BME Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Activities

This section aggregates BME diversity, equity and inclusion activities that are ongoing (+) or less than two years old. The list is updated with new activities as they occur.

Faculty recruitment

2019 Sepideh Dolatshahi and Mohammad Fallahi-Sichani successfully recruited in a dual-career hire as part of an open BME faculty search led by an all-female search committee chaired by Prof. Blemker with support from Prof. Naegle

2019 Shannon Barker joins the faculty BME as a General Faculty Member and brings her experience in diversity, equity and inclusion from the Dean's office to support the undergraduate curriculum

2018 Kristen Naegle and Aidong Zhang successfully recruited as part of a targeted Biomedical Data Sciences search chaired by Prof. Bourne with support from Prof. Janes

2018 Faculty offer to mid-career Black female applicant (declined)

2018 Soft recruitment of female postdoctoral fellow (attrition)

2016+ Underrepresented students serve on BME faculty search committees


Department climate

2021 GBMES organizes a two-part “Community-Equity Workshop” with goals of (1) building racial literacies for anti-racism and action and (2) practicing identification of words and actions that could contribute to racial inequity and determining strategies for responding to these incidents with a constructive intervention that promotes equity

2020 GBMES holds monthly Candid Conversations series to promote inclusive discussions about race, LGBTQ+ identity, disability, and other identities

2020 DEI Committee and GBMES organize Black Lives Matter Town Hall

2019 DEI and Grad Program Committee initiate Faculty Advocates program to support students with diverse backgrounds during their first year of graduate study

2018 GBMES and BME Seminar Committee co-organize “Power Game” workshop run by Profs. Nisha and Ed Botchway (GA Tech) and attended by 18 faculty, 5 postdocs, and 36 graduate students

2018 GBMES celebrates international customs, Black scientists during Black History Month

2018 BME removes GRE requirement from graduate applications and stops using GRE in application evaluation, making it one of the first BME departments to commit to #GRExit.

2018 Systemic changes implemented to the BME grad admissions process: holistic evaluation, interview policies, admission decisions and follow-up recruitment

2018 GBMES adds diversity representatives to leadership committee

2017+ BME Seminar Committee invites ~40% female speakers and ~10% speakers from underrepresented backgrounds. This trend continues in subsequent years.


Student outreach and recruitment

2020 BME recruitment booth at ABRCMS

2020 Seven of the nine underrepresented engineers who were offered admission to our PhD program decide to enroll

2019 Kevin Janes and Adrienne Williams host BME booth at ABRCMS

2019 Six of the ten underrepresented engineers who were offered admission to our PhD program decide to enroll

2018 Kevin Janes hosts UVA Engineering booth at BEYA

2018 Mete Civelek attends NSBE and GEM Consortium Workshop

2017+ Annual seminar visits by DEI faculty to minority-serving institutions


DEI leadership outside of UVA

2021 Yonathan Aberra’s abstract on UVA BME’s Candid Conversation series was selected for an oral presentation in the education track of the annual BMES conference.

2021 Kevin Janes’s abstract on UVA BME’s Faculty Advocate program was selected for an oral presentation in the education track of the annual BMES conference.

2020 Kristen Naegle was elected to be on the Diversity Committee of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

2020 Mete Civelek received the American Heart Association’s ATVB Council Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Recognition Award.


Scientific research and training

2019 Large collaborative NSF grant submitted with MIT and Howard University as core partners (not funded)

2017+ Timothy Allen leads NSF Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering and Biomedical Data Science REU, with a 5% acceptance rate and 50–60% participation from students from underrepresented backgrounds


past activities

Future goals