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Diversity & Inclusion


The UD College of Engineering is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all students, faculty, and staff can thrive. A more diverse, equitable, and inclusive College supports academic excellence by expanding the talent pool from which we draw, facilitating creativity and innovation, and helping us better serve a diverse society. To achieve this goal, we seek to identify and break down barriers that have systematically, though often unintentionally, inhibited full participation by all.

Rachel Davidson
Chief Diversity Advocate


No one person or group can achieve inclusive excellence alone. The challenges require ideas, energy, and commitment from all members of the community.

Our Approach


College DEI efforts are coordinated by the College Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which includes: (1) the Chief Diversity Advocate, (2) DEI representative(s) for each department, and (3) Associate Deans/Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO) (or their designees). For more information, see Appendix D of the College of Engineering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update 2023.pdf. To contact the committee, email eg-diversity@udel.edu.


Guiding Principles

  • Engage. The challenges we face require ideas, energy, and buy-in from as many members of the College community as possible. We seek to engage everyone at the level of commitment they can offer.
  • Coordinate. By coordinating among the Dean’s office, departments, the UD Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), the UD ADVANCE Institute, and others at the university level, we ensure efforts are aligned and efficient.
  • Be strategic. Our approach is data and research driven, systematic and analytical, setting goals, targeting interventions, and assessing progress to be as effective and efficient as possible.
  • Integrate. Rather than operating as a separate stream of activities, diversity, equity, and inclusion must be an integral part of normal College operations – recruiting, advising, and teaching students; recruiting and supporting faculty and staff. This is the only way to get to the source, rather than symptom, of some issues, and to ensure that changes are institutionalized and sustainable.
  • Communicate. We seek transparency and openness for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts so that we can uncover and include as many good ideas as possible, engage as many community members as possible, and ultimately take advantage of momentum from early successes to facilitate later ones.


The following papers describe research conducted in the College as we strive to advance understanding of diversity and inclusion, and to support research-based approaches to it.


  • Malladi, H.; Headley, M. G.; Lottero-Perdue, P. S.; & Buckley, J. (2023, June), Experienced Teaching Assistants’ Perceptions of a Simulated Environment for Facilitating Discussions with Individual Student Avatars from a Design Team in Conflict. Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, Maryland. asee.org/43545 (This paper won first place, Best Paper Award, First-Year Programs Division, 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition)


  • Buckley JM, Dearolf L, Lattanza L. The Perry Initiative: Building the Pipeline for Women in Orthopaedics. JAAOS-Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 30.8 (2022): 358-363.
  • Malladi, H. Presenter; & Buckley, J. (2022, July), Full Paper: An Investigation of Team Conflicts in a Large-Enrollment Introductory Engineering Course. Paper presented at 2022 First-Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference, East Lansing, Michigan. asee.org/42226. (This paper won first place for the 2022 First-Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference Best Paper Award.)
  • Headley, M. G.; Buckley, J.; & Malladi, H. (2022, August). Within-team Task Choices: Comparison of Team-based Design Project Engagement in Online and Face-to-face Instruction, Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Minneapolis, Minnesota. asee.org/40990
  • Malladi, H.; Enszer, J.; & Buckley, J. (2022, August), Work In Progress: Evolution of A Near-Peer Co-Instructional Model for A Large-Enrollment First-Year Engineering Course, Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Minneapolis, Minnesota. asee.org/41459





Programs and Groups

The College of Engineering seeks to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff through the implementation of programs to assist in the achievement of academic, career and personal goals.

Pre-college Students


  • Resources to Inspire Successful Engineers (RISE) – Program to recruit and support success among the undergraduate students from underrepresented groups
  • McNair Scholars – Federally funded program to help prepare low-income, first-generation college students and students from underrepresented groups for graduate study

Student Organizations

COE Student Group Funding

This mechanism is partially funded through a generous donation from JP Morgan Chase.

Graduate Students

  • Women In Engineering – Group of women engineering graduate students supported by the Dean’s office to help promote the participation and success of women in engineering.
  • Association for Computing Machinery – Women (ACM-W) Also known as CISters. A group of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty that support women in technology-driven fields at UD.
  • GEM – Fellowship program that offers opportunities for underrepresented minority students to obtain M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering through a program of paid summer internships and graduate financial assistance.
  • Bridge to the Doctorate – Funding and programming to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue and complete graduate study in STEM.
  • Graduate Student Advising Resources
  • COE EmPOWER – A student-led peer mentoring initiative for graduate students.
  • National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) –  Attend webinars, workshops, or multi-week courses. Or sign up for weekly emails with helpful tips on how to be an effective faculty member. UD has an institutional membership, so it is free for all faculty to join. Just go to the website and click join!


K-12 Teachers


To assess progress towards our goals, evaluate interventions, and identify both successes and areas requiring more attention, we are regularly monitoring (1) the demographic makeup of the faculty, students, and staff in the College of Engineering and (2) the climate within the College.

Demographic Data

Demographic data are updated each fall. They include both data on absolute numbers of faculty, students, and staff, as well as comparisons to our peer institutions on these metrics.

Additional demographic data is available for the University of Delaware as a whole through the Institutional Research Office: UD Data on Diversity.

Focus group studies

In collaboration with the UD Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP), we conducted focus group studies of College of Engineering undergraduates (2017), graduate students (2018), and staff (2018). The aims of the focus group studies were to:

  • Examine perceptions of diversity and inclusion among the students and staff in the College
  • Identify strengths, areas in need of improvement, and differences in perceptions between majority and underrepresented groups
  • Provide the foundation for development of climate survey instruments to be deployed periodically in the future to track progress

Summaries of the studies are available here:

Climate surveys

Surveys developed based on the focus group results will be deployed for undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff every two years to assess the climate in the College. Perceptions of the faculty will be captured using the UD ADVANCE climate survey.

Recent Highlights

Professor Jenni Buckley

Engineering (verb) Diversity

Applying Engineering Thinking to Closing the Gender Gap in Engineering

Jenni Buckley, PhD
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware
Co-Founder and Board President, The Perry Initiative

Watch Recording

Stephanie Farrell

Research-Based Strategies for Creating Inclusive Learning Environments in Engineering

Dr. Stephanie Farrell
Professor and Founding Department Head
Department of Experiential Engineering Education (ExEEd)
Rowan University

Watch Recording

UD students on the RISE

UD students on the RISE

UD Engineering’s Resources to Inspire Successful Engineers program continues momentum with new director, reinvigorated summer academy.


Celebrating Women Engineers


The University of Delaware is committed to the success of women in engineering. Here are just a few of the women who set the course for the engineers of today and tomorrow.