The Cockrell School DEI Seed Grants program is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Equity in Engineering. Applications for the first year’s cycle are currently closed; the second round of applications will reopen in August 2023.

Projects funded under the 2022-2023 cycle are (project lead names’ bolded):

Active Recruitment of Diverse Graduate Students

This project aims to increase presence of underrepresented students in the graduate student applicant pool to 35% through active recruitment of students from nine minority-serving institutions in Texas in Spring 2023.

Mary Cantu-Garcia (staff, ME), Yaguo Wang (faculty, ME), Janet Ellzey (faculty, ME), Lei Zhou (faculty, ME), Sarah Laney (staff, ME)

Biomedical Engineering Learning Network Group (BELoNG)

The Biomedical Engineering Learning Network Group (BELoNG) provides undergraduate students in BME with mentoring and academic accountability.

Brittain Sobey (staff, BME), Laura Suggs (faculty, BME), Sophia Ty (undergraduate student, BME), Chase Dawkins (staff, BME)

BME Peer-Led Teaching Assistant Support

This project aims to enhance instructional support and a sense of community and belonging in the BME community by training teaching assistants in biomedical engineering in inclusive learning practices.

Nikhith Kalkunte (graduate student, BME), Lacy White (staff, BME)

Community building in study hours for undergraduate transfer students

This program facilitates community through study groups among undergraduate transfer students, and a group lead knowledgeable of campus resources can help guide students through acclimating to the college.

Elisa Koolman (graduate student, ME)

Emerging Leaders in Engineering Seminar Series

The seminars serve as a recruiting mechanism to help the various departments in the Cockrell School of Engineering successfully attract promising scholars from historically underrepresented communities to apply to become the next generation engineering faculty.

Mykel Green (postdoc, BME)

Engineering Bright Futures

Engineering student volunteers will mentor high school juniors from underserved local schools to foster an interest in pursuing engineering, introduce them to engineering-related opportunities, and discuss the application process to Texas Engineering.

Anjali Raghavan (undergraduate student, ECE), Nina Telang (faculty, ECE)

Inclusive Engineering Fundamentals Micro-Credential

We aim to design, deploy, and evaluate a pilot micro-credential (badge) called Inclusive Engineering Fundamentals to be offered through Texas Engineering Executive Education (TxEEE).

Woodrow W. Winchester, III (staff, Engineering Executive Education)

Investigating Climate and Feelings of Belonging among Undergraduates in Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at UT Austin

We are seeking to understand how to improve the climate and sense of belonging among undergraduates in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department by conducting a climate survey.

Katherine Dowdell (postdoc, CAEE), Mary Jo Kirisits (faculty, CAEE), Maura Borrego (faculty, ME)

Neuroengineering Research and Science Ambassador Experience for Cockrell Undergraduate

This project will help promote student retention by offering a Cockrell undergraduate a summer research opportunity in computational neural engineering while getting involved in STEM outreach by developing science modules jointly with a local middle school teacher.

Rodrigo Osuna Orozco (postdoc, BME), Samantha Santacruz (faculty, BME)

Shamelessly Taking Space: Advocacy, Confidence, & Empowerment

Our project takes on the form of a day-long retreat aiming to provide a supportive environment where graduate students and postdocs can build skills around self-advocacy, confidence, and empowerment.

Xiomara Gonzalez (graduate student, ECE), Caitlin Benway-Trejo (graduate student, MSE)

The Role of Student Organizations in Supporting Undergraduates

This project examines how student organization Pi Sigma Pi supports undergraduates through events such as graduate school information sessions and mental health workshops.

Katrina Fierro (undergraduate student, CAEE)

Understanding the Experiences of Underrepresented Researchers within the Cockrell School of Engineering

This project seeks to understand the research experiences of underrepresented researchers within the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Stephanie Strayer (staff, ECE)