Leadership Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in BME

The BME Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Committee is comprised of leaders who are passionate about ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are considered in all department activities


Faculty representatives serve as “DEI Representatives” on all major committees within the department. Postdoc, graduate and undergraduate representatives are nominated through local chapters of the Graduate Biomedical Engineering Society, National Society of Black Engineers, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers and other groups. Graduated committee members are invited to remain as alumni representatives.

Faculty

  • Mete Civelek, Associate Professor

    Mete Civelek, Associate Professor

    DEI Committee Chair and DEI Representative for the Graduate Admissions Committee


    Prof. Civelek is the Diversity Facilitator of the BME department through the School of Medicine and also the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for UVA Engineering. He was awarded the American Heart Association’s ATVB Council Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Recognition Award for his successful mentorship of students who are underrepresented in biomedical sciences. EMAIL

  • Kevin Janes, Professor

    Kevin Janes, Professor

    DEI Committee Representative for the Executive Committee and Graduate Admission Committee


    Prof. Janes is the chair of the Graduate Admission Committee. He served as the co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for three years. He is also the DEI Representative for the Executive Committee. Email

  • Silvia Blemker, Professor

    Silvia Blemker, Professor

    DEI Representative for the Promotion & Tenure Committee


    Prof. Blemker is the chair of the Seminar Committee. She is a passionate advocate for increasing diversity in STEM, having been involved since her undergraduate days of serving in leadership roles in Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. She co-organized a national NIH workshop entitled: “Amplifying Impact by Nurturing Diversity." She also chaired the first all-female faculty search committee in BME. EMAIL

  • Brian Helmke, Associate Professor

    Brian Helmke, Associate Professor

    DEI Representative for the Undergraduate Program Committee


    Prof. Helmke chairs the ASEE Biomedical Engineering Division Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group and has facilitated workshops through the ASEE Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the UVA Center for Teaching Excellence, and the UVA BME Department on topics such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and equitable teaching practices in large classes. EMAIL

  • Eli Zunder, Assistant Professor

    Eli Zunder, Assistant Professor

    DEI Representative for the Graduate Program Committee


    Prof. Zunder is a member of the Diversity Committee of BMES, and acts as a liaison to the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC). Email

  • Kristen Naegle, Associate Professor

    Kristen Naegle, Associate Professor

    DEI Representative for the National Chapter of BMES


    Prof. Naegle is a member of the Diversity committee of the Biomedical Engineering Society and has created and delivered workshops on stereotype threat. Email

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dan Abebayehu

    Dan Abebayehu

    Postdoctoral Representative


    Dan Abebayehu is a DEI Postdoctoral Representative. Email

Graduate Students

  • Mukti Chowkwale

    Mukti Chowkwale

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for GBMES


    Mukti Chowkwale is a PhD student in the Saucerman Lab. EMAIL

  • Julie Leonard-Duke

    Julie Leonard-Duke

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for GBMES


    is a PhD student in the Peirce-Cottler Lab. EMAIL

  • Alice Luanpaisanon

    Alice Luanpaisanon

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for GBMES


    Alice Luanpaisanon is a PhD student in the French Lab. EMAIL

Undergraduate Students

  • Caroline Davis

    Caroline Davis

    BME Undergraduate Representative


    Caroline is a BME major (Class of 2023)

  • Akbar Ali

    Akbar Ali

    BME Undergraduate Representative


    Akbar is a BME major (Class of 2023)

  • Nia Blibo (Alumni Representative)

    Nia Blibo (Alumni Representative)


    Nia is a graduate of the Class of 2020.

  • Kayla Holston (Alumni Representative)

    Kayla Holston (Alumni Representative)


    Kayla is a graduate of the Class of 2018.