Engineering-Deans-Diversity-Initiative_logo_stackedCollege of Engineering & Computing Interim Dean Ranu Jung joined more than 100 of her colleagues across the country and signed a letter pledging to increase diversity in engineering.

Jung made her promise as a signatory of a letter released by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Aug. 4 during the White House’s inaugural Demo Day. The ASEE letter sights the gains that have been made in participation in engineering among women, Latinos, African-Americans and Native Americans throughout the most recent decades but acknowledges that there is more work to be done.

In signing the letter, Jung has committed the College of Engineering and Computing (COE) to:

  • Develop a diversity plan for engineering programs with the help and input of national organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers – and undertake an annual equity and inclusion climate survey of faculty, students and staff with the goal of assessing and increasing the effectiveness of the diversity plan developed
  • Commit to at least one K-12 or community college pipeline activity with goals and measures to increase diversity and inclusiveness of the engineering student body
  • Commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-Ph.D. granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering
  • Commit to the development and implementation of proactive strategies to increase representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the faculty

“As interim dean for FIU’s College of Engineering & Computing, this is my first national commitment to growing diverse engineering and computing leadership for tomorrow,” Jung said.

Graduating a diverse student body that is reflective of its community has long been a priority of the college. COE currently ranks second in the nation in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics and fifth in the country in bachelor’s degrees awarded to African-Americans.

The College of Engineering and Computing’s Office of Student Access and Success (OSAS) serves and engages students, teachers, families and communities in STEM education. Its stated purpose is to “recruit, retain, graduate and serve an ethnically diverse population” to increase the flow into the engineering pipeline of traditionally underrepresented ethnic and gender groups as well as students with disabilities. Through funding from four National Science Foundation grants, college faculty and OSAS work with a K-16 population by providing teacher training for HS teachers, bridge programs, dual enrollment, scholarships and undergraduate research experience.

These efforts tie in with the university’s Connect4Success dual admission program.

Most recently, the School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) announced a new partnership with Girls Who Code – a national non-profit organization that seeks to inspire, educate and equip girls with computing skills for the 21st century. The program teaches young women – rising high school juniors and seniors – everything from mobile app development to robotics to web design, and participants get a chance to see their products in real life. Participants in this year’s seven-week summer immersion program graduated Aug. 5.

The new initiatives proposed at White House Demo Day pledged increased funding to the Department of Energy (DOE). This is another potential area of impact and further growth for the college, as several current FIU engineering students are participating in DOE-supported projects in conjunction with national labs and the university’s Applied Research Center (ARC).

Building off an established record of success, the College of Engineering and Computing looks to further solidify itself among the top colleges for enhancing access and success for its diverse students, faculty, staff and community.