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A Model for Diversity and Equity

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Mentoring Graduate Students - Diversity and Assessment

Tagged Divisions

Minorities in Engineering and Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.68.1 - 25.68.30

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Paper Authors


Sylvanus N. Wosu University of Pittsburgh

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Sylvanus Wosu is the Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs and Associate Professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh. Wosu's research interests are in the areas of impact physics and engineering of new composite materials, dynamic problems in composites failure, and energy containment and responses of dynamical systems. Wosu is also interested in engineering education with particular interests in development models for effective recruitment, retention, and mentoring of women and under-represented students. Other research interests include experimental investigation of the dynamic failures and crack propagation of cylindrical composite storage tank with particular interests in the development of hydrogen storage tanks, failure behaviors of hydrogen-diffused porous composite materials, and the containment of the associated hydrogen embrittlement. Wosu established an integrative dynamic impact and high speed imaging system at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Mechanical Engineering that is capable of simulating low and high strain rate penetration loading and capturing the dynamic event at two million frames per second. Special sample fixtures he developed are used to study perforation impact and single and multi-mode fracture tests and general characterization of materials failure. His other research interests include experimental nuclear medical physics, laser-based medical physics research in cerebral metabolic pathways of oxygen, petro physics, and petroleum fluid characterization of reservoirs.

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Devdas M. Pai North Carolina A&T State University

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Devdas Pai teaches and conducts research on manufacturing processes and materials engineering. Pai has lead effective education outreach activities under the ERC initiatives and implemented several pre-college programs to motivate and better pre-URM students for STEM careers. He has won several service awards including the NC A&T State University Outstanding Teacher Award for College of Engineering, ASME Region IV Faculty Advisor Award, 1998, and the ASEE College Industry Partnerships Division Best Session Award, 1997.

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Topic/Session: -Issues in recruiting, building and enabling diversity in engineering graduateeducation A MODEL FOR INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE IN GRADUATE ENGINEERING EDUCATIONAbstractBased on pressing national need for workforce diversity and current barriers to under-representedminority students’ (URM) participation in academia, a model for inclusive excellence in engineeringeducation is proposed as a comprehensive data driven plan designed for effective tool for capacity-building. Production of increased number of women and URM graduates in STEM fields is achievedthrough broad-based outreach programs targeted at K-12 school students, community college students,Historical Colleges and Universities, teachers, counselors, parents and administrators. This paper attemptsto frame university’s progress of promoting diversity and inclusive excellence through five broaddimensions or goals across its academic departments and research centers:1. Establish a Multi-Campus Pipeline Framework for a Pre-College to PhD (Identification/ Recruitment) in STEM fields: Institutionally, this means developing an effective model for creating a multi-campus bridge program and academic culture that support the identification and preparation of eligible URM undergraduates for the PhD-track in STEM fields. The academic departments and associated partners are recognizing their roles in creating opportunities for inclusive access for STEM education through pre-college education and outreach programs embedded in faculty research.2. Build a Graduate Student-Centered Community (Mentoring/Retention). Institutionally, this means developing a structure for effective community engagement and mentoring partnership with all stakeholders (graduate students, post-docs, faculty, staff, and administrators) for production of increased number of URM in STEM PhD and postdoctoral programs. University’s academic units and research centers are recognizing their roles in capacity building for STEM workforce pipeline by broadly engaging graduate and undergraduate women and underrepresented minority students in center activities and building strategic relationships for Integrating Research, Education, Outreach and Diversity across partner institutions.3. Create Professional Development Opportunities that Build Community Among Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Faculty Members for school of engineering, it means recognizing its role in capacity building for STEM workforce and engaging women and underrepresented minority faculty in STEM activities.4. Foster an Inclusive academic climate that pays attention to the cultural differences learners bring to the educational experience, a climate that welcomes and engages all of its diversity in the service of students and organizational learning.5. Develop and implement a comprehensive Diversity and Equity Scorecard (DES). Strategically, DES is a comprehensive tool for assessing school-wide progress and effectiveness in meeting its diversity and equity goals of increased access, excellence, retention, scholarship, positive environmental climate, and success of all students and faculty, especially women and underrepresented students and faculty. DES provides the assessment data and outcome-based strategy for improving school effectiveness in closing equity, inclusion or educational outcomes gaps (access, enrollments, retention, excellence, graduation, global preparedness) for all students, and equity gaps (recruitment, retention, scholarship, excellence) for all faculty and staff in a positive environmental climate.Some key performance indicators include high production of women PhDs in engineering. The AmericanSociety for Engineering Education ranked the school as second in North America for percentage ofdoctoral degrees awarded to women in 2009.

Wosu, S. N., & Pai, D. M. (2012, June), A Model for Diversity and Equity Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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