Strategies for Improving Diversity and Inclusion in an Engineering Department

Harriet Hartman, Tiago Forin, Beena Sukumaran, Stephanie Farrell, Parth Bhavsar, Kauser Jahan, Ralph Dusseau, Theresa Bruckerhoff, Peter Cole, Stephanie Lezotte, Danilo Zeppilli, Danielle Macey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Rowan University is part of a growing and expanding college at Rowan University. The overwhelming majority of CEE students are white, male, and from middle class backgrounds, but previous efforts to increase diversity have been unsuccessful. In June 2016, the CEE Department was awarded a 5-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to promote diversity and inclusivity, and has just completed its first year of intensive efforts to accomplish this. Efforts focus on increasing the number of underserved students in the program, including women and underrepresented minorities, addressing both visible (race/ethnicity and sex/gender) and nonvisible elements of diversity (including students who identify as LGBTQ, students who are first-generation-to-college, students with disabilities, and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds) and promoting inclusivity through its curriculum, pedagogy, and climate. The paper presents results from (1) revisions to the admissions process; (2) a baseline survey of the climate for inclusivity perceived by students and faculty; (3) the development of a peer mentoring program; and (4) the development of inclusive pedagogy in sophomore and junior curriculum offerings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04018016
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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