to education and a life’s work in engineering, and we are committed to ensuring parity and opportunity each step of the way. I am very pleased to share news of several developments here in the College that are helping us to diversify the face of engineering.

In January, longtime MSE faculty member Oscar Dubon accepted my invitation to serve in a newly created post as Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion. Professor Dubon is widely recognized for his deep commitment to issues related to equity and inclusion, coupled with an abiding passion for excellence. He will be providing top-level oversight and coordination of our initiatives to expand diversity in the College.

Oscar Dubon, Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. PEG SKORPINSKI PHOTOOscar Dubon, Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.
These initiatives are being driven by a comprehensive strategy that addresses diversity at each stage of the education lifecycle. First, we aim to attract more underrepresented students – including women, ethnic minorities, students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and others – to the College. We recognize that financial aid is a key element of our success, and we are identifying ways to improve access to an affordable education.

Second, we are creating a more welcoming and supportive climate at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and we are offering all of our students more opportunities to develop leadership abilities and strengthen the College as a learning community. Lastly, we are boosting our efforts to attract and retain more women and underrepresented minorities as faculty members.

Further in this issue of Innovations, you’ll read about IEOR Professor Rhonda Righter’s mentoring of 35 middle-school girls; what we’re doing to fire up interest in computer science among high school students; and our new energy engineering major, which enrolls its first cohort of students next fall.

It’s no secret. We’re passionate about engineering – the personal rewards it can bring as well as the difference it can make in the world. The stories in this issue illustrate the great pleasure we take in welcoming others into our community.

As always, I invite your thoughts and ideas.

S. Shankar Sastry
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering
Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies
Email Dean Sastry

Topics: Education & outreach, Students, Faculty