UNO wins $1.2 million NSF grant for diversity in engineering
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a Center for Equity and Diversity in Engineering. The new center aims to foster the educational and professional development of a diverse pool of engineering talent at the metropolitan public research university.
“The United States has lost global prominence in science and engineering, in part because of the existence of barriers that prevent access and success in post-secondary STEM education,” said UN President John Nicklow, a professor of civil engineering. and the Principal Investigator of the grant. “For students from historically underrepresented groups, these barriers can often be insurmountable. This center will strive to provide pathways for these students to meet the need for a more diverse and inclusive engineering workforce in the region.
The Center for Equity and Diversity in Engineering within the UN Dr. Robert A. Savoie College of Engineering will pursue four specific objectives:
- Improve the diversity of UN engineering enrollments to better reflect the demographics of the metropolitan area;
- increase first-year retention rates among historically underrepresented engineering students;
- improve the graduation rate of historically underrepresented engineering students; and
- increase the percentage of engineering graduates who are women.
The center will serve all engineering students and faculty, but will pay particular attention to improving the recruitment, retention, and graduation of women and engineers from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
In order to achieve the center’s goals, the University plans to recruit a diverse engineering student body and faculty, implement effective and equitable academic support programs, and establish an engineering learning community that creates a culture of trust, belonging and pride.