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K-State Today

February 10, 2021

Engineering leadership team presents at diversity conference

Submitted by Amy Betz

Two assistant deans from the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, Amy Betz and Craig Wanklyn, along with the director of the Multicultural Engineering Program, LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin, presented a paper at the virtual 2021 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, or CoNECD, Conference Jan. 28.

Their work, "Comparative Case Study of Four Diversity and Inclusion Summit Events," assessed outcomes of four College of Engineering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion summits, providing recommendations for successful summits as well as how to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion events into recruitment efforts.

"A key conclusion was the engagement of multiple corporate partners and incorporation of break-out sessions, either in person or virtual, were extremely effective in meeting the wide range of perceived needs and preparedness of our students," Betz said.

"Engaging corporate partners and alumni in diversity, equity and inclusion events also increases the intrinsic motivation for current and prospective students to take part. The reason, however, for this increase in motivation is highly variable — some students want to learn more about the role of diversity in engineering practice, while others are eager to learn more about the culture at various companies."

The vision of the CoNECD — pronounced "connected" — Conference is to provide a forum for exploring current research and practices that enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in the engineering and computing professions. These include gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, disability, veterans, LGBTQ+, first-generation and socio-economic status.

The conference is a collaborative effort of the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, Women in Engineering ProActive Network Inc., and Minorities and Women in Engineering Divisions of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Planning is underway for the fifth annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit in the College of Engineering in fall 2021.