Addressing society's complex challenges will require everyone's talents and perspectives. The vision for UVA Engineering's diversity efforts, led by the Office of Diversity and Engagement, is to harness the strategic value of diversity, inclusion and engagement in UVA Engineering's educational and research programs. We are cultivating an environment in which every person is optimally valued and supported, so our students, faculty and staff can make their best contributions to society.

UVA Engineering is proud to be the top public engineering school in the country for women earning engineering degrees, and for four-year graduation rates for all student demographic groups. However, much more work is ahead to ensure we achieve our vision for harnessing the strategic value of diversity, building an environment in which every person is optimally valued and supported, and ensuring that students, faculty and staff are empowered to make outstanding contributions to society.

The Office of Diversity and Engagement is tackling these challenges in multiple ways:

UVA Center for Diversity in Engineering 

UVA's Center for Diversity in Engineering, located in the Engineering School's Thornton Hall, is laser focused on supporting student success. On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Engagement, the center offers multiple student-focused programs, such as the Summer Bridge program that provides rising first-year students with detailed preparation for their new life as UVA engineers.

The center facilitates free tutoring during the academic year, helps students locate internships and research opportunities, and connects students with the many organizations on Grounds that provide information and support. The center also engages with student organizations, particularly those serving students who are traditionally underrepresented in engineering.

For more information, visit the center in Thornton Hall D111, or contact James Bland

As part of its strong efforts to remove barriers and empower future engineering leaders, the Office of Diversity & Engagement is leading a national study aimed at revolutionizing diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to meet America's workforce, technology and security needs. The research will produce a predictive analytical model for STEM education success among underserved students, as well as isolate the factors that inhibit academic success. The data will be used to develop interventions and best practices for national dissemination among other universities and industry to strengthen the talent pipeline for underserved STEM students and workers.

UVA Center for Wireless Health Research Experience for Undergraduates 2019 Program

Program dates: June 3-July 26, 2019

Application deadline: March 15, 2019

The UVA Center for Wireless Health seeks highly motivated applicants for a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The goal of this effort is to provide an intensive, faculty-mentored research experience over an eight-week period. Wireless Health is an emerging, interdisciplinary field aimed at infusing wireless technologies in health care and medical research to improve patient care and quality of life while reducing health care costs. This research program is funded through the National Science Foundation.


  • Hands-on research experience
  • Faculty mentor
  • Graduate school preparation
  • $4,000 stipend
  • On-campus accommodations
  • Travel expenses (up to $480)

Research areas:

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Systems engineering

Eligibility requirements:

Applicants must be current undergraduate students and U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition to the online application, candidates should submit a personal statement, transcript and two letters of recommendation.

We are accepting applications for the 2019 REU program through March 15, 2019.

Click here to apply through our online portal. For more information about the Wireless Health REU program, please send an email to

Office of Diversity, Equity and Engagement Staff

Meara M. Habashi

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Meara M. Habashi is an expert in social and workplace behaviors who previously led Purdue’s Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Management, which empowers women to overcome gender obstacles in the workplace and prepares students to lead and excel in a diverse workforce and changing social climate.

Amanda Fortune

Operations Manager
Amanda provides general operating support for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Engagement, such as budget oversight and fiscal management for the CDE and affilated student organizations. Amanda also serves as a human resources liason and provides administrative support to other CDE Support Staff…

Center for Diversity in Engineering Staff

James Bland

Director, Center for Diversity in Engineering
James assists with the daily operation of the Center for Diversity in Engineering (CDE) and serves as the advisor of culturally based CIOs within the Engineering School. Additionally, he provides equity-focused programming, strategic diversity, and serves as an advocate and champion for…

Katie Alexander

Assistant Director, Center for Diversity in Engineering
In the CDE, Katie facilitates community-building programs with a specific focus on the support of the Latinx community and Women within UVA Engineering. She is responsible for implementing and coordinating ongoing and one-off programs that contribute to student identity and leadership development…
Donnell Wright headshot

Donnell Wright

Graduate Assistant
Donnell participates in the development of new programs that seek to support a diverse group of Engineering students. Specific programs include Summer Bridge, CDE community dialogues, workshops/trainings, student advising, peer mentoring, and assisting with programs supporting the greater development of career, leadership, equity, and academic success for underrepresented students (undergraduate and graduate) within Engineering.

UVA's Clark Scholars Team

Keith Williams

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Clark Scholars Faculty Director

Williams' completed my Ph.D. in materials physics at Penn State University in 2001, and undertook postdoctoral research in the Molecular Biophysics Group at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, thereafter establishing a nanophysics laboratory in the physics department at the University of Virginia. 

Alicia Cowan-Brown

Clark Scholars Program Coordinator

Alicia joined the Clark Scholars Program in 2022 as the Program Coordinator. Her responsibilities include program implementation, scholar engagement, and collaborating with various partners to improve the Engineering student experience.