Diversity and Engagement

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.


Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion John Fitzgerald Gates

"At UVA Engineering, we're not pursuing diversity for diversity's sake. We're pursuing strategic diversity, and that is diversity to achieve a strategic goal. Our strategic goal is to be excellent - to be the best Engineering School we can be - so that we can provide excellent service and value to society."

John Fitzgerald Gates, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion


The Office of Diversity and Engagement provides a vision of strategic diversity for the School of Engineering, supports diversity initiatives benefiting the School and University, and seeks external support for diversity research and education. The office also operates the Center for Diversity in Engineering, a student support center.

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:

    Jason Jones, Ph.D.
    Assistant Director
    Office of Diversity and Engagement
    (434) 243-0759
    ena-cde [at] virginia.edu


  • Student Organizations

    The Office of Diversity and Engagement acts as a touchpoint and liaison for all student organizations, including those serving students who are traditionally underrepresented in engineering. Those organizations are:

    National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at UVA

    Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)

    Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at the University of Virginia

    Engineering Student Council

    Graduate Engineering Student Council

  • Diversity Research Project

    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.

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs

    UVA Center for Wireless Health REU 2018 Program

    The UVA Center for Wireless Health is seeking 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 that seeks to infuse wireless technologies in healthcare 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.  To view more information about about our current research projects, publications, and partners, please visit http://wirelesshealth.virginia.edu/home.

    We are accepting applications for the 2018 REU program through February 1, 2018. Click here to apply through our online portal. Feel free to download our REU program flyer at bit.ly/wirelesshealthreuflyer. For more information about the Wireless Health REU program, please send an email to wirelesshealthreu@virginia.edu.

    REU in Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering

    The University of Virginia is hosting a NSF-funded Research Expeience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program in mulit-scale systems bioengineering. The objective of the program is to train undergradruates from a variety of STEM backgrounds and provide them with the skills, confidence, and mentorship necessary for successful careers in the exciting of systems bioengineering. Click here to submit in an online application for the 2018 REU program. For more information about the REU in Mulit-Scale Systems Bioengineering program, pleasee contact Ms. Katherine Bishop by email at SystemsBioengREU@virginia.edu.

ASEE Deans Diversity Initiative

With a core value that diversity is excellence, UVA Engineering is a proud participant in the American Society for Engineering Education's Deans Diversity Initiative. Deans, including UVA Engineering Dean Craig H. Benson, have committed to actions that will lead to significant progress in diversifying the engineering community. The deans' letter states: "In particular, we must further promote the pursuit of engineering education to all those who have been historically underrepresented within our discipline; provide an educational experience that is demonstrably equitable and inclusive; and actively work to improve the broader engineering culture to fully engage the diverse generations to come." Read more

Excellence Through Diversity

Our Distinguished Learning Series brings to UVA some of the most compelling voices to expand perspectives and dialogue about diversity.

More about UVA Engineering's Strategic Approach to Diversity