Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
No matter who you are or where you come from, the School of Mechanical Engineering wants to empower you to achieve your highest level of success. Since 2009, our retention rates of underrepresented minorities has been 100%, and our 6-year graduation rate has been 94.3%. Purdue ME actively seeks to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives aimed at creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for its students, staff and faculty. A welcoming culture in ME leads to increasing the academic and professional success of our underrepresented minority students (URMs), women, LGBTQ, international, and all other identities of students, staff and faculty, as well as acknowledging their authentic experiences while they pursue our program.
What programs and organizations are available to support me in my development as an engineer?
Purdue Engineering has numerous programs, organizations, and initiatives to support your development as an engineer. College of Engineering Diversity Initatives include:
- Minority Engineering Program: Established in 1974, our programs have been nationally recognized and replicated to advance engineering learning, discovery, and engagement in fulfillment of the Land Grant promise through outreach, recruitment, and retention of historically underrepresented students in their pursuit to become extraordinary Purdue engineers.
- Women in Engineering Program: From mentoring to career development, WIEP continually encourages current and future women engineering students by providing interesting and engaging programming relevant to their lives. WIEP programs are a place to learn, discover, and explore aspects of engineering and connect with others who are also interested. They are a place of encouragement, support, and positive perspectives for those who are interested in following their dreams by pursuing an engineering degree
- Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advancement Leadership in Engineering (IDEAL Engineering): The former Diversity Action Committee was reconstituted as IDEAL to seek out inclusion, diversity, and equity advancement opportunities across CoE students, staff, and faculty. It also researches best practices and policies and proposes practical recommendations for action to the Engineering Leadership Team.
Student Diversity Organizations include:
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES): AISES is the only professional society established by and for American Indian and Alaska Natives that specifically emphasizes lifelong learning and educational achievement by utilizing cultural aspects with STEM. AISES also supports early-, mid-, and executive-level professional development, mentoring, networking, community service, and awards programs and initiatives.
- Latinos in Science and Engineering: Latinos in Science and Engineering provides a strong sense of community among all Latinos. The mission of this chapter is to promote, cultivate, and honor excellence in education and leadership among Latinos in STEM. The vision is a future where Latinos are leaders in the engineering and science world.
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): Establishes a family environment and a learning community that encourages positive growth and stability, and is committed to strengthening the “Pipeline to Success,” continuing to reach back to middle and high school students and to reach out to alumni.
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers: Leading, molding, and representing the Hispanic Community in the professional world while embracing the diversity of the Purdue community and providing an environment for personal and professional development and socializing.
- Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE): The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) is dedicated to the advancement of Asian heritage scientists and engineers in education and employment so that they can achieve their full career potential in their respective careers. SASE provides cultural events to promote and celebrate diversity to prepare members for the global business world. SASE also engages in community service by offering opportunities for members to contribute to the local communities.
- Society of Women Engineers: Empowers all through an inclusive, innovative, ever-expanding array of high quality programs that provide resources for all generations of women in technical fields.
Are there places I can go on campus?
- Purdue University Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging offers a comprehensive list of all available campus resources for undergraduates, graduate students, and staff/faculty.
- Black Cultural Center
- Latino Cultural Center
- Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Center
- Native American Educational and Cultural Center
- International Students and Scholars
- Disability Resource Center
- Veterans Success Center
How do we have difficult conversations?
People are often inexperienced at interacting with others who differ from them (e.g., based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and many other characteristics), and they “naturally” flock to similar others. In addition, cultural stereotypes about many groups are learned and reinforced across our lifetimes. These stereotypes can influence people’s feelings and behaviors, and often in very subtle ways that escape our conscious awareness. This series of videos offers an easy on-ramp to engage in those discussions, using real-life situations found at Purdue.
What about the faculty perspective?
Check out this roundtable with Purdue ME's Black faculty members. They offer insight into what it was like coming up, and how they work to foster a culture of collaboration.
Profs. James Gibert and Tahira Reid Smith recently authored a paper in Science that offers insight into how to be purposely inclusive in your research. The biggest takeaway? Be intentional: not just in your interactions, but in considering who your research will end up helping.
Who can I reach out to?
Purdue's Office of Institutional Equity offers a place to reach out with your diversity-related questions or concerns.
If it's specifically ME-related, contact Purdue ME's diversity committee at MEdiversity@purdue.edu.
Many thanks to our 2022-2023 ME DEI Taskforce: Ajay Malshe (Co-chair), Patricia Davies, David Warsinger, Klod Kokini, George Chiu, Steve Son, Brandon Boyd (Co-chair), Albert Patrick