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New committee in Statler College to advance diversity and inclusion efforts

students at a graduation ceremony

(WVU Photo/Greg Ellis)

The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University has established a new committee to advocate for the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) of students, faculty and staff in the Statler College.


The announcement, made by Earl Scime, interim dean of the Statler College, illustrates a new path forward for the College as it advances in education and research endeavors.

“By recognizing that our differences are our strengths and actively eliminating barriers that prevent equal opportunity for all persons, our College will promote diversity and equity that transcend social barriers while advancing academic excellence,” Scime said. “I want our College to be a place where we honor the worth of every individual and provide a learning and working environment where all people are encouraged to succeed and excel.”

Including representatives from every academic and extension unit in the College, the committee will serve as a resource for faculty, staff and students to be informed about opportunities and issues related to diversity and to promote and identify barriers to inclusivity across campus.

The committee, led by Cerasela Zoica Dinu, professor of chemical engineering and associate chair of biomedical engineering, will work closely with Meshea Poore, vice president for DEI at WVU.

The first priority of the committee is to develop an organizational infrastructure where established procedures and resources are easily accessible to all. Specific efforts will concentrate on recruitment and retention of diverse populations of students, faculty and staff, trainings to increase the understanding and application of DEI concepts, all aimed to foster an inclusive culture and a diverse, thriving community that supports creative accomplishments.

While the College has had several programs in place for both recruitment and retention of undergraduate students, as well as procedural strategies for recruitment of faculty, Scime explained that formalizing the process and establishing this committee will provide an in-house infrastructure that is customized to the College’s needs.

“This will further advance our institutional mission while promoting a both welcoming and respectful academic environment,” he continued.

In 2019, before the committee was formed, the American Society for Engineering Education bestowed the highest award given in its inaugural ASEE Diversity Recognition Program to the Statler College. West Virginia University is one of just 75 nationwide and the only school in West Virginia to achieve this status. With the development of this committee, the College is dedicated to meeting the requirements necessary to maintain this ranking after the three-year review is conducted.

Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, the committee has been working with the vice president’s office, faculty senate and DEI initiatives in other colleges at WVU in developing the College's strategic DEI plan.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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Phone: 304-293-4135