UC Irvine Engineering-ICS Leadership Council’s Diversity Committee at the University of California-Irvine Receives NAMEPA Wings to Succeed Award

The National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) is pleased to announce the selection of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (Engineering-ICS) Leadership Council’s Diversity Committee at University of California-Irvine (UCI) as a 2016 NAMEPA Wings to Succeed Award recipient. UCI Engineering-ICS Leadership’s Diversity Committee has championed efforts to broaden participation of students from traditionally underrepresented populations. Two notable contributions of this committee are its instrumental role in establishing both the Undergraduate Mentorship Program in 2013 and the Office of Access and Inclusion in 2014.

The Undergraduate Mentoring Program fosters meaningful relationships between UCI alumni, community members, industry professionals, and undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in engineering. The program addresses a range of academic, professional, and personal development topics and has seen an increase in participation of 125% since 2013 with a total participation of 208 participants (88 mentors and 120 mentees) in the 2015-2016 year.

The Office of Access and Inclusion jointly serves undergraduate students from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented in engineering and computing in the School of Engineering and School of Information and Computer Sciences. The office employs a three-pronged approach: increasing access, creating an inclusive environment, and fostering academic and professional excellence. The office currently provides academic support to more than 800 undergraduate students from historically underrepresented minority (URM) groups which accounts for more than 25% of the undergraduate student body in engineering.

The NAMEPA Wings to Succeed awards were established to honor individuals or teams who have catalyzed change to help students from URM populations overcome historic barriers or those who go above and beyond standard expectations in their jobs and are instrumental in the success of students from URM backgrounds in engineering. This award aims to recognize non-traditional diversity roles including but not limited to faculty, corporate representatives, community organizers, and other university administrators.

NAMEPA is a national network of educators and representatives from industry, government, and nonprofit organizations who share a common commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic American, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander students earning degrees in engineering. NAMEPA promotes the professional development of its members and serves as an advocate for and resource to those programs and organizations that seek to recruit, educate, and employ diverse engineering talent.

NAMEPA is very grateful for UCI Engineering-ICS Leadership Council Diversity Committee’s efforts in advancing the achievement and persistence of students from URM backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Diversity Committee will be recognized at the 37th Annual NAMEPA National Conference in West Lafayette, IN at Purdue University, October 1st – 4th, 2016.