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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mechanical Engineering's work on diversity, equity, and inclusion is well under way.  Since the June 1, 2020 “Message of Support”, signed by over 100 ME faculty, staff, and students, we have been researching, thinking, and collaborating to forge a new pathway forward.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and Sounding Board

The DEI Committee is identifying specific actions and activities to create a more just and equitable ME community around, for example, student and faculty recruitment and retention. DEI Committee members will engage with and support student organizations promoting community and inclusion, participate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities across Stanford, and regularly update the broader ME community on Committee discussions and actions. Formation of the committee has been just a first step, and an important role of this initial Committee will be to establish long-term practices to ensure the continued viability of the Committee itself and an ongoing process for departmental improvement. The Committee meets bi-weekly, and members are expected to commit 2-4 hours/week to this effort on an ongoing basis. Committee members are expected to participate for at least one year. Initial members of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee are shown below.  The DEI Committee meets every other Friday at 1 PM:  Sept 4, Sept 18, Oct 2, Oct 16, Oct 30, Nov 6, Nov 20.  Contact Co-Chairs Prof. Sheri Sheppard or Prof. Arun Majumdar if you are interested in attending, or if you would like to recommend a discussion topic.

We envision the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Sounding Board as a larger body, also with representation across the department, that gives periodic feedback to the DEI Committee on its activities and initiatives and helps to engage the department as a whole in this process. The DEI Committee will provide quarterly progress reports/presentations to the Sounding Board, and the Sounding Board will provide advice and feedback to the DEI Committee. The Sounding Board will ensure that the DEI committee considers a broad range of perspectives and experiences. Membership on the DEI Sounding Board involves a smaller time commitment (1-2 meetings per quarter), than the DEI Committee, but its role is equally important.

We envision the DEI Committee and Sounding Board as embodying the wide variety of opinions and perspectives of our department; a membership of creative problem-solvers who voice their ideas and concerns with respect, listen with empathy, and are eager to learn from each other and make progress in addressing these important issues.

Student, staff and postdoc involvement will be critical to the success of the DEI Committee and the D&I Sounding Board.  The self-nomination process closed on August 31, 2020.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee members

Nathaniel Agharese
Nathaniel Agharese
Eric Darve
Eric Darve
Sean Follmer
Sean Follmer
Tasha Jackson D&I
Tasha Jackson
Tita Katjanapas
Smita (Tita) Kanjanapas
Monroe Kennedy
Monroe Kennedy
Marc Levenston
Marc Levenston
Arun Majumdar D&I
Arun Majumdar (Co-Chair)
Allison Okamura
Allison Okamura
Ciera Okere
Emilio Reyes
Amelie Schaefer
Amelie Schaefer
Sheri Sheppard D&I
Sheri Sheppard (Co-Chair)
Ayodele Thomas
Ayodele Thomas

Student-led Diversity & Inclusion Activities with major participation from ME Graduate students

Stanford Exposure to Research & Graduate Education (SERGE) – co-founded by a Black ME coterm, expanded and maintained by other Black ME graduate students by way of Black Engineering Graduate Student Association (BEGSA). Over the last two years, two Black SERGE participants have matriculated into the ME Department

Womxn of Color in Engineering (WOCE) – WOCE (pronounced “woke”) is an SoE student-led initiative launched in 2019 and facilitated by a Black ME PhD student that seeks to create opportunities to gather Womxn* of Color graduate students in the School of Engineering by supporting year-long student-led programmatic efforts and collaborations across campus. Anyone of any gender and from all backgrounds who supports these goals is welcome to attend events and join the group.

Other Diversity & Inclusion Committees at Stanford


Biosciences Commitment to Justice & Action (new 8/14/20)

Chemical Engineering


Computer Science Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Chair:  Prof. Moses Charikar

Electrical Engineering

Management Science and Engineering

Stanford Medicine Diversity & Inclusion (new 8/14/20)

Stanford Medicine Diversity Cabinet (new 8/14/20)

Founding Chair:  Prof. Risa Wechsler

*** Updated 10/20/20 ***

MAE Seminar - Please join and nominate!

Our department is participating in a new initiative which launched in Autumn 2020: “Future Leaders in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: Celebrating Diversity and Innovation”. This nationwide online seminar series highlights research contributions by graduate students and postdocs from groups that are underrepresented among Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering faculties. In addition to providing exposure and mentorship opportunities to the speakers, the seminar series will create a network among underrepresented students and faculty allies in MAE departments across the country. To nominate a speaker, to volunteer as a faculty mentor, or to join the email list for future announcements, please visit MAEFutureLeaders. We encourage nominations or self-nominations of URM grad students and postdocs on a rolling basis.


Teaching Corner

Coming soon:  practices that promote diversity and inclusion in the classroom and beyond

Like our efforts on this important topic,
this web site is a work in progress.

Comments?  Questions?  Suggestions?  
We'd love to hear from you!

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Feedback form (SUNetID required)