Center for Diversity in Engineering

The Center for Diversity in Engineering is a student space dedicated to advocating for underrepresented groups in STEM—racial minorities, female, first-generation and low-income, and LGBTQ+ identifying students.

The Center for Diversity in Engineering, formerly the Office of Minority Programs, is located in the D-Wing of Thornton Hall. It includes an open study area, event space, and staff members on site. The Center exists to connect students with the academic, financial, health, and community resources they need to thrive both at UVA and in the world. The CDE advocates for all students by connecting them with people and resources, but also by working to create a positive culture within the university. These efforts include changing the curriculum to support student achievement; working with organizations like UVA Acts to promote empathy, inclusion, and collaboration; recruiting a diverse student body; building academic preparedness through the Clark Scholars and summer Bridge programs; and offering both academic and career advising.

The Center is a student space dedicated to evidence-based programming, University-wide collaboration, and a variety of personal and professional resources. Through this space, we create opportunities for continuous cross-cultural and intersectional dialogue. In doing so, we affirm and empower equitable participation toward intercultural fluency and provide the resources necessary for students to be successful during their academic experience and future careers. We specifically advocate for underrepresented groups in STEM—racial minorities, female, first-generation and low-income, and LGBTQ+ identifying students—who are often driven to address inequities in access to science, technology, and medicine.

Examples of such initiatives include: 
• Casual conversations with corporate sponsors, such as Capital One, Leidos, and Boeing
• Hosting panels for prospective students from diverse backgrounds 
• Weekly career development programming
• Community dialogues  
• Workshops on implicit bias, ethics/social justice, advocacy, pedagogy, and other Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion–related topics
• Wellness Programming, such as mindfulness, sleep, and stress management 
• Heritage and cultural events, such as International Pronouns Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Black History Month
• Celebrating and encouraging diversity, which is crucial to working in an increasingly global economy

The CDE consists of both full-time and student staff. Each of these positions supports the mission of the CDE through various operational functions. The Student Associate positions are especially vital to day-to-day operations. The CDE employs Student Associates in each of the following areas: career development, community outreach, equity in education, academic success, leadership development, marketing, and diversity programming.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The CDE acts as a catalyst for students interested in initiating discussions about critical issues such as the historical and current realities impacting their communities. It is also a home base for several identity-based Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs). These groups have access to individual and group advising, monetary support, and after-hours use of the CDE space.