NAU’s College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences (CEIAS) has received a Bronze Recognition from the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE), which is the highest level ASEE currently has for this honor, for its activities to promote and maintain diversity.
NAU is one of nine universities to receive this three-year status, beginning in 2022. “The award confirms our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the college,” said Cassie Petit, Assistant Director of Operations. “CEIAS has made significant strides in increasing diversity, inclusion and degree attainment outcomes of our program.” The Bronze recognition means NAU is a national leader in inclusive excellence. It demonstrates that the college is committed to the following outcomes:
- Establishing baseline support for groups underrepresented in engineering.
- Quantifiably analyzing and assessing unit composition, policies, culture and climate related to all groups underrepresented in engineering.
- Implementing programs and initiatives that strengthen the K-12 or community college pipeline, reducing significant barriers related to long-term growth.
- Developing an action plan focused on continuous improvement.
The CEIAS diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) committee was formed at the beginning of 2021 as part of the CEIAS strategic planning process. Matthew Montoya Rush, a member of the DEIJ committee who assisted with the application, said that through this award, progress made in CEIAS can be recognized. He made note of several initiatives within the college and the university that have helped the college reach its diversity goals. The award also helps set goals for important areas of improvement in the coming years.
“The overall goal for the first few years of the CEIAS DEIJ committee should focus on increasing visibility of current NAU and CEIAS diversity resources and initiatives, developing performance metrics for future improvement of CEIAS DEIJ initiatives and improving recruitment, retention and success of CEIAS students, staff and faculty,” Montoya Rush said.
The committee, which is currently chaired by José Diaz Aquino, includes Montoya Rush, Fethiye Ozis, Kelley Ann Horn, Brian Hanabury, Jani Ingram and student Rachel Sibayan. It has already begun developing a CEIAS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice web portal with current and proposed resources and initiatives for students, staff and faculty. They are also focusing on developing diversity-centered learning opportunities through an online diversity and inclusion module, professional development, service and research in evaluation and promotion and tenure criteria and collaboration with surrounding minority serving institution through the expansion of 2+2 and 4+1 programs to helps students transition to NAU.
“As part of the ADRP, NAU is now recognized with surrounding peer institutions both for the current efforts to improve DEIJ initiatives, but also for being forthright and transparent about where we are and how we plan on continuing to grow a more diverse community by publishing CEIAS Diversity Climate Survey’s annually, along with commentary on challenges and goals for the following years,” Montoya Rush said.