Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council


DEI Suggestion Box

The College of Engineering is committed to fostering a welcoming equitable and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the College. To lead our efforts in this area, in November of 2018 the College established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council made up of faculty, staff, and students. The committee has organized a series of Listening Posts through the 2019 spring semester to gather input about the climate in the College of Engineering in small group setting. Please see the Listening Post Dates and Locations tab for more information.

NEW - DEI Council Listening Post Summary, This document summarizes the feedback received at 15 different
Listening Posts during the Spring semester of 2019

Proposed Council Charge

  • Provide leadership within the College of Engineering to promote and achieve a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially racial/ethnic and gender diversity, as evidenced by the College’s policies and practices;
  • Assess the current state of the College of Engineering climate for DEI;
  • Lead the creation of the College of Engineering’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan with input from faculty, staff, and students; oversee implementation of the Action Plan; assess the effectiveness of outcomes of the Action Plan; and
  • Advise the College about strategies and best practices related to recruitment and retention of female and underrepresented faculty, staff, and students.


Council Members (2018-2019)

Michelle Scherer Co-chair, Professor, faculty at-large member
Jan Waterhouse  Co-chair, Director of Human Resources
Nicole Grosland  Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Erwei Bai    DEO of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Joseph Henry Outreach and Recruitment, Office of Graduate Inclusion, Graduate College
Tracy Peterson  Director of Diversity Programs and K-12 Outreach
Josh Atcher  Director of Tutoring, Academic advisor, staff at-large member
Marisol Contreras Graduate student, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Megan England Undergraduate student, Electrical Engineering
Kristina Venzke Administrative Services Specialist for Diversity and Outreach Programs, Dean’s Office
Florence Boldridge External Advisor, Former Director of the Diversity and Women’s Programs at the University of Kansas School of Engineering


Date Time Location

Listening Post Group

2/18/2019 4:00-5:00 3220 SC

Female Grad Students

2/27/2019 4:00-5:00 3220 SC

URM Undergrad Students

3/5/2019 12:00-1:00 3220 SC

Female Faculty

3/7/2019 4:00-5:00 UCC Conf Room B

LGBTQ – Fac, staff, students

3/13/2019 4:00-5:00 3220 SC

URM Grad Students

3/13/2019 12:00-1:00 3220 SC

Instructional Track Faculty – all ranks

3/27/2019 5:00-6:00 3220 SC

Female Undergrad Students

4/2/2019 12:00-1:00 3220 SC

URM – Faculty and Staff

4/4/2019 12:00-1:00 3210 SC

Asst Professors – Tenure Track

4/18/2019 5:00-6:00 3210 SC

Open Undergrad

4/22/2019 4:00-5:00 3220 SC

Open Grad

4/25/2019 12:00-1:00 3210 SC

Open Faculty

4/26/2019 12:00-1:00 3220 SC

Female Staff

4/29/2019 4:00-5:00 3220 SC

International Grad and Undergrad

5/1/2019 12:00-1:00 3220 SC

Open Staff

College of Engineering DEI Initiatives

The College of Engineering (COE) and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Council are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for COE faculty, staff, and students.

In the Spring of 2019, The DEI council invited proposals for faculty, staff, or student led DEI initiatives within the College of Engineering for up to $5,000 each. The next call for proposals is expected to be announced early in the Fall 2019 semester.

Spring 2019 DEI Initiatives Award Winners

Awardee Award amount Project Description
Black Girls Do Science $1,335

Support for the student organization NSBE’s program Black Girls Do Science. Black Girls Do Science is a one-day program encouraging underrepresented girls in 4th-8th grades to pursue a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field.

Lactation Room Supplies $427

Emergency supplies for the lactation room in Seamans Center.

Female Alliance of Civil Engineers (FACE) $750

The Female Alliance of Civil Engineers is a new student organization that began in November of 2018. The funding is for posters, apparel, and events to promote awareness of this new organization.

Society for Women Engineers (SWE) $1,000

Support of the SWE High School Conference, which invites high school juniors and seniors to campus to explore the many opportunities a degree in engineering can offer.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) $1,800

Support for WiSE programming for U of I women in STEM, including social, service learning events and personal development seminars.

Continental Crossings $2,000

Funding to support underrepresented student participation in the Continental Crossings service learning project in Bolivia.

Womxn’s Summit $600

Funding to support the Womxn’s Summit for underrepresented women to address issues of self-identity and coalition and to provide a space for women to feel empowered to impact social change.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) $1,367

Support for underrepresented students for conference travel