Diversity & Inclusion

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Welcome Statement from the Associate Dean for Diversity

The UD College of Engineering is committed to broadening participation and fostering inclusion among its students, faculty, and staff. A more diverse and inclusive College supports academic excellence by expanding the talent pool we draw from, facilitating creativity and innovation, and helping us better serve a diverse society. To achieve this goal, we seek to identify and break down barriers that have systematically, though often unintentionally, inhibited full participation by all. We have a broad-based effort underway, with more than 40 faculty, staff, students actively and meaningfully engaged through four working groups focused on faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff, respectively. Suggestions and questions are welcome. Please contact the appropriate group leader.

Rachel Davidson
Associate Dean for Diversity

Leadership for Working Groups

Faculty: Professor Michael Chajes

Graduate Students: Professor Michael Santare and Professor Stephanie Law

Undergraduate Students: Professor Jenni Buckley

Staff: Deirdre Martin and Christine Shinn

University-Level Partners

Our Approach

Guiding Principles

  • Engage. The challenges we face require ideas, energy, and buy-in from as many members of the College community as possible. We seek to engage everyone at the level of commitment they can offer.
  • Divide and coordinate. By partitioning responsibility among the four groups and empowering each to define the challenges and propose solutions, we establish accountability and allow each group to focus on a more manageable task. Coordinating among the four groups, with everyday College operations and with the Vice Provost for Diversity, UD ADVANCE, and others at the university level, we ensure the groups’ efforts are aligned and efficient.
  • Be strategic. Our approach is data and research driven, systematic and analytical, setting goals, targeting interventions, and assessing progress to be as effective and efficient as possible.
  • Integrate. Rather than operating as a separate stream of activities, diversity and inclusion must be an integral part of normal College operations – recruiting, advising, and teaching students; recruiting and supporting faculty and staff. This is the only way to get to the source, rather than symptom, of some issues, and to ensure that changes are institutionalized and sustainable.
  • Communicate. We seek transparency and openness for diversity and inclusion efforts so that we can uncover and include as many good ideas as possible, engage as many community members as possible, and ultimately take advantage of momentum from early successes to facilitate later ones.

Programs and Groups

The College of Engineering seeks to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff through the implementation of programs to assist in the achievement of academic, career and personal goals.

Pre-college Students

  • FAME/UD summer residential program – A 4-week summer residential program for high school students to encourage increased participation of underrepresented students in engineering, technology, science, and mathematics (STEM) professions.
  • College of Engineering K12 Outreach – Engaging and exciting programs for grades K-12 based upon cutting-edge research conducted by UD faculty, staff and students. Included in our programs and events are: Art & Engineering; Camps; Competitions; Lending Library for Teachers; Onsite classroom programs; Conference presentations and more. The model is to excite and engage the students in the K-12 space as well as the people around them, parents, teachers and informal providers, to create a supported opportunity for experiencing engineering education. One of the unexpected outcomes of working with K-12 Engineering for the students, faculty and staff is the training in educational pedagogy and protection of minors that is a generalizable skill that each participant takes with them.
  • Ambassadors for Civil Engineering Students (ACES) – College students who serve as admission representatives for high school students considering majoring in civil or environmental engineering at UD.
  • Mechanical Engineering Student Squad (MESS) – A student organization that seeks to make a positive impact through recruiting, retaining, and advancing mechanical engineers.

Other university pre-college programs: https://www.udel.edu/apply/undergraduate-admissions/precollege-programs/


  • McNair Scholars – Federally funded program to help prepare low-income, first-generation college students and students from underrepresented groups for graduate study


Student Organizations



COE Student Group Funding

This mechanism is partially funded through a generous donation from JP Morgan Chase.


Graduate Students

  • Women In Engineering – Group of women engineering graduate students supported by the Dean’s office to help promote the participation and success of women in engineering.
  • Association for Computing Machinery – Women (ACM-W) Also known as CISters. A group of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty that support women in technology-driven fields at UD.
  • GEM – Fellowship program that offers opportunities for underrepresented minority students to obtain M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering through a program of paid summer internships and graduate financial assistance.
  • Bridge to the Doctorate – Funding and programming to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue and complete graduate study in STEM.


  • UD-ADVANCE – NSF funded institute aimed at increasing opportunities for UD’s women faculty
  • Dual Career Program – UD offers assistance to the spouses and partners of faculty who are moving to the University of Delaware
  • Family friendly policies – UD supports a family friendly environment through multiple policies and programs.

K-12 Teachers

Recent Highlights

Spectrum Scholars

The University of Delaware and partner JPMorgan Chase launched Spectrum Scholars, a college-to-career program for students with autism, Monday, Sept. 24, in Alfred Lerner Hall on the Newark campus.

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