Dr. Kelly Cross

An Honest Conversation about Diversity and Inclusion in STEM

October 28, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Joyce Cummings Center, Room 140

In 2020 and 2021, we witnessed several examples of social injustice and social unrest. As human beings and educators, we must decide how we want to respond to what happened and how we want to move forward. Calls to improve our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have coincided with the call to update our overall engineering curriculum. Over the years, several initiatives have been launched to address such issues, which primarily attempt to address perceived inadequacies in underrepresented students. However, scarce efforts have been developed to address the engineering culture that has limited the full participation in engineering by women, people of color, or the queer identified. Furthermore, few of us in STEM have the knowledge, skills, or ability to productively engage with issues leading to the marginalization and social unrest.

Rarely do we dare to apply our problem-solving or critical thinking approaches to how we educate or improving DEI efforts. As a result, the goal of this talk is to provide the STEM community with language to have an honest conversation about our individual and collective response to the inequity in STEM and realign our actions to improve engineering education. This impactful workshop will provide definitions and practical examples of key DEI concepts based on holistic interdisciplinary research and within the STEM cultural context. 

About the speaker:

Dr. Kelly Cross

Kelly J. Cross, PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech

Dr. Kelly J. Cross, Assistant Professor in the biomedical Engineering department at Georgia Tech, is a data-informed, transformational mission-focused culturally responsive practitioner, researcher, and educational leader. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2007 and a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2011. Cross completed her doctoral program in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech in 2015 and worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). At the Department of Bioengineering, Dr. Cross worked to redesign the curriculum through the NSF-funded Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant. She is a member of the ASEE Leadership Virtual Community of Practice (LVCP) which organizes and facilitates Safe Zone Training workshops. Dr. Cross has conducted workshops on managing personal bias in STEM, online and in-person, in addition to faculty training on power and privilege. Her research interests include diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, intersectionality, teamwork and communication skills, assessment, and identity construction. Her teaching philosophy focuses on student-centered approaches such as problem-based learning and culturally relevant pedagogy. Dr. Cross’ complimentary professional activities promote inclusive excellence through collaboration. She is an NSF CAREER awardee, delivered multiple distinguished lectures, and has received a national mentoring award.