ASEE honors college with Bronze award for diversity and inclusion

ASEE Diversity Recognition BadgeThe American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) has honored the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University with the Bronze Award for its diversity and inclusion efforts.

The college is one of 25 higher education institutions receiving the award in 2020, which is a badge of honor the college can carry through 2022. The awards recognize significant, measurable progress in increasing diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes.

Dean David McLean and Melissa Burt, assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion, will receive the award at the 2020 conference of the ASEE Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity scheduled in January.

Building on a sense of belonging

“Creativity and innovation are fostered in environments where diversity and inclusion exist,” said Burt, whose position in the college was created in 2018. “Incorporation of these values into our teaching and research programs is essential to ensure the knowledge created and the students we graduate are connected to our global society. We are continuing to make progress and align our efforts to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are welcomed and have a sense of belonging.”

“Our college is making a concerted effort to integrate diversity and inclusion principles into everything we do,” McLean said. “We still have work to do, but we are moving in the right direction to ensure that all feel welcome and to prepare our students for an increasingly complex world.”

Melissa Burt, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Melissa Burt, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Among the college’s efforts in the past several years:

  • Created a Women in Engineering Mentoring and Professional Development Program that attracted about 70 students in February 2020.
  • Created a new Outreach and Equity Coordinator position within the college’s Don and Susie Law Engineering Success Center.
  • Created college-wide professional development for strategies to address sexual harassment and improve workplace climate.
  • Created a three-part professional development workshop series – “Increasing Inclusivity in the WSCOE Classroom for Faculty/Staff” – in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity.
  • Formed a college-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and five departmental diversity and inclusion committees.
  • Invested in faculty professional development by attending diversity conferences within engineering
  • Provided support for student diversity organizations.
  • Cultivated and built relationships with faculty at Minority Serving Institutions with atmospheric science and engineering programs for the recruitment of students and research collaborations.

In 2017, McLean was one of the 220 signatories of the ASEE Deans Diversity Pledge, which committed the colleges to developing a diversity plan and creating at least one activity associated with K-12 or community colleges. The college’s Diversity Strategic Plan aims to enhance the diversity of students, staff and faculty in the college and promote a culture of inclusiveness.