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Cal Poly EE/CPE Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Project

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Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled


Davis, California

Publication Date

April 30, 2020

Start Date

April 30, 2020

End Date

October 10, 2020

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Tina Smilkstein Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Tina Smilkstein received her MS and PhD from UC Berkeley in 2003 and 2007 respectively. Her undergraduate work was done at Nanzan University in Nagoya Japan. After spending time in industry in Japan she returned to the US and did her graduate work. Her main interests are in integrated circuits, medical technology, and creating a successful environment for all students.

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Jissell Christine Jose California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo

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Jissell Jose is a 4th year electrical engineering major at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, graduating in December 2020. She serves as the Academic Chair for the EE/CPE Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Project at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo,

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Vicente Jesus Rios


Maria Cortelyou Pieroni California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Fourth-Year Electrical Engineering student at California Polytechnic Univeristy

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The lack of visible, swift and meaningful response by our school in response to, among other things, racist events, in many cases hurt students more than the events themselves. In response to seeing students in my classes struggle with feeling unprotected and less-than, I formed the EE/CPE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project. “The Project”’s goals were to give students a voice, educate both students and faculty, be visible and to provide services. An example of giving students a voice is the letter they wrote to the EE and CPE chairs asking them to sign a public letter condemning a local racist event. An example of educating faculty and students are our guest speakers on, for example, Title IX changes and our conversations between students and faculty on things that the other don’t realize. An example of being visible is a bulletin board we’ve been given near the EE and CPE offices, student Winter holiday decoration party (instead of our usual Christmas decorations), Coming out day cake party, transfer student welcome party, and a poster signed by many present students to incoming students on how all new students are welcome. Another reason we did the poster was to remind present students to be good to each other and have them rededicate themselves to that. An example of a service is our lending library (being set up now) for students that have trouble paying for textbooks. The group has been active for two years. This year our goals are to capture student and faculty experiences and try to share those to foster a better understanding of the student experience. This paper documents our observations of what the club has done for students and faculty.

Smilkstein, T., & Jose, J. C., & Rios, V. J., & Pieroni, M. C. (2020, April), Cal Poly EE/CPE Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Project Paper presented at Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled, Davis, California.

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