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College of Engineering and Technology awarded for its diversity initiatives

Western Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology is the recipient of a Bronze Award from the American Society of Engineering Education’s Diversity Recognition Program.

WCU is one of 25 institutions to receive Bronze Award status, which is valid for three years and is renewable, said Jeff Ray, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

“The award is in recognition of the College of Engineering and Technology’s support of diversity, equity and inclusion focused on increasing the number of underrepresented students and faculty,” Ray said. “Several continuing and future efforts include developing student professional engineering societies with a focus on underrepresented groups including women and students of color, support of the LatinX conference, further development of a college-wide diversity, equity and inclusion plan for the next three years, and partnering with the Office of Intercultural Affairs to expand the ProjectCare program to students in engineering and technology programs beginning in fall 2020.”

Should the college reach its goals in the next three years, Ray said it could apply for Silver Award status. This is the second year of ASEE’s recognition program for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and efforts.

The award was created to publicly recognize the engineering and engineering technology institutions that make significant measurable progress in increasing diversity, inclusion and degree attainment outcomes of their programs.

“Every discipline in higher education has to determine how they are going to engage with inclusive excellence as they prepare students to enter their chosen profession,” said Ricardo Nazario-Colón, WCU’s chief diversity officer. “As many engineers know, diversity fosters engineering innovation and excellence, resulting in positive societal impact and new solutions.

“At Western Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology, the faculty never tires of seeking ways to open paths for women and underrepresented minorities in engineering. Our students flourish because our faculty cares. This award is representative of the hard work and efforts that our faculty put forward that is often unrecognized.”

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