The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recently recognized Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bronze Award in its inaugural ASEE Diversity Recognition program.
According to the ASEE Diversity Recognition website, the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program (ADRP) was created to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs.
With the hiring of the first female dean who is passionately motivated to improve diversity, Stevens is taking an active stance.
“I think this is an era when we really need to push for diversity to attract more students,” says school of engineering and science dean Jean Zu. She believes that one key to that is to recruit more female faculty members.
“We want students to have role models who they can see themselves in,” said Zu.
Stevens alumnus Mike Murphy, president of the European Society for Engineering Education and Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs at Technological University Dublin, echoed Zu’s sentiments during a Q&A session on diversity with ASEE president Stephanie Farrell.
“We have a situation in STEM subjects...where there isn’t sufficient gender balance on the faculty side,” said Murphy. “On the recruitment side, we definitely need more in terms of role models.”
In the effort to improve gender diversity on the Stevens campus, ten of the 35 faculty members who were hired in the last two years under dean Zu at the school of engineering and science are female, including several who are up-and-coming researchers.
The newest additions will join Stevens’ existing roster of female research experts including NSF CAREER Award winner Stephanie Lee, TEDx alumna Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, and leading artificial intelligence expert and director of the Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence, K.P. Subbalakshmi.
While Stevens has many notable female researchers, Murphy stressed that not all role models have to be leading researchers in the university.
“They could be professional faculty, they could be adjunct faculty that are brought in...but you’re bringing them in for a specific reason, to teach students either a particular subject or a particular environment,” he said.
Watch the full Q&A with Mike Murphy and Stephanie Farrell below: