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School of Engineering

Philanthropy supports diversity and inclusion

Monday, December 7, 2020
The Tufts community affirms the School of Engineering’s commitment to building a more just, equitable, inclusive, and diverse culture within the School and across Tufts.
Tufts campus with Boston skyline in the background

Building greater diversity in the field of engineering is a top priority for Tufts School of Engineering (SOE), and an essential part of preparing 21st century engineers who are ready to lead. This fall, the SOE is taking an exciting step toward fostering a more diverse and inclusive community by creating two new Diversity Program Administrator (DPA) roles at the Center for STEM Diversity.

According to Jianmin Qu, Dean of the School of Engineering and Karol Family Professor, “One of the most effective and forward-looking things that we can do for our school, and STEM fields as a whole, is to prioritize the work of diversity and inclusion at all levels, including faculty, staff, students, and our larger community. Investments like these new staff positions are essential, because they turn goals and aspirations into action.”

Two anonymous donors stepped up with generous contributions to fund two new positions. Both were inspired to help the SOE move forward in its diversity efforts despite a temporary hiring freeze at Tufts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the words of one donor, the gifts are intended to foster understanding and equity at the SOE, and “to build a stronger support system for all students.”

“These new roles are a tremendous gain and hopefully the first of many more like them,” says Dr. Ellise LaMotte, Director of the Center for STEM Diversity. “They give the Center and SOE departments greater capacity to design and implement excellent programming focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity, to engage more students, faculty, and stakeholders, and to build bridges between our Center, SOE departments, and relevant organizations and centers across Tufts.”

Dean of Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor Chris Swan, who is leading the School’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, agrees that the additions will broaden efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion across the SOE. The new positions will bring “much needed expertise in how to best develop and implement programs that make a lasting impact,” he says.

“Fostering a culture of inclusion, where all feel welcomed and supported, is a top priority,” observes one of the anonymous donors. “We know that universities can make a difference, and that investments in programming are a meaningful step down a very long road.”