Crystal City, Virginia
April 29, 2018
April 29, 2018
May 2, 2018
Diversity and Graduate Education
The University of Delaware has had an active Women in Engineering (WIE) program since the early 2000s. The goal of WIE is to foster a warm climate in which all members of the College of Engineering feel welcomed and can be productive. WIE activities have evolved over the years, but in the last decade most of the programming has been planned and executed by the WIE Graduate Student Steering Committee. Sponsored by the dean of engineering and overseen by an associate dean and faculty advisor, the committee is made up of two women graduate-student representatives from each of the seven engineering departments. The committee plans social, networking, and professional-development activities each semester. Examples include a pizza lunch to welcome new women graduate students, “Meet Your Faculty” lunches, career panels, leadership workshops, external speakers, and themed brown-bag lunches. Most activities are open to all women and men graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.
The committee has a formalized structure. Meetings are led by an elected chair and co-chair; the co-chair becomes chair the next year to ensure continuity in leadership. To improve effectiveness, in recent years the committee has become more structured in its operating procedures. For example, in 2015 the committee initiated an annual half-day retreat to orient new members, discuss challenges, and brainstorm new ideas and activities. In 2017 the committee instituted membership term limits and a common process across departments for nominating new representatives. The committee has developed assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of their work.
This paper will describe the origins and evolution of the program and the committee, committee activities and how they align with program goals, progress, challenges, and future plans.
Doty, H., & Cook, L. P. (2018, April), The Women in Engineering Graduate Student Steering Committee at the University of Delaware Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29587
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