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Oklahoma State University

ASEE recognizes OSU for exemplary diversity and inclusion program

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

ASEE recognizes OSU for exemplary diversity and and inclusion program

Oklahoma State University was named one of 28 universities with an Exemplary Diversity and Inclusion program by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) at the ASEE National Convention on June 15-19 in Tampa, Florida.

ASEE is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.  In 2014-2015, ASEE created the Engineering Deans Diversity Initiative collaborating with deans of engineering across the United States committed to provide increased opportunity to underrepresented demographic groups.

Dr. Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) joined this initiative in 2017, and is among many deans in America who are participating.  In doing so, he has committed, through specific actions, to provide increased opportunity to CEAT’s underrepresented students. 

"CEAT's designation by ASEE as one of 28 (or one of approximately 2 percent of engineering schools in the nation) Exemplary Diversity programs in the U.S. advances OSU's reputation as a national leader and role model in the realm of diversity and Inclusion," said Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, vice president for the Division of Institutional Diversity and chief diversity officer at OSU.  "Our efforts in CEAT, as well as many other areas across the university, significantly contribute to OSU's stature as the most highly decorated institution in the nation as the recipient of nationally prestigious diversity and inclusion awards and recognitions. 

OSU is one of 10 universities nationwide to earn the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity for seven years in a row.  Since 2009, OSU has experienced a 96 percent increase in the enrollment of students of color (African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, and biracial/multiracial students) and a 222 percent increase in first-generation students of color.  Since May 2010, OSU has witnessed a 90 percent increase in students of color earning a bachelor's degree.  Over the past decade, more Native American students earned a college degree from OSU than from any other institution in the nation.  

“We seek to serve our students in every way we possibly can and to have our diversity and inclusion programming described as ‘exemplary’ is quite meaningful,” said Lance Millis, director of CEAT Student Academic Services.  “We’re very proud that ASEE recognized our college in this way.”

“We value our students,” said Yokolanda Speight, who leads CEAT’s diversity and inclusion program efforts. “We want to see them succeed, working together as a team and grow as leaders.”

Additional initiatives are underway to continue this effort.  Diversity and inclusion has been a goal of the university for a long time. In 1974 an initiative was started with companies who wanted to hire more minority engineering students. As a result, the companies started the council of partners to recruit and retain graduating students of color, underrepresented populations and women. With those efforts, it has grown and expanded.

“We are honored and extremely humbled to have CEAT's efforts earn another nationally-prestigious recognition for OSU, which affirms our work to facilitate a culture of inclusion that provides new opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to achieve advancements in their pursuit of excellence,” said Kirksey.  “It is especially gratifying to know that, as a university system, diversity and inclusion is the expectation, rather than the exception at OSU.”

RELEASE CONTACT: Katy Ronck | CEAT Marketing | 405-744-5831 | katy.ronck@oksate.edu

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