“The recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Riah Milton, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others have sparked large protests and brought renewed focus to the systemic racism that Black Americans face across the United States. We, as members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) community at University of Michigan (UM), grieve with those horrified by these tragedies and echo the calls for justice for people victimized by racism and police brutality across this country.”
This excerpt comes from an open letter penned by student and postdoc leaders of our community that has reinvigorated departmental efforts and commitment to address diversity, equity and inclusion in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.
Change starts from within. The CEE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee recognizes a need to end the cycle of racism and social injustice that has particularly affected Black Americans. The committee will work to create a community (students, postdocs, staff and faculty) that is united behind addressing this need through self-reflection, awareness, training, opportunities and advocacy leading to a greater and equitable voice in the discipline of Civil and Environmental to diverse identities.
The Civil and Environmental Engineering disciplines play a vital role in people’s lives, perhaps with greater reach than any other engineering discipline. It is of utmost importance to ensure equity and justice for all within the disciplines and to welcome the experiences and knowledge that come with diverse identities.
The CEE DEI Committee will lead the department in acknowledging ways that civil and environmental infrastructure can perpetuate social and environmental injustices, and highlighting ways that our disciplines can contribute to a more equitable future. The Committee will create, maintain and implement a roadmap toward ensuring racial and social equity within the department, its curriculum and its programming. It will hold the members of the department accountable for progress along the roadmap via a continual, transparent evaluation process. The Committee’s ultimate goal is a culture of tolerance, acceptance and respect that spans our students, postdocs, staff and faculty.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee
The committee has identified six broad categories to guide the department’s DEI efforts. This is just the beginning of the roadmap process:
View the latest roadmap draft here (updated 9/10/20).
At this time, the committee asks the CEE community for feedback and ideas related to DEI in the department, as well as specific feedback on the roadmap. Please use this anonymous feedback form. We hope to hear from as many people as possible, especially while we are in the early stages of developing these efforts.
DEI Committee Members
- Tarolyn Buckles – Alumna and CEEFA Board President
- Herek Clack – Associate Professor
- Ann Jeffers – Associate Professor
- Bridget Hegarty – Postdoc
- Henry Liu – Professor
- Nancy Love (Chair) – Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor
- Lissa MacVean – Lecturer III
- Jason McCormick – Arthur F. Thurnau Associate Professor
- Carol Menassa – Associate Professor & John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar
- Jessica Petras – Marketing Communications Specialist
- Amy Shepherd – Senior Administrative Assistant
- Anne Speigle – Senior Grad Coordinator
- Rebi Varghese – Desktop Support Specialist Senior / IT Manager
- Student Members (TBD)
Seeking New Student Members for DEI Committee
The 2020/2021 CEE DEI committee is seeking student nominations for committee membership. We have a very focused and aggressive mandate: to enact a number of parallel programs and policies into our departmental practices. We will design our activities to achieve systemic and sustained change that makes CEE a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all.
To achieve this, we need a diverse collection of voices, and we invite students to consider nominating peers or self-nominating for a spot on the committee. The estimated time commitment for the committee includes monthly 1.5-hour all-team meetings and at least two 1-hour subcommittee meetings a month. You should assume 30 hours over the academic year toward completing committee assignments and participating in DEI events.
Nominations for student membership on this committee are being accepted until Monday, September 21, 2020. To nominate, please complete this Google form. Information on what is being asked in the form is provided in this document, which can be used for planning purposes.
Nominations will first be received by a group of CEE undergraduate leaders and the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC), who will review and then forward all nominations to the 2020/2021 DEI committee. The committee will make a final recommendation for membership to the Department Chair (Professor Lynch), who will appoint the members. We expect final student member appointments will be made by the first week in October.
Student Transition Team Members of the CEE DEI Committee
The following students have volunteered to join the committee on a temporary basis until the formal student nomination process described above is complete:
- Brianna Hansen
- Dianna Kitt
- Brooke Mason
- Enrique Rodriguez
- Matt Vedrin
- 1st Gen Engin program for first generation students in the College of Engineering
- CEW+ (Center for the Education of Women) provides immediate and ongoing services and the financial support needed to ensure educational success and degree completion.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has one full-time counselor available for all currently enrolled students within the College of Engineering.
- Diversity-focused Student Organizations in the College of Engineering
- The Engineering C.A.R.E Center focuses on assisting engineering students in successfully transitioning through a variety of challenging circumstances that can impact their lives.
- Mentoring programs in the College of Engineering
- Michigan Learning Communities are self-selected groups, often from diverse backgrounds, drawn together by shared goals and common intellectual interests.
- Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs engages the campus community and transforms the student experience to build inclusive spaces and equitable opportunities for all.
- The Office of the Ombuds provides a confidential space for talking about any campus issue, concern, problem, or dispute.
- The Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) provides a variety of programs and services designed to support a safe, just, and peaceful community
- The Rackham Resolution Office provides a safe and confidential environment to discuss concerns.
- Services for Students with Disabilities provides accommodations and access to students with disabilities.
- Students with Children is dedicated to the needs of student caregivers at the University of Michigan who juggle parenting, other family care, work, and study.
- Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities: CEE student organization
- Women in Science and Engineering is designed to increase the number of girls and women pursuing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while fostering their future success.
For Faculty & Staff
- The Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach (CEDO) provides expertise, leadership and programming to foster a climate that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form from the Office of Institutional Equity.
- The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning cultivates and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change for the public good.
- The English Language Institute provides language, academic, and intercultural instruction for international students and scholars and others who speak English as a second language.
- Inclusive Spaces on campus, including the Wellness Zone, reflection rooms, lactation rooms and gender inclusive restrooms.
- The International Center serves the international population, facilitates intercultural and international education, and fosters a global campus community.
- The Office of Institutional Equity oversees, facilitates and supports the University’s efforts to ensure equal opportunity for all persons.
- The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) provides individual support and advocacy, peer led support groups, and community education and training.
- The Spectrum Center works toward enhancing the campus climate and support services for LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty.
- The Trotter Multicultural Center serves as a campus facilitator, convener, and coordinator of intercultural engagement and inclusive leadership education initiatives.
- University of Michigan DEI
- College of Engineering DEI